>> Waves were made last month when Gisele Bundchen replaced Kate Moss in her longstanding run atop the Models.com Top Icons list. But Gisele can sell, according to The Independent — she commands up to $20 million for a single contract, and when she was signed by C&A in Brazil for a series of advertisements, sales increased 30 percent.
Photographer Alice Hawkins, who once shot Gisele at her Manhattan penthouse triplex, says the model is "very clever about making money — it’s an interest of hers.” And she keeps it in the family — she now employs four of her five siblings, as her manager, her lawyer, her accountant, and her web developer.
Her business savvy caught the attention of economist Fred Fuld, who developed the Gisele Bundchen Stock Index, which charts the performance of companies who have employed Gisele like LVMH, Volkswagen, and News Corp, who financed the The Devil Wears Prada, in which Bündchen had a cameo role: “She could have become the spokeswoman for General Motors or Ford, both of which have received government bailouts and may yet declare themselves bankrupt. But Volkswagen is in much better shape, and is even considering buying Porsche."
Fuld found, reports The Independent:
By the end of 2007, Gisele’s index was up 29 per cent in comparison to the Dow’s 6.5 per cent. And when she terminated the Victoria’s Secret contract, parent company Limited Brand’s share price fell 31.5 per cent. And, although the Gisele Index is down 15.7 per cent between 2007 and 2009, it still managed to outperform the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was down over 30 per cent during the same period.
Not only does Gisele sell well and choose her investments and opportunities wisely, she also gives high client satisfaction, according to Nick Knight: “Where some models take the money [for commercial, rather than editorial, work] and are then embarrassed to enter into it, when she’s decided to do the campaign, she’s 100 per cent behind it. If they ask her to say ‘This is the best lipstick in the world’, she does. It’s slightly tongue in cheek, but you get swept along with her enthusiasm.”
"I’ve made her lie naked on hospital floors" »
She's also known for her on-set ease — Knight recalls her once cutting his assistant’s hair between shots — and her work ethic. “She’s one of those models who can do anything, and she’s the only one to do it, no one else has managed, so what’s her secret? Her exuberance, her sexiness. She puts the work in and she’ll wait for the right shot, sometimes for hours and hours,” asserts Lee Swillingham, creative director of Love.
Knight, who worked with Bundchen on her first big advertising campaign, for Christian Dior in 1998, agrees, recalling that shoot: “She was in foam from midday til midnight for five days. That’s like a physical endurance test.”
Katie Grand, who has worked with Gisele since her second-ever shoot, an ad campaign for H&M in 1996, too has similar stories: “The only time I’ve ever seen her say ‘no’ — and I’ve made her lie naked on hospital floors — it was midday, 140 degree heat, Death Valley, in a fur coat. She said ‘I can’t stand anymore’, but the previous evening, wearing a bikini in a thunder and lightning storm, she’d been fine.”