Alessandra Ambrosio’s career and longevity in the industry has set the gold standard for those coming up behind her. To reflect on her impressive body of work, the Brazilian supermodel has teamed up with friend and collaborator Stewart Shining to create a glossy coffee table book comprised of stunning editorial images taken together over the last two decades. Available now, Alé, Alessandra by Stewart Shining shows the mom-of-two as the chameleon and muse she truly is, and even includes a foreword by Calvin Klein and an essay by Olivier Rousteing. We caught up with the bombshell to hear where it all began!
Congrats on the book! Can you take us back to the first time you met/shot with Stewart?
Thank you so much! I’m so excited for all of you to see it. I feel honored, and even a little bit humbled, to have an entire book done on me. I think the book tells a story of our friendship over the past 20 years, but also at the same time creates a visual history of my career, through Stewart’s lens. We met on a photo shoot for Wallpaper Magazine in 1998! I had just arrived in New York and I didn’t speak a word of English, but Stewart was so reassuring and protective that day. Even though we were not able to communicate with words, we were just able to create amazing images and communicate through art of photography.
What attracts you to working with each other still, two decades later?
Our love and respect for each other, and our love for photography and creating magical images.
Can you pick a favorite image in the book? What’s the story behind it?
That’s a tough one! I have a few favorites, but I think I’ll keep that a secret. When we chose the cover, we tried to pick the image that summed up the book—and I think we succeeded. Each section of the book brings back so many fond memories and I feel like they all tell their own story. I feel that the book has so many raw moments that resulted in emotional images, something that Stewart and I always seem to capture.
How does it feel to see all of your work in this format?
When I saw the final printed book, I was stunned. I still can’t believe it’s over 200 pictures of me. I’m really proud of it, and it’s great to have a record of my career this way.
You started modeling at a young age—what originally made you want to be a model?
I wish I could remember. Joking! Growing up, I didn’t really care for modeling but as I got to my teens I was mesmerized by the glamour of supermodels and the transformation they were able to accomplish with each different shoot and campaign, and I wanted to do the same.
What’s the most Brazilian thing about you?
My love for my family and happy positive outlook on life. I am fortunate to have a lot of Brazilian friends in Los Angeles and I usually spend at least a month in Brazil, so I feel like I am always connected to the culture.
You turned 40 this year! What’s your goal for this new decade?
I feel like nothing has really changed since I turned 40, so my goals are still the same: to be happy and healthy and continue doing what I love.
Are you an art fan? Who’s your favorite artist?
I have always been an art fan and even though there are so many artist that I admire I have to say that I am partial to Brazilian artists like Vik Muniz and Os Gemeos Twins.
What’s your secret talent that people would be surprised to hear?
I am really good at gardening! At least I became very good at gardening during the pandemic…
What are your holiday plans this year?
Like every year, I am going to spend the holidays in Brazil with my family.
What’s on your holiday wish list?
Do you give good gifts? Or are you a last minute shopper?
I feel like I am a thoughtful gift giver, but I will have to check with my family and see what they think!