Fresh Faces

Elsa Benitez


Elsa Benitez is a Mexican model and television host, perhaps best known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, including appearing on the cover in 2001.

She began her career after winning a modeling contest in Costa Rica in 1995. Linda Evangelista was said to be her role model and inspiration to pursue a modeling career. Her early opportunities were soon marching to local firms in Mexico and later in the United States where she earned more recognition and with it, her move to Europe. In 1996, she obtained one of her best chances when chosen to appear in one of the major fashion magazines of all time and one of the most desired for beginner models: Vogue Italia. Once accepted, she was on the cover of the Journal for three consecutive months.


After being hired by Elite agency, she began appearing on the cover of many magazines like Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Harper's Bazaar and Marie Claire. But after appearing on the cover of Vogue from various countries such as Mexico, Greece, Germany, and Marie Claire in several numbers, Ms. Benitez received the offer that would launch success and worldwide recognition to any model: Sports Illustrated.

After arriving to Europe, specifically France and Italy, participating in fashion, presenting collections of top designers; starts on runways prêt-à-porter becoming the muse of Dolce & Gabbana Italian house for which she starred in their shows and marketing campaigns.


She also paraded on runways and/or campaigns for Chanel, Valentino, Christian Lacroix, Versace, Fendi, Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Gianfranco Ferre, Valentino, MaxMara, Salvatore Ferragamo, Chloe, Escada, Emanuel Ungaro, Massimo Dutti and in the US for Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta, Anna Sui, and CoverGirl.

Ms. Benitez is perhaps the only model that has marched in Latin Couture during her stay in Paris. She marched for some of the most important fashion houses presenting Haute Couture, which have always been a few of the significant work involved in this fraction fashion, so she walked for Chanel, Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Pierre Balmain, Emanuel Ungaro and Versace.


She has worked for the houses Macy's, Episode, INC, J.Crew, Rena Lange, Nine West and Jones New York. She has also modeled for Victoria's Secret.

Ms. Benítez appeared in the 1999 Pirelli calendar showing women through the decades. She was photographed as representative of the "groovy" in the 1970s. In 2002, she appeared in the music video for "Love to See You Cry" by Enrique Iglesias. From 2009 to 2013, she was the host of "Mexico's Next Top Model."

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