Prepare yourself for what’s sure to be a beautiful exit: After twenty years on the runway, the world’s biggest and highest-paid supermodel, Gisele Bundchen, is retiring from the catwalk. Bundchen will be taking her final bow on stage at Colcci’s 2016 show at Sao Paola, Brazil. The location for her finale is no accident. Brazil’s fashion week is where she was first discovered at fourteen by Elite Model Management.
To be clear, the leggy Brazilian with honey-colored hair won’t be disappearing from the public’s appreciative eye. While she will no longer be walking runways, Gisele will still appear in editorial and commercial campaigns for companies like Chanel, Balenciaga, H&M, and Carolina Herrara, and will continue her role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador. And though she never needs to work again (Bundchen has earned $386 million from modeling since 2001, and last year out-earned hubby Tom Brady by a cool $15 million), Gisele will maintain her equity in brands like Gisele Bundchen Intimates and Grendene shoes.
Rather than mourning the death of Gisele’s catwalk career, we want to celebrate its really, utterly, unbelievably beautiful life. We love Gisele as she is—a modern, multi-lingual fashion business juggernaut—but our favorite era is her first decade in the spotlight, when she was young, hungry and on the ascent. Here are ten of Gisele's most iconic looks from the nineties and yes, it seems beachwear was her forté.