Adriana Francesca Lima was born on June 12, 1981, in Salvador, Brazil. The blue/gray-eyed beauty can attribute her exotic good looks to her French, Portuguese, Native-American, and Caribbean heritage. While her heritage may be a mix, her beauty and success are crystal clear. Like her Brazilian counterparts Gisele Bundchen and Ana Beatriz Barros, Adriana hails from a small town, a far cry from the glamorous life she inhabits today. She is best known for her modeling work with Victoria's Secret and Maybelline.
Her climb from obscurity to glam girl occurred after placing second in the Ford Supermodel of the World Contest (after having won the 1996 Ford Supermodel of Brazil Contest).
Adriana signed with Elite Model Management at the age of 16, and moved to one of the fashion centers of the world, New York. Once there, her modeling portfolio only began to expand exponentially, after appearing in Vogue (Italy) in 1997, as well as Vogue (UK), I-D (UK), Marie Claire (Brazil), and Vogue (Italy) in 1998. Adriana has also appeared in Vogue (US, Germany, UK), and Marie Claire (Italy) all in 1999.
As for fashion shows, the Vogue girl has walked down the runway for the following designers: Cynthia Rowley, Vera Wang, Christian Lacroix, Emanuel Ungaro, Betsey Johnson, Girls Rule, Richard Tyler, Emporio Armani, Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Randolph Duke, Ralph Lauren, and Valentino, just to name a few.
But one of Adriana's most notable catwalk appearances was in the Victoria's Secret Summer 2000 Swimwear Catalogue (shot in Cannes), where the Brazilian beauty shared the spotlight with a bevy of supermodels such as Heidi Klum and Laetitia Casta.
In 2001, Lima starred in BMW short film, The Follow alongside actors Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, and Forest Whitaker.
Those who have not had the pleasure of seeing Adriana in a magazine fashion spread may have caught her in advertisements for Anna Sui Jeans, Bebe (actress Rose McGowan also poses for the fashion brand name), Gasoline, Mossimo, Victoria's Secret, BCBG, Keds, XOXO, and Guess?. Her other notable works include the well-famed Pirelli Calendar 2005 and the face of Italy’s big cell phone carrier Telecom Italia Mobile.
Adriana Lima got her first kiss at 17 years old. "Sex is for marriage," she says. "Men have to respect that this is my choice. If there's no respect, that means they don't want me." - She said in an interview with GQ March 2006 issue.
Before her modeling days, Adriana always hoped to help children, and thanks to her new found popularity, she is able to work with orphans in Brazil.
Whether you have seen her in an ad, on the runway, or photographed by some of the world's greatest photographers -- such as Steven Meisel, Peter Lindbergh or Ellen von Unwerth -- Adriana's beauty speaks volumes.