Shirley Mallmann is a Brazilian model of German descent, born February 15th, 1977 in Santa Clara do Sul, Rio Grande do Su. Mallmann is known as the first great Brazilian supermodel, discovered by Marla Drebe, she is perhaps best known for her work with Jean Paul Gaultier, who immortalized her silhouette in her first perfume, “Classique”.
A well-known model during the 1990’s, Shirley Mallman got her start after a friend at the shoe factory where she worked won a beauty contest, and wanted to try modeling. The pair joined a small modeling school in a nearby town where a guest speaker, a fashion writer for a large Brazilian newspaper, discovered Mallmann and asked if she would like to appear on his TV show. Between that start and a couple of other jobs, she managed to earn more than a month’s pay, and so she quit her job and began to model full time.
She’s made appearances in Sports Illustrated, done multiple covers of Vogue, and been seen in campaigns for Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Emporio Armani, and many more. She’s campaigned for Chanel, Alure, and appeared in the famous Pirelli calendar, and was the first Brazilian model to achieve “top model” status on the international market, drawing the attention of media and industry insiders, netting the Brazilian beauty millions of dollars in the process.
Her rise in the fashion world was paralleled by a rise in Brazil’s prowess as a fashion center, and served to promote Brazilian fashion culture, and coupled with new exciting events like the Sao Paolo Fashion Week, brought exciting new partnerships and a global visibility.
Her versatility and ability to model high fashion and do commercial work has been critical to both her success, and her longevity as a working professional. Mallmann say’s a strong work ethic is important too, “there’s no way of telling if you’ll make it or not. All you can do is try your best and see where it’ll take you. I’m a hard worker and I love what I do which is a big part of it”.
Bond Girl In 2012, Shirley Mallmann appeared in a tribute to the James Bond franchise in celebration of its 50th anniversary for Elle Magazine. She starred in a video directed by Manuel Nogueira where she dons looks from Alexandre Herchcovitch and Balmain, while doing battle with armed villains, ending in a fiery explosion.
Family Life Mallmann left the fashion world in 2002 to give birth to her first child, Axil. She returned to the catwalk in 2003. In 2008 while pregnant with her second child by hairdresser Zaiya Latt, she starred in the winter campaign for “Patachou”. The couple work hard to balance the set schedule of children in school with the on the go lifestyle of fashion industry professionals. Shirley says “It’s a ping-pong game figuring out who will be home at what time of day, but babysitters, grandma and everybody else chips in a bit”. Future endeavors might also include a children’s fashion line, “it’s something I’m very passionate about”.