Gisele Bündchen is one of the most famous models today, walking runways for huge designers and starring in ad campaigns. However, it wasn’t always easy for the model. She recently sat down with Vogue to talk about her early days.
Bündchen Describes ‘Traumatizing’ Runway Show
Bündchen went through a series of photos for the interview, giving details about the stories behind them. One was of her walking the runway for Alexander McQueen in 1998. “This was one of the most traumatizing moments,” the supermodel laughed.
“I mean, I didn’t speak English,” the Brazilian model explained. “It was my first show season in London. I did 42 castings. I remember going to all these castings because nobody would even look at my book [photos and resume for a model] because it was the heroin chic time.”
“Heroin chic” was an early ’90s fashion term, used for models like Kate Moss and Gia Carangi who sported pale skin, dark circles under their eyes, and stringy hair. Bündchen is one of the models credited with getting rid of “heroin chic.”
“I went to do this casting for Alexander McQueen,” Bündchen continued. “And there were girls around the block. Like, thousands of girls. [McQueen] would put you in these impossible shoes…and he would just go and say ‘Walk.’”
Bündchen didn’t have a fitting before the show, so when she arrived to get ready, she was presented with an outfit she had never seen before. The top was made of silver strands that showed Bündchen’s chest, which she was not comfortable with.
“I was walking the whole time, thinking, ‘Oh, my God, I hope my dad never sees this picture.’ But that’s why I have the memory of this show,” she continued. “All I wanted to do was leave. But you know, it’s one of those things that makes you stronger.”
Hitting ‘Rock Bottom’ With Sugar, Cigarettes, And Wine
Even though Bündchen was an extremely successful model, she still experienced lots of anxiety during the early days of her career. “From the outside, it looked like I had everything and I was just 22 years old,” she shared. “On the inside, I felt as if I’d hit rock bottom. I was starting my day with a mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream and three cigarettes, then drinking a bottle of wine every night. Imagine what that was doing to my mind.”
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