Fashion

04.20.12

Gisele Bündchen’s 5-Year-Old Niece: Model and Designer Duda Bündchen (Video)

She’s only a preschooler, but Duda Bündchen has already become a fashion force in Brazil, designing children’s clothes and hitting photo shoots. Isabel Wilkinson talks to her mom.

They say good looks run in the family.

That’s certainly the case for Gisele Bündchen’s niece, Duda. She’s already following in her aunt’s footsteps as a model and businesswoman. But here’s the catch: Duda is only 5 years old.

The preschooler has collaborated with a Brazilian children’s clothing line called Brandili Mundi, which will launch her capsule collection—called Duda Bündchen for Brandili Mundi—all over Brazil and online in July. And despite her tender age, Duda is not just a model for the company—she’s a designer as well, making decisions about prints, cuts, and details for the collection. As Germano Costa, the commercial and marketing director of Brandili Mundi’s parent company, Brandili Textil, explained to Forbes.com: “The pieces were all approved by Duda, whose romantic inspiration will no doubt catch girls’ eyes.” A spokesperson from the press department told The Daily Beast that eight pieces were created by the company’s designers “under the influence of Duda.”

Video screenshot

From the sound of things, you’d think Duda was a mini-Karl Lagerfeld, but according to her mother, Raquel Bündchen (Gisele’s sister), Duda is not a designer in the traditional sense of the word. “Since she is just 5, she’s not a fashion designer,” Raquel told The Daily Beast in an email. “But she told the Brandili team her preferences about pieces of clothes, colors, and things she likes.” She says that Duda specifically likes butterflies, ballerinas, and bows, which are all featured prominently in the collection.

Raquel, who is a computer-science manager in Porto Alegre, Brazil, says that she’ll support her daughter in whatever she chooses to do. “[Duda] loves photo shoots, she says she wants to be a model,” writes Raquel. “She likes fashion, she picks her own clothes, and she already has a style. But we support everything that makes her happy.” She continues: “We are very proud of Gisele, but the ultimate professional decision here is Duda’s. She has a lot of time to think about it.”

According to Forbes, Duda has 30 minions, “an army of professionals,” who man the hair, makeup, and photographic side of the collaboration. Duda will get a percentage of the collection’s sales, though Brandili will not disclose how much. Gisele, after all, was the world’s top-earning model last year, taking home an estimated $45 million. 

“She likes fashion, she picks her own clothes, and she already has a style,” says Duda’s mother.

Duda began modeling for the company last year, after she was “discovered” by a family friend, who is now her agent. She first appeared in an anonymous photoshoot for a local newspaper, where Brandili executives saw her, and booked her for their campaign. In the video released to promote her collection, Duda frolics around a garden in a series of different outfits from her collection like a nymph in a pink sundress, linen pants, and her hair adorned with flowers.