Gisele Bundchen

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Posted by sonny 03/02/2009 @ 03:39

Tags : gisele bundchen, models, fashion, entertainment

News headlines
Gisele Bundchen, Tom Brady expecting their first baby - New York Daily News
Reps for the couple had no comment, but a source close to Bundchen, who turns 29 in July, told Boston.com, "(Gisele) is good at keeping a secret, but I think this time is a go." The athlete and the supermodel married in February and repeated the...
Gisele Bundchen obviously hasn't cut all her ties with ex ... - Woonsocket Call
Gisele Bundchen obviously hasn't cut all her ties with ex-boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio. The model, who split from DiCaprio in 2005, was seen heading out for lunch with Leo's mother, Irmelin DiCaprio. The pair tried their best to dodge the photographers...
Gisele Bundchen: Top paid model shows off her Calzedonia bikini bod - Examiner.com
Just in time for summer, images of Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen's new Calzedonia 2009 Summer swimsuit campaign were recently released. Looking absolutely stunning in a variety of swimsuits, Bundchen effortlessly reveals why she's the world's top...
Gisele Bundchen: Bikini Bliss - The Gossip Girls
Showing off her oh-so-fine figure, Gisele Bundchen looked quite amazing in her Calzedonia bikini campaign shoot. Clad in a variety of bikinis, the Brazilian beauty exemplified why she happens to be the top paid model in the world....
Jealous Gisele? Bundchen Digs Claws In, Can't Keep Hands & Lips ... - FOXNews
By Hollie McKay AP Gisele looks to be the picture of confidence with her man Tom Brady, but is she really a tad on the jealous side? Jealous Gisele? Bundchen Digs Claws In, Can't Keep Hands & Lips Off Tom Brady Gisele Bundchen recently tied-the-knot...
The Green Picture: Gisele Bundchen Rocks loyale's Organic Bikni - Ecorazzi
Victoria's Secret model Gisele Bündchen lent her body to a nice one-page feature in the latest issue of Vogue highlighting green-fashion firm loyale clothing. The 28-year-old is shown wearing their Barstow Bikni ($120) — made from 100% organic cotton...
WIN LOYALE'S ECO BIKINI FEATURED IN VOGUE! - Inhabitat
Want a chance to score this flirty Loyale bikini that superhottie Gisele Bundchen will be sporting in the June eco-fashion issue of Vogue? We're giving one away to a lucky reader just in time for the start of beach season! The seriously sexy suit is...
GISELE BUNCHEN Planning two weddings was hard - Bild.de
Gisele Bundchen found planning two weddings very hard. The Brazilian supermodel - who tied the knot with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in an intimate California ceremony in February with the couple reaffirming their vows in April in Costa...
How Much Does Gisele Bundchen Weigh - Online Magazine
The lovely and very slim Gisele Bundchen was born on July 20, 1980. This Brazilian supermodel is now regarded as the most famous and the highest-paid model in the world. Talk about luck, right? Can you imagine that she made $30 million between June of...
Another Republican heard from on Rush - Washington Examiner
Powell deemed "unfortunate" Limbaugh's claim that Powell endorsed President Obama because he is black. The former secretary of state said the party needs to be more inclusive. "Frankly, I'm more interested in what Gisele Bündchen thinks than Colin...

Gisele Bündchen

Gisele Bündchen on the Fashion Rio Inverno 2006, January 30, 2006

Gisele Caroline Bündchen (born July 20, 1980) is a Brazilian model and occasional actress. According to Forbes, she is the highest-paid model in the world and also the sixteenth richest woman in the entertainment world, having earned $33 million in 2007 and $35 million in 2008 alone, adding to her estimated $150 million fortune. She is also listed on Guinness Book of World Records as the world's richest supermodel. Bündchen has been the face of more than 20 brands internationally and has appeared on more magazine covers than any other model.

Gisele Bündchen was born in the Brazilian town of Três de Maio and grew up in Horizontina, Rio Grande do Sul, to Vânia Nonnenmacher, a bank clerk pensioner, and Valdir Bündchen, a university teacher and writer. She has five sisters — Raquel, Graziela, Gabriela, Rafaela and her fraternal twin Patrícia, Gisele's junior by five minutes. Bündchen is Roman Catholic, speaks Portuguese as her native language and English as a second language.

Originally, Bündchen wanted to be a professional volleyball player and considered playing for the Brazilian team, Sogipa. While in school, Bündchen was so thin that her friends used to call her "Olívia Palito" (Portuguese for Olive Oyl, Popeye's skinny girlfriend) and "Saracura" (a type of Brazilian shorebird).

In 1993, a then-13-year-old Bündchen joined a modeling course with her sisters Patrícia and Gabriela at her mother's insistence. The following year, Bündchen went to São Paulo on a school excursion to give them an opportunity to walk in a big city. In a shopping mall, while eating a Big Mac with her friends, Bündchen was discovered by a modeling agency. She was subsequently selected for a national contest, Elite Look of the Year, in which she placed second — Claudia Menezes, from Bahia, took first place. Bündchen placed fourth in the world contest, held in Ibiza, Spain. In 1996, Bündchen moved to New York City to begin her modeling career, debuting at Fashion Week.

