Atop the most dazzling seaside of the Côte d’Azur—home to racers, rock stars, and royals—on the Hôtel de Paris balcony in Monte Carlo, Victoria’s Secret royalty, the ever-glamorous Alessandra Ambrosio, holds court.
Alessandra wears a simple but plush white robe, a classic Coca-Cola in one hand and a cigarette in the other, while enjoying the stunning scene of the Monte Carlo Casino. It is appropriate that this global supermodel impresario, having had a cameo in a James Bond film (Casino Royale), would be looking out at 007’s favorite casino. “I’m playing a part,” she admits, adding, “I’m not like that every day.” On this warm afternoon, for our sake, Alessandra is playing a role, one she knows how to portray effortlessly. Alessandra’s sex appeal is universal, yet refined. These pictures by master photographer Gilles Bensimon bring out the finest from this Brazilian beauty. Alessandra comments, “Gilles is one of my favorite photographers, so I love working with him.”
Alessandra is an international brand, a fashion icon, one of the highest-paid models of all time, a sexy and powerful woman, but she is still down-to-earth. “I like my denim shorts and white T-shirt,” she declares. Growing up, she loved going to the beach and surfing—and developed a taste for pierogi, the gluten-packed Polish dumplings that her grandmother used to give her. Alessandra is comfortable in both simple and sophisticated settings, a rare breed. Her upbringing may have had something to do with creating her fierce work ethic, engendered, she says, by a mother and a grandmother who both worked tirelessly. She notes, “The women in my family were my role models.”
On the previous day, Alessandra was in Rome filming a Victoria’s Secret commercial. Next she travels to Colombia for a day, then to Peru, and then to Brazil. She might do a modeling shoot one day, sketch designs for her line of apparel on another, or act in a film. Every day is a new adventure in Alessandra’s life. Every action is knowledgeable, professional, and momentous. Good luck catching up with her.
This multidimensional persona is in the process of converting her brand into a business empire. Alessandra, the entrepreneur, recently launched her own line of swimwear and began her own celebratory fashion and lifestyle brand, ále by Alessandra.
In a world where money talks, she is slyly eloquent. Alessandra is the world’s sexiest businesswoman.
Photos by Gilles Bensimon exclusively for Maxim. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution is prohibited.