SAO PAULO (AFP) - Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, the world’s highest-earning model for the past eight years, is retiring from the catwalk at age 34, 20 years after her debut, her spokeswoman said Wednesday.
“Gisele will focus on special projects and also spending more time on her number one priority: her family,” said her sister and representative Patricia Bundchen in a statement.
Bundchen posted a message to her official Facebook account thanking fans for their support and telling them, “Thank you for all the love. A kiss in your heart and have a beautiful day!!!!”
Speculation on Bundchen’s future had been rife since media reports emerged last Friday indicating she would make her final runway bow at the April 13-17 Sao Paulo fashion show, where she has been a fixture throughout her career, and then turn her talents to advertising campaigns.
The slender blonde, married to New England Patriots star Tom Brady, with whom she has two young children, Benjamin and Vivian, has notably been the face of Chanel.
She has also worked with the likes of Valentino, Victoria’s Secret, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Alexander Wang, Balenciaga and Carolina Herrera.
She has recently been promoting her own lingerie line, ‘Gisele Bundchen Intimates,’ launched in 2011.
But Bundchen, who according to Forbes magazine earned US$47 million (S$65 million) last year – more than her husband – said in a recent interview she wanted to spend more time with her family.
The increasing pull of family ties has clearly played a major role in US-based Bundchen’s decision.
The keen practitioner of yoga and a range of outdoor pursuits often publishes pictures on social media showing her with her children and images of family life.