Her debut on the cover of the July 1999 issue of Vogue magazine, and the accompanying editorial entitled "The Return of the Sexy Model", is widely viewed as marking the end of the fashion's "heroin chic" era. She graced the cover again in November and December of that year. She won the VH1/Vogue Model of the Year for 1999, and a January 2000 cover gave her the rare honor of three consecutive Vogue covers. In 2000, she became the fourth model to appear on the cover of the music magazine Rolling Stone, when she was named "the most beautiful girl in the world." Bündchen has been on the covers of many top fashion magazines including W, Harper's Bazaar, ELLE, Allure, international editions of Vogue, as well as style and lifestyle publications such as i-D, The Face, Arena, Citizen K, Flair, GQ, Esquire, and Marie Claire. She has been featured both in the Pirelli Calendar 2001 and 2006 and in broader market publications such as Time, Vanity Fair, Forbes, Newsweek and Veja, totaling more than 500 magazine covers throughout the world.

Bündchen consistently works with acclaimed photographers such as Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Nick Knight, Mert and Marcus, Rankin, Annie Leibovitz, Karl Lagerfeld, Peter Lindbergh, David LaChapelle, Mario Sorrenti and Patrick Demarchelier, and with renowned directors such as Jean Baptiste Mondino and Bruno Aveillan.

Claudia Schiffer said: "Supermodels, like we once were, don't exist any more" and reckoned that Gisele Bündchen was the only one close to earning the supermodel title.

On August 26, 2008, the New York Daily News, in a list, named Bündchen the fourth-most-powerful person in the fashion world.

Since her debut, Bündchen has been the face of a variety of advertising campaigns including several seasons of Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Mervyn's, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Versace, Céline (brand), Givenchy, Bvlgari, Lanvin, Guerlain, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Earl Jean, Zara, Chloé, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton and Victoria's Secret. She has appeared in advertisements for Nivea lotion and is the face of several Brazilian brands including Vivo, Multiplan (Shopping Malls), Colcci, Credicard (Citibank) and Volkswagen do Brasil. After C&A Brazil hired Bündchen as a spokesmodel and began airing television commercials, sales increased by 30%.

In the December 2005 issue, New York magazine chose and publicized a list of 123 reasons to love New York City with reason number 43 being that Gisele Bündchen lives there..

In May 2006, Bündchen signed another multi-million dollar deal, this time with American giant Apple Inc.. She starred in an advertising campaign to promote the new Macintosh line through the Get a Mac advertisements. Also in 2006, Bündchen became the new face of Swiss luxury watchmaker Ebel.

She has her own line of sandals with footwear company Grendene called Ipanema Gisele Bündchen. Forbes puts her 53rd on their list of the most powerful celebrities of 2007 because of the international success of her shoe line, making the brand Ipanema the most sold Brazilian flip-flop in the world, surpassing the legendary Havaianas. Custom Ipanema flip-flops sell for as much as $230 a pair. She is also the owner of a hotel in the south of Brazil, the Palladium Executive.

On May 1, 2007, it was announced that Bündchen had ended her contract with Victoria's Secret.

In July 2007, having earned an estimated total of $33 million in the past 12 months, Forbes magazine named her the world's top-earning model in the list of the World's 15 Top-Earning Supermodels.

An American economist named Fred Fuld developed a stock index to measure the profit performance improvement of companies represented by Bündchen compared with the Dow Jones Industrial Average. According to Fuld, the Gisele Bündchen Stock Index was up 15% between May and July 2007, substantially surpassing the Dow Jones Industrial Average which was up just 8.2%.

Bündchen lends her support and image to a number of charities and humanitarian causes, such as the I am African campaign, in which she painted her face to protest against the lack of attention given to Africa's HIV/AIDS victims. Without receiving payment, Bündchen was the face of American Express Red Card, an initiative launched by U2 front man Bono and Bobby Shriver to send a percentage of monies earned from the financial transactions of this credit card to Africa's HIV/AIDS victims.

She designed a limited necklace edition for Harper’s Bazaar, crafted by jewelers Gumuchian Fils. These necklaces were sold to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital which specializes in cancer treatment. She served as the spokesperson and campaign model for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer.

Bündchen already gave a São Paulo Fashion Week's payment check for Zero Hunger (in Portuguese: Fome Zero), a Brazilian-government program introduced by Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2003. Currently, her main social activism is to help protect the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and Amazon Rainforest water sources, donating to this cause a percentage of profits from her line of sandals named Ipanema Gisele Bündchen. Also, Bündchen helps projects such as Florestas do Futuro, Nascentes do Brasil, ISA, Y Ikatu Xingu and De Olho nos Mananciais.

Bündchen and Grendene, the company that produces and disseminates her line of sandals, joined the Forests of the Future project for the reforestation of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The new forest, named for Gisele Bündchen Sementes, started with 25,500 shoots of 100 different species, enough to revitalize an area of 15 hectares. The model and the company found a place near headwaters of rivers and that the quality of local water were also monitored.

