13.01.2016 - Carolin Petersen




Her professionalism and physical presence have contributed to her remarkable success. With her exotic trademark and voluptuous look, Adriana Lima is a catwalk model for designers such as Valentino, Anna Sui and Vera Wang. She fronts campaigns for Guess and Maybelline and has been photographed in a variety of sensuous poses. Her sexy image has stuck fast, especially since being named a Victoria's Secret Angel.


Adriana Lima may look like every man's dream, but in reality she is much more reserved. Brought up as a strict Catholic, the supermodel attends church every Sunday and is pretty virtuous when it comes to her love life. "Sex is for after marriage. If a man does not respect that, then he does not really want me." Being strong-willed and resolute, her first lover is said to have been the Serbian basketball player Marco Jarić – after their wedding. The model was 27 years old when they tied the knot. She has inherited her Christian values and charitable spirit from her mother, Maria da Graça Lima. Adriana's father left her mother only six months after the birth of their child. From that point on, Maria and Adriana were alone and had to struggle by on the mother's tiny income as a social worker. Adriana herself separated from Marco Jarić after five years of marriage and they live apart. However, they are bringing up their two daughters, Valentina and Sienna, together.


Despite having the perfect look for it, Adriana Lima did not always want to be a model. As a teenager, she dreamed of a career as a doctor. At the age of 15 she entered a modelling contest – but only to help out a shy friend who didn't want to enter it alone – and ended up winning Ford's Supermodel of Brazil contest. Two years later, she entered the Supermodel of the World contest alongside 49 other national Ford contest winners, and took second place. At the age of 18, she signed with Elite Model Management and moved to New York. A rapid ascent to the heights of modelling followed. The enthusiastic amateur boxer has fought her way to the top without attracting any scandal on the way. Today, Adriana Lima is one of the highest paid models in the world. She is rumoured to earn in the region of 4.5 million euros annually. Yet, despite her global fame, Adriana has not forgotten her roots. She visits her hometown of Salvador da Bahia at least once a year and does charitable work for the Caminhos da Luz orphanage there. The charming contrast between Adriana's erotic looks and demure personality has helped her achieve elite status among supermodels.

Short Facts


Adriana is recognisable by her bright blue-grey eyes and distinctive pout. She also has a tribal tattoo adorning her inner ankle.


Adriana Lima is the longest-serving Victoria's Secret Angel. She first appeared in a show for the lingerie label in 1999.


Lima herself has said that the only food she consumes in the week leading up to a Victoria's Secret show is protein shakes. And nothing at all in the 24 hours before she hits the catwalk, not even water. Despite having been fiercely criticised in the media, Adriana's regime is one of the most googled diets.

Awards and Recognition

In 1996, Adriana won the Ford's Supermodel of Brazil contest.


1981 - Roots

Adriana Francesca Lima da Silva is born in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, on 12 June 1981. Her mother, Maria da Graça, is a social worker and father Nelson Torres is a painter and sculptor. Her parents separate when Adriana is just 6 months old. She remains their only child. Nelson Torres later has two sons – Adriana’s half-brothers. Adriana's multi-cultural heritage includes Portuguese, French and Caribbean influences.

1996 - Launch of modelling career

Lima wins the Ford Supermodel of Brazil contest and signs a contract with Ford Models. She subsequently enters Ford's Supermodel of the World contest and finishes in second place out of 49 finalists.

1999 - Elite

Adriana moves to New York and signs with Elite Model Management. She subsequently appears in glossy magazines such as Vogue and Marie Claire and is a catwalk model for designers including Valentino, Giorgio Armani and Vera Wang.

2000 - An angel

Having modelled in a Victoria's Secret show for the first time the previous year, the lingerie label signs Adriana Lima as a new Angel. The Brazilian remains one of the top models at Victoria's Secret, alongside Alessandra Ambrosio, Karlie Kloss and Doutzen Kroes.

2009 - Family life

Adriana Lima marries the Serbian NBA player Marco Jarić on Valentine's Day and applies for Serbian citizenship. A year later, they have their first child together – Valentina. A second daughter, Sienna, follows in September 2012. 

2013 - Separation

After five years of marriage, Adriana and Marco go their separate ways. However, they are bringing up their two daughters together.

2014 - Picture perfect

Russel James, the primary photographer at Victoria's Secret, publishes Angels, a book of photographs featuring his most beautiful images. The celebrities and models who appear in the book include big names such as Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Rihanna and, of course, Adriana Lima. She currently has advertising contracts with Maybelline and Desigual, and appears in glossy magazines and fashion shows for top designers around the world.


© Gettyimages, © Adrianalima


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