Adriana Lima is a Brazilian supermodel best known for her modeling work with Victoria's Secret and Maybelline.
Lima was born in the northeastern coastal town of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Her parents are Nelson Torres and Maria da Graça Lima, a social worker. She has two half brothers.
When she was six months old, her father walked out on her and her mother. She has since had an estranged relationship with her father, although recently she has been making attempts to reconcile with him.
According to her, she is of African, Native South American and Swiss descent.
Lima was discovered while shopping at a local mall at the age of 13. At the age of 15, she entered and finished in first place in Brazil's Ford Supermodel of the World Search.
She subsequently entered the 1996 Ford Supermodel of the World contest and finished in second place. Three years later, she moved to New York City, and signed with Elite Model Management.
Lima’s modeling portfolio began to expand exponentially, appearing in numerous international editions of Vogue and Marie Claire.
As for fashion shows, she has walked the catwalks for big-name designers such as Vera Wang, Christian Lacroix, Emanuel Ungaro, Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Ralph Lauren and Valentino, among others.
Lima then became a GUESS? girl appearing on GUESS?' Fall 2000 ad campaign. She also appeared in the book 'A second decade of Guess? Images.'
In 2001, Lima starred in BMW short film, The Follow alongside actors Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, and Forest Whitaker. The film was directed by Hong Kong film director and internationally renowned auteur Wong Kar-Wai.
Lima continued to build upon her entry, doing more print work for Maybelline, bebe, Mossimo, BCBG and gracing the cover and editorials of more high fashion magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, ELLE, Vogue, GQ, to name a few.
Her April 2006 GQ cover was the highest-selling issue of the year.
Her other notable works include the Pirelli Calendar 2005 and the face of Italy’s big cellphone carrier Telecom Italia Mobile, where she became known as the "Catherine Zeta-Jones of Italy."
Lima is probably best known for her work with Victoria's Secret. She first graced the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 1999 and has appeared on subsequent shows ever since.
Her most notable walk down the runway was in 2003, where she was the show opener.
Lima had appeared on several television ads for the brand but her most memorable one was appearing alongside the legendary rock musician Bob Dylan in 2003 Victoria's Secret Angel in Venice commercial, which received both praise and criticism.
She is currently a contract 'Angel' and spokesperson for the brand. She appeared in Victoria Secret's Super Bowl XLII ad and hosted the E! Entertainment special Victoria's Secret: What Is Sexy? 2008.
Lima is also a spokesperson for cosmetics giant Maybelline New York. She is the world's fourth highest paid supermodel as of 2007.
Lima is fluent in three languages: Portuguese, Spanish and English. In her free time, she loves reading a novel by her favourite author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Lima has admitted that she was shy around boys when she was younger, not receiving her first kiss until she was 17 years old.
In an interview with GQ's April 2006 issue, Lima told the magazine that she is a devout Catholic who attends church every Sunday and is a virgin.
"Sex is for after marriage," she explained. "They (men) have to respect that this is my choice. If there's no respect, that means they don't want me."
US GQ dubbed her as "The World's Most Voluptuous Virgin."
Lima has denied reports that she was ever engaged to rocker Lenny Kravitz and insists that she and Kravitz have always just been friends.
She has also been romantically linked to other celebrities in the past, including New York Yankees superstar Derek Jeter, Prince Wenzeslaus of Liechtenstein and Denny of Timbalada.
Currently Lima is dating Serbian basketball player Marko Jaric of the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves.
Lima in the Media
Since her rise to fame, Lima is often cited by popular media as one of the world's sexiest women. She ranked 7th on FHM 100 Sexiest Women 2007 and was chosen as one of People Magazine's annual 100 Most Beautiful People in the World, in May 2007.
On June 13, 2007, she was awarded as "Hottest Girl on the Planet" at the first Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards but the category was not mentioned in the actual show.
Lima was also voted on the Maxim Hot 100 2007 as number 53.
She was voted as the Most Desirable Woman in 2005 by visitors of the largest men's lifestyle website, Askmen.com (she was placed 4th in 2006, also 4th in 2007 and 10th in 2008).
Lima does charitable work helping with an orphanage, "Caminhos da Luz" (Ways of Light), located in her hometown. She helps with construction to expand the orphanage, and buys clothes for poor children in Salvador, Bahia.