In the twilight of heroin chic—the skinny, boyish nineties look epitomized by model Kate Moss—Gisele was the anti-waif, her tanned, healthy figure a fresh bolt of runway sizzle that jolted a jaded front row. Anna Wintour of Vogue crowned her the “model of the millennium,” that same year Vogue called her "The return of the sexy model". “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” Rolling Stone declared her in 2000. “And God Created Gisele...,”Vanity Fair sighed in 2009.
Gisele Bündchen pioneered the "horse walk" – a stomping movement created when a model picks her knees up high and kicks her feet out in front.
In 1997 Bundchen travels to London, where she auditions for 42 shows. She gets her big break when chosen for her ability to walk in towering heels—on a slippery runway—for Alexander McQueen’s memorable spring 1998 “rain” ready-to-wear show. Echoing similar accolades for Elle Macpherson a decade earlier, McQueen dubs Gisele “the Body,” immediately boosting her bookings.
In 1998 She poses for Missoni, Chloé, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferré, Ralph Lauren, and Versace campaigns. Makes the cover of French Vogue. Cult fashion magazine i-D also puts her on its cover, profiling “A Girl Called Gisele.”
As the year 2000 approached, Gisele Bündchen was the world’s hottest model, opening up a new category in the popular imagination: the Brazilian bombshell. By the year 2000, her going rate was reportedly already up to $7,000 an hour, according to WWD.
She appeared on the cover of Vogue in July, November and December 1999. She won the VH1/Vogue Model of the Year for 1999, and a January 2000 cover gave her three consecutive Vogue covers and in December 2009 she appeared alongside of her husband Tom Brady on the cover of book The World in Vogue – People, Parties, Places. In 2000, she became the fourth model to appear on the cover of the music magazine Rolling Stone, when she was named "the most beautiful girl in the world." Bündchen has been on the covers of many top fashion magazines including W, Harper's Bazaar, ELLE, Allure, international editions of Vogue, as well as style and lifestyle publications such as i-D, The Face, Arena, Citizen K, Flair, GQ, Esquire, and Marie Claire.She has been featured both in the Pirelli Calendar 2001 and 2006 and in broader market publications such as TIME, Vanity Fair, Forbes, Newsweek and Veja, more than 500 magazine covers throughout the world. A total that is only second to Princess Diana's. [
She has also been on numerous book covers such as "MaRIO DE JANEIRO" by Mario Testino and Russell James Retrospective book.
In 2002 she opened the Luella Bartley’s show in a denim minitrench and go-go boots; the bag she carries on the runway is quickly dubbed “the Gisele” and becomes a best seller.
Bündchen consistently works with acclaimed photographers such as Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, and Patrick Demarchelier, and with renowned directors such as Jean Baptiste Mondino and Bruno Aveillan.
In 2003 she continued to pose for Missoni, Dior, and Dolce & Gabbana campaigns, adding Balenciaga to her list of regulars. From 1998-2003 Gisele was in every single Dolce & Gabbana fashion campaign. Totaling 11 consecutive campaigns with the brand. In 2006-2009 she returned as the face of the brand's fragrance titled "Dolce & Gabbana The One".
In 2004 W declares the ubiquitous model “the biggest cover girl in the world.” She tops Forbes’s list of highest-earning supermodels for the first time. February, Clad in a bikini, appears on the cover of Time’s Style and Design Issue, with the cover line “Women in Fashion: Who’s Got the Power?”
Photographed by Steven Meisel, she was presented on the September 2004 cover of American Vogue as one of the "Models of the Moment". In the December 2005 issue, New York magazine chose and publicized a list of 123 reasons to love New York City with reason number 43 being that Gisele Bündchen lived there.
In 2005, For its thirtieth anniversary, Vogue Brazil celebrates a decade of work by its country’s most famous export with a special issue dedicated to the supermodel, who graces six different covers—one for each letter of her name. “Gisele, Ten! Brazil Vogue Thirty!” the cover line reads.
In 2006 WWD reports At 26, Bundchen is second only to Princess Diana in the number of magazine covers ever.
In February 2007 Bündchen returned to the Milan runway by opening and closing Dolce & Gabbana’s Metallic Woman show and in July opens Dior’s sixtieth-anniversary couture show with a black-and-white tableau vivant in homage to Irving Penn alongside other modeling legends Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista.
Claudia Schiffer said: "Supermodels, like we once were, don't exist any more" and reckoned that Gisele Bündchen was the only one close to earning the supermodel title.
Naomi Campbell said: "Models need to earn their stripes – I just think the term is used a little too loosely. Kate Moss is obviously a supermodel but, after Gisele, I don’t think there’s been one."
On 26 August 2008, the New York Daily News, in a list, named Bündchen the fourth-most-powerful person in the fashion world.
In 2008 she Played Peter Pan’s Wendy in Disney’s “Year of a Million Dreams” campaign, opposite renowned dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov as the ageless boy adventurer and comedian Tina Fey as Tinker Bell; the elaborately staged portraits were shot by Annie Leibovitz. In April of the same year, wearing a jade silk-organza column by Calvin Klein, appears on the front of Vogue with NBA star LeBron James, the first African-American man to grace the cover. She also inks a lucrative multiyear deal to become the American face of Max Factor, for the brand’s upcoming one-hundredth anniversary campaign.
On 12 May 2009, The Independent, called her the biggest star in fashion history.
In 2010 she makes Vogue’s best-dressed-of-the-decade list for her 2008 and 2009 Met gala appearances as well as her bikini-clad, logo-tattooed appearance in a 2000 fashion editorial. April 2010 she is photographed for the cover of American Vogue for the 11th time. Writer Joan Juliet Buck profiles the new mother, who is photographed by Patrick Demarchelier, pregnant, then post-pregnant with her baby, and on horseback, doing yoga, and diving into a pool.
September 2010 she leads a pack of top models for Vogue’s massive Fashion’s Night Out runway show at Lincoln Center, in New York. She then makes a surprise appearance on Balenciaga’s runway, closing the show.
She is ranked No.1 as the Top Model Icon of All Time at models.com. She is also No.1 on the Money Girls list and #2 on The Sexiest Models list. In 2011, CEOWORLD Magazine ranked her among their Top Accomplished Women Entertainers. She was also ranked number 95 in FHM magazines 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2011.