Marisa Miller (nee Marisa Bertetta) was born and raised in Santa Cruz, the sunny surfing capital of California. As a naturally beautiful girl who just didn’t realize that the odds for supermodel stardom were stacked heavily in her favor, she developed a liking first for volleyball, surfing and the friendship of boys. Though she regularly dressed in heavy clothes to obscure her figure, Marisa Miller did manage to catch the attention of two Italian modeling scouts at age 16, when she strolled by them in a San Francisco eatery. An invitation to visit Italy quickly followed.
Marisa Miller’s subsequent trip to Italy with her mom offered her a quick look at the modeling industry, but she still had to get over her shyness if she hoped to enter the industry as a professional. Three years later, back in California, Marisa Miller literally stripped off her shyness in 1997 as the cover girl for the debut issue of the magazine Perfect 10. Appearing au naturel on the cover, Marisa was indeed a perfect 10. She would repeat the feat with two more covers for the magazine in 1998 and 1999.
marisa miller works with sports illustrated and victoria’s secret
The shift for Marisa Miller from alluring newcomer to full-fledged modeling star came in 2001, courtesy of an introduction to acclaimed fashion photographer Mario Testino. When a friend passed along some photos of her to the photographer, he insisted on a meeting, which took place at the surfing school that she was operating. After taking pictures of the model as she surfed, Mario Testino promptly suggested that she participate in a pair of editorials for two installments of Vogue. Marisa agreed and only half a year later, she was booked by both Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret.
Between 2002 and 2008, Marisa Miller came to dominate the famed Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Besides making an appearance in each issue, she had a number of notable poses — ranging from an 8-hours-in-the-making painted swimsuit in 2004 to a pop culture-embracing iPod swimsuit in 2007. As the cover girl of the 2008 issue, Marisa Miller coaxed a record 228 million people to the SI site and celebrated the release of her own “Best of Marisa Miller” calendar that same year. During her rise to prominence at Sports Illustrated, Marisa Miller came to be equally busy with Victoria’s Secret, which included filming a bra TV spot with Heidi Klum, walking the company’s fashion show in 2007, and pitching its perfume, Very Sexy Dare, in 2008 as one of the Victoria’s Secret Angels.
marisa miller wears the fantasy bra
Marisa Miller’s dual associations with Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated represented two of her longest-running modeling assignments, but her high stature with both entities also put her in incredibly high demand with other companies who could accommodate her scheduling and salary requirements. British versions of Esquire and Cosmopolitan came to shoot her for cover shoots, while brands as diverse as Harley-Davidson and Bath & Body Works hired her to model. One such advertiser was the video game giant Activision, who brought her on to film an ad for the 2008 release of Guitar Hero: World Tour. In a sexy parallel to the state of her career, the ad was removed from broadcast for being too racy, but would later resurface through the joys of social media and enhance Marisa Miller’s already-skyrocketing popularity.
In 2009, Marisa Miller enjoyed what was perhaps the highlight of her Victoria’s Secret career. At the annual fashion show, she was chosen to wear the company’s Fantasy Bra, a $3 million creation that featured 150 carats and 2,300 diamonds. Having appropriately stunned viewers of the show, Marisa Miller celebrated 2010 with a cover shoot for Vegas Magazine and a No. 2 ranking on AskMen’s list of the Top 99 Women.