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Ana Hickmann as she appeared in Sports Illustrated's South African edition.
Photo by Mark Cameron. Courtesy ID Model Management.
The media have begun hyping a new face on the catwalks and in campaigns: that of 19-year-old Brazilian Ana Hickmann, officially the model with the longest legs in the biz

Above: She's arrived: Hickmann on the cover of Vogue Brasil in late 2000

THE PRESS has already begun touting her as 'the next Gisele'. ID Models' Ana Hickmann, who first appeared in Lucire pages in March 2000, is a rising star at the dawn of the Lunar New Year, having already received coverage on the covers of Vogue Brasil (below left) and Sports Illustrated's South African edition (above), and a contract with La Perla. She has appeared in Nivea and Wella ad campaigns. The Vogue Daily column online has reported her favourably already, as has Lucire in an editorial. She will also appear on another cover in a couple of months' time.
   Which begs the question: why do we even need to compare her with Gisele Bündchen? Hickmann has already been in The Guinness Book of Records, officially the model with the longest legs in the world (46" out of her total 5'11" height, beating out Michelle Norkett). Her bookings indicate that her success in 2001 is secure.
   There's plenty of confidence about Hickmann's chances at ID Models. ID Models president Paolo Zampolli said to Lucire publisher Jack Yan, ‘Ana is one the most professional models I ever found. I would say she is a star in the making: she reminds me of the “real” supermodels of the old days.’
   So how does a young woman become the model of the moment? Meanwhile, we were totally correct with predicting Carmen Kass's vote as Model of the Year at a recent fashion awards' ceremony. So Lucire, being the independent and global observer, should know.
   Gisele's rise took us suddenly and her reputation stayed buoyant from 1999 through most of 2000. Her engagement to actor Leonardo di Caprio did nothing to dim her looks or her ability to model. However, the way the models are being reported in the British media, including London magazine Heat, Hickmann seems practically Gisele's successor.
   We might be able to answer our question. The "making of Ana Hickmann" is going through a slower gestation than Gisele's. At the time of writing, Northern Light Search only located 16 pp. on Hickmann, so this is only a new movement.
   Zampolli himself can take a lot of the credit. Thanks to his online ventures and his ability to use the technology to his models' advantage, ID Models enjoys a high profile. Public outrage by former Élite Models head John Casablancas against Zampolli's venture in 2000 raised his and ID's reputations further. With models and celebrities occupying the same public attention today, Zampolli has been the subject of articles from Fashion Wire Daily to the gossip-oriented 'Page Six' in the New York Post. As America's highest-profile and most personable modelling boss—the man who can build careers—his moves have instant press attention.
   He continues to have an uncanny instinct in finding the stars. Some say it's Hickmann's hypnotic blue eyes; whatever the case, Zampolli has read the demands of the market correctly.
   The third limb is tied to Zampolli and ID, namely his ability to market the models to the right people. Patrick Demarchelier and Helmut Newton are reportedly two photographers who consider Hickmann a favourite, says Vogue Daily. The comparison to Gisele Bündchen is not harmful, either: discovered in southern Brazil by Zampolli, Hickmann is acquainted with her compatriot and instantly benefits from the early-2000s interest in Brazilian models. In other words, names and word associations are steadily building up Hickmann's reputation as the model of the year.
   Finally, there is Hickmann herself: accessible, saying the right things in the press, and taking it in her (rather large) stride. She is reportedly a consummate professional, understanding the industry's culture. At age 19, she has been exposed to the modern supermodel phenomenon for most her life. And she is more than happy with her towering height, wearing stilettos to accentuate it when possible.
   While there is never a perfectly scientific, strategic way to get a model into the public consciousness, the basic ingredients seem to be there.
   We expect ID Models to continue with its high-profile moves in the modelling industry in 2001. Hickmann herself will be more famous by mid-year, and in another 11 months we can see whether our predictions about her online presence will have been realized.

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‘Ana is one the most professional models I ever found. I would say she is a star in the making: she reminds me of the “real” supermodels of the old days.’
Paolo Zampolli
President, ID Models




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