This Week's Model: Alessandra Ambrosio
Alessandra Ambrosio doesn’t need much of an introduction at this point — the 29-year-old Brazilian powerhouse has been in the modeling business for over a decade. She started working with Victoria’s Secret in 2000, and has been a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2004. But she remains in demand with high fashion brands as well — no easy feat. She’s a current face for Dolce & Gabbana, and walked the runway for six labels last season, among them Dolce, Marc Jacobs, Giles, and Loewe. And as hectic as her work life may be, her personal life hasn’t suffered. She became engaged to California businessman Jamie Mazur in the summer of 2008 (they’d been dating since 2005), and they welcomed their first child, Anja, shortly after, on August 24, 2008. Three months later, Alessandra was back on the Victoria’s Secret runway. Needless to say, she’s a busy woman. W chatted with her about where she might be headed next, both personally and professionally.
Where are you right now?
In Los Angeles, at The Ivy restaurant in Santa Monica in the gorgeous weather. I’m like sweating actually. I was in New York yesterday, [the weather] was miserable.
Any recent fun shoots, travel, or other things coming up people might not know about?
Well, the new Dolce campaign — it just came out in the magazines — and Love magazine’s going to come out February 5, I have things in there. And I’m going to Brazil tomorrow. I’m doing a fashion show — because it’s fashion week in Brazil — with Ashton Kutcher and Gisele [for Colcci]. Gisele used to do the [Colcci] campaign, and me and Ashton just shot the new campaign with Steven Klein. And then after Brazil I’m coming back to LA to shoot the new Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Bra commercial with Michael Bay. So that’s like the next 10 days.
Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2011, Prada Fall 2010
Do you plan to do any of the other upcoming fashion weeks — New York, London, Milan, or Paris?
I have options for the fashion weeks there, I just have to make sure I have the time. I have to do a few days with my contracts I have in Brazil, and with Victoria’s Secret and some other stuff that I have. I hope I’ll be in at least one show.
Any one in particular?
Well, I can’t say. The designers usually don’t like to say until we’re on the runway. Like when I did Prada last year, I couldn’t mention doing Prada or even Tweet or take a picture and put it on Twitter saying I was backstage at the Prada show. And Dolce was the same thing. They like to keep a little surprise, I guess, a little secret for everybody.
You’ve been working with Victoria’s Secret for over ten years now. Do you foresee yourself working with them for another ten years?
I love them, it’s been a great family. I love everybody that I work with, and we have so much fun. I definitely have projects with them, and I’ll be working on projects with them. I don’t think I’m going to be in my [30’s] doing laundry. [Laughs] Who knows, everything is possible. Like Heidi [Klum] was doing the [Victoria’s Secret] runway show at 36 years old, in a bra and panties, and looking fabulous. So we don’t know.
Victoria’s Secret 2009 Show, 2010 Met Costume Institute Gala
There’s been quite a baby boom at Victoria’s Secret in the last couple of years. Have you spoken with Miranda Kerr or Doutzen Kroes since they gave birth?
No, I sent emails to them congratulating them. You know, I have a kid on my own, and I know how busy it is, the first weeks and the first month. It’s just good for them to concentrate on their baby. So I’ve seen pictures, and I’ve sent emails congratulating them. I can’t wait to meet the babies.
And what about you, do you foresee yourself adding to your family?
I don’t know. I don’t really plan that. [Anja] came unplanned, and I think that’s the way it is with me. I like it as a surprise.
Giles Spring 2011
After you did the Giles runway in a bikini last season, you said in an interview that now that you’re a mom, you draw the line at G-strings. Is there anything else you draw the line at?
I don’t think so. Yeah, I don’t feel that comfortable being on the runway with a G-string. I shoot G-strings with Victoria’s Secret, but on the runway . . . It’s really about the moment. I work with professionals. Professional people make everything look perfect, they make everything that you’re wearing look great, if it’s in a picture or on the runway.
You’re engaged — who would be your dream wedding dress designer be?
I just have this picture of a dress that I loved from Alice Temperley. I think it would be between . . . I always dream that Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce [would do something for me]. The Dolce & Gabbana dresses, they are always fantastic. So those two. I would probably wear both.
Any Valentine’s Day plans in the works?
I was just thinking about that yesterday. I’m going to be working, filming here in Los Angeles, and I don’t really know my schedule. On the 14th or the 15th I might have to be working, but it all depends. But if I have the time, I’d love to go for a nice dinner, maybe drive up to Santa Barbara and spend the night in a romantic hotel there.
You’re a big Coachella fan, right?
I love to go to Coachella. I have so many friends that go — me and my fiancé met there — and I’m already planning Coachella 2011 with all my friends and my fiancé.
Hakaan Spring 2011
Is there anybody at Coachella you’re looking forward to seeing?
Kings of Leon. I’m friends with the band. I just love their music. I have the CD in my car, and I listen like ten times a day, over and over. And then there’s a lot of other bands — Empire of the Sun, Robyn, Kanye West, every day there’s so many bands. Is Duran Duran playing? Yeah, Duran Duran, I love them, one of my favorite songs is from them.
Your 30th birthday is coming up in a few months. Any thoughts on how you might celebrate?
A friend of mine suggested Morocco, to go to Morocco with friends and family, so I’m kind of considering that. But for me, it’s so hard to plan something, because I might be in Brazil working. The only important thing is that I have my family by my side — that I have my daughter with me, my fiancé, my parents, and my closest friends. It doesn’t matter where we are, it will be great.
How has the modeling industry changed since you first started working?
I guess it’s like a real job. When I started, it was a hobby, something fun to do. Before, models had that rock star life and it was all about going to the parties and having that glamorous life, and I think these days, models are more like businesswomen and the whole industry takes it really serious.
Marc Jacobs Spring 2011, Emanuel Ungaro Spring 2011
What do you feel like is the next step in your career?
Wait and see.
Do you ever see yourself retiring from modeling?
When I first started at 15 years old, I thought my career was going to be done by 20. And I thought at 20 years old I was going to have a husband and two kids, and I would live in a house and take care of the kids. And it didn’t happen that way. So for me I really don’t think much, you know, when is it going to end. Because when I was 20 years old that didn’t happen. So I just kind of go with the flow and let it be. It’s not something you can plan. You don’t know what’s really going to happen, and you don’t know how fashion is going to turn and what’s going to happen with the fashion world and the economy, obviously.
Louis Vuitton Fall 2010, Fendi O’ Fan di Fendi Party
Any guilty pleasures?
I love Cheetos, those hot, spicy kind. And chocolate. Every time I’m in the airport I’m buying Cheetos and eating them on the airplane.
Any New Year’s resolutions, things you’d like to accomplish this year?
Raise my daughter. I’m looking right now into schools for her, so that’s my big thing in my personal life — get her a good school. And always be healthy and eat as healthy as you can; try to have a routine of working out and doing yoga; take care of my body and take care of my family, too.
And what are you up to tonight?
Well, it’s afternoon here, but I have to go to Apple because my computer just crashed, so I have to get my computer fixed. So I’m going to Apple, then I have a dress that I wanted to get altered, so I’m taking my dress to get altered. Then I’m going to Pilates after that, and after I’m probably going to go for dinner with my fiancé, because I’ve been away from him like 20 days.
Photos: Fairchild Archive