Believe it or not, before Gisele Bündchen skyrocketed to become the world’s highest paid model, the Brazilian beauty had once been denied by a total of 42 London agents before her first big break at the start of her career. Having proven those early naysayers oh so terribly wrong, the fashion icon has decided to extend her star power to the struggling up and comers of her native country with the launch of a new model search initiative called Top CUFA.
The contest- which stands for Central Única das Favelas, or Central Union of Slums- will commit to finding new model talent located from within the country’s most underprivileged areas in an attempt to ‘boost the self-esteem of the slum-dwellers, the Daily Mail reports. Applicants will be narrowed down to just one finalist from each of Brazil’s 27 states, before one girl is selected as the Top CUFA.
“I feel privileged to be the sponsor of this project,” Gisele stated at the launch, after revealing her own struggles, which seem to have served as inspiration for the new program.
Besides being honored with the very crown that Gisele won at her first Carnival, the winner will receive a year-long modeling contract, as well as a year’s worth of Pantene hair products- a brand for which Gisele is a spokesmodel for in Brazil- as if being discovered by Gisele wasn’t enough.