Supermodel Carla Bruni was born on December 23, 1968 in Turin, Italy. Her mother was a pianist and her adoptive father, ran one of the largest Italian companies. An heiress, she is a member of the Agnelli family.
Her parents, Carla, her brother and sister – the actress, Valeria Bruni-Tedesch – exiled themselves to France due to the tense political situation involving the Red Brigade, which reigned in Italy during the 1970’s. From the age of five, she grew up between Paris and Cap Negre. She also attended boarding school in Switzerland.
After boarding school, Carla returned to Paris where she studied art and architecture at the University of Paris. Up until that point, nothing had ever suggested that Carla would be interested in having a career in music. She was rich and cultivated; and as heiress to an Italian tire manufacturing fortune, she did not need to work.
Carla’s beauty is singular. Her enigmatic and mysterious face is unique. It has even been said that her perfect facial structure bears a remarkable resemblance to the famous sculpture of Nefertiti.
At 19, Carla Bruni signed with City Models and her career began. Her career took on new speed when Paul Marciano, the President and Creative Director of GUESS? Inc., came across her picture in among a stack of composite cards of aspiring models. Thanks to him, she soon found herself modelling with Estelle Hallyday in ad campaigns for Guess? Jeans.
She hit the European runways and worked for the biggest of designers and fashion houses including Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, Sonia Rykiel, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Yves Saint-Laurent, Chanel, Versace, etc.
That same year, she played herself in Richard Leacock’s film, Catwalk. As the hot girl on the town, she became friends with Linda Evangelista, Naomie Campbell and Karen Mulder, who also became her best friend. And by 1988, she was among the 20 highest-paid fashion models, earning $7.5 million a year.
After shifting agencies, Carla found herself in campaigns for Chanel cosmetics and Prada. She also did print ads for L’Oréal, Escada Couture, Giorgio, Caractere, Cesare Paciotti, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Blumarine, Morgan, MaxMara, Suzuki. In 2001, she beat out French supermodel Laetitia Casta for a lucrative international mutual fund campaign for BNP Paribas Asset Management’s Parvest umbrella fund, with the tag line “The most beautiful investment in the world.”
Her face has been on the cover of Elle, Glamour, Max and L’Officiel.
While modeling, Bruni became a staple in the tabloids by dating rock stars Mick Jagger. Mick was stilled married to 80’s supermodel, Jerry Hall. Carla also had highly publicized relationships with Eric Clapton; tycoon Donald Trump; and actors Kevin Costner and Vincent Perez. With the exception of Perez and Costner, Carla maintained a reputation of strictly dating only the world’s richest and most powerful men. (It must be noted that Carla was held partly responsible for troubles in the marriage of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall. She was held responsible for the breakup of Marla Maples Trump and husband Donald. For the later couple, public opinion was kinder to Carla as she only did to that Trump marriage what Marla had already done to Donald and his then wife, Ivana! In the case of Jagger and Hall, people had forgotten that Hall was held responsible for the breakup of Mick and Bianca Jagger).
Throughout her successful career as a model, Carla had never truly forsaken her passion for the arts. It is indeed surprising to know that she wrote and composed on her guitar her first songs between two fashion shows.
In early 1998, Carla definitively ended her career as a model in order to dedicate herself to her music. However, that didn’t stop her from being included in Business Age‘s list of the 20 highest-paid models of 1998.
She was offered and accepted a role in the film Paparazzi by Alain Berberian. Carla’s career in music started just the same as it had in fashion a decade earlier – with great success. In 1999, six of her songs appeared on the “Si j’étais elle” album of the French singer, Julien Clerc. This opportunity transformed Carla’s musical career.
With the credit under her belt from Clerc’s album, she met Louis Bertignac, a former member of the group Telephone. He guided Carla into becoming as sensitive, intelligent musician as she perfected her light, raspy and petal soft voice.
In 2001, Carla and Raphael Enthoven had a child together. At the time the two met, Enthoven was married to Justine Lévy. They divorced and Carla was too held responsible for the destruction of yet another marriage.
In 2002, she recorded her first album with the help of Louis Bertignac. Her album, Quelqu’un m’a dit, received great critical acclaim. Leos Carax and Serge Gainsbourg also collaborated with the beautiful songstress on the album. And with his blessing, she also recorded a reprise of Gainsbourg “La Noyée”. This album revealed Carla to be a sensitive and multi-talented artist. She wrote the majority of her songs and composed the music for her songs.
In 2004, Justine Lévy exacted revenge upon Carla Bruni in her novel, Rien de grave, in which Carla is one of the characters. In 2005, Carla left Raphael Enthoven. She now spends time taking care of Aurelien, with her two cats and with her best friend, Karen Mulder.
At a dinner party held in November 2007 mutual friends introduced to each other Carla Bruni and French president Nicolas Sarkozy. They began immediately dating and their relationship became a much publicized affaire shortly after. Cameras followed them on a private out to Disneyland Paris when they took Carla’s young son. The two then married in February 2008. Carla Bruni Sarkozy then fulfilled her duties as the much-loved and popular First Lady of France. And on October 19, 2011 the presidential couple welcomed baby girl Giulia into their family. She gave birth in the Clinique de la Muette, in Paris.
After her husband lost he bid for re-election as president of France, the couple stepped back from political for a while. Carla Bruni resumed her music career with the release of a top-selling album. And she went back to her roots in fashion even making appearances at the fashion show of her longtime close friend, Jean-Paul Gaultier.