Editors Note: The NYT interview was published on May 14, 2006
“My career was never based on pretty,” one of the world’s most beautiful women was saying recently, straining a listener’s credulity. The woman was Gisele Bündchen. And if what should have seemed disingenuous or else a bad case of false modesty somehow rang true, that is because the listener had already heard the tale of the nose.
People in the business often repeat, as an example of the ways in which fashion is deeply disordered, the story of how two decades ago when Ms. Bündchen was starting out in a field she has dominated ever since — becoming not just the most highly paid model in the world but the richest, according to Forbes — some misguided types routinely advised her to correct what they saw as a glaring feature flaw.
“It’s true,” Angela Missoni, creative director of her family company, said last week from Milan. “Gisele did our first campaign with Mario Testino and we used a beautiful shot, but with Gisele’s hair all across her face.”