The project Forests of the Future (in Portuguese: Florestas do Futuro) was created by the NGO named SOS Atlantic Forest in 2004. Until October 2007, 800,000 seedlings of trees had been planted. And as soon as sometime in 2008, that number should reach 1,133,000. In the Forests of the Future, SOS Atlantic Forest captures the appeal; the company hires the technicians. If an owner has an area of importance as a corridor, but has not invested—or does not want to invest—financially in trees, the NGO encourages the person or enterprise to donate that area to hold the plantation without spending anything, simply ceding the land and then leaving it to others to make use of. They support the planting for a period of five years before the land is turned over to Nature.

In 2006, Bündchen made a venture into film industry, appearing in The Devil Wears Prada as an editor of Runway Magazine and friend of Emily Blunt named Serena. She also starred as the leader of the bank robbers, Vanessa, in the 2004 remake of Taxi.

On Thursday, February 26, 2009 Bündchen married New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in a small Catholic ceremony in Los Angeles. The two had been dating since late 2006. Before marrying Brady, she dated actor Leonardo DiCaprio, hotelier Vikram Chatwal and professional surfer Kelly Slater.

As an homage to Bundchen, Brazilian singer and songwriter Gabriel Guerra, along with musician Pedro Cezar, wrote the song Tributo a Gisele (Tribute to Gisele in English), which is currently the theme of the model's official website. In January 2008, Bundchen met Gabriel Guerra at Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro.

On April 11, 2008, a black-and-white photo of Bündchen, shot by Irving Penn, was auctioned for US$193,000 (£96,000). The picture was one of dozens from the collection of Gert Elfering that were sold at Christie's International in New York. In all, the auction tallied US$4.27 million and included pictures of Brigitte Bardot, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Carla Bruni. Bündchen's picture reached the highest price in comparison with the others. Bardot was the second with US$181,000 (£90,000).

A result of research was publicized in February 2008 by The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) to reveal how world celebrity images, which overwhelm popular media, influence people's choices and decisions to undergo plastic surgery. The question asked was "What influences do celebrities have on the decisions patients make?". The survey was sent to more than 20,000 plastic surgeons in 84 countries. Gisele Bündchen, Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Pamela Anderson, Sophia Loren, Brad Pitt and George Clooney were the most frequently mentioned celebrities. Gisele won the abdomen and hair categories and took second place in the breasts category.

In 2002, during the taping of the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Bündchen was the target of a protest made by four members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals because she was signed to be the new face of Blackglama, a trademark of a fur-farming cooperative. When Bündchen was on stage, four women jumped onto the runway holding posters that read "Gisele: Fur Scum" and included the logo for PETA. Bündchen tried to ignore them while several security guards detained the protesters. Bündchen told CNN that the protest was "unwarranted" because the fashion show featured only faux fur. After the incident, the producers decided to stop the music and redid Bündchen's segment once the protesters were removed.

When Bündchen signed a contract in August 2007 to represent Pantene hair products in Brazil for Procter & Gamble, it was reported that the model demanded payment in euros, according to Veja, the biggest weekly Brazilian magazine. She was also rumoured by Veja to be paid in euros for the last deal reached with the Italian brand Dolce & Gabbana to promote the fragrance The One. The American dollar's devaluation in international markets was the trigger for the rumour, and Bündchen was written about in many financial publications, a rarity for someone in the fashion world.

Her sister and manager Patrícia Bündchen denied these contract details on her official web site after much criticism.

The cover of the April 2008 Vogue, shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, was the first time a black man had been on the cover. Criticism was immediate from many quarters for what was perceived as a racist depiction of LeBron James, putting the basketball superstar and the much smaller model in a pose reminiscent of King Kong carrying off Fay Wray.

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German Brazilian

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A German Brazilian (German: Deutschbrasilianer, Portuguese: teuto-brasileiro or germano-brasileiro) is a Brazilian person of German ancestry or origin. Although there are German Brazilians in many parts of Brazil, they live mostly in the Southern part of the country, comprising the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná and Santa Catarina.

When German-speaking immigrants first arrived in Brazil starting at the beginning of the 19th century they did not identify themselves so much as an unified German-Brazilian group. However, as time went on this common regional identity did emerge for many different geo-socio-political reasons. Germans immigrated mainly from nowadays Germany, but also from other countries where German communities were established. From 1824 to 1969, around 250,000 Germans emigrated to Brazil, being the fourth largest immigrant community to settle in the country, after the Portuguese, Italians and Spaniards. The majority of them arrived between World War I and World War II.

The first German immigrants to settle Brazil were 165 families who settled in Ilhéus, Bahia, in 1818. One year later, 200 families settled São Jorge, in the same state. Some Germans were brought to work in the Brazilian army after Independence from Portugal, in 1822.

However, the cradle of the German settlement in Brazil was São Leopoldo, in 1824. Southern Brazil, at that time, was a region with a very low population density. Most of its inhabitants were concentrated on the coast and a few in the Pampas. The interior was covered by forests and populated by Indians. This lack of population was a problem, because Southern Brazil could easily be invaded by neighboring countries.

Since Brazil was recently independent from Portugal, it was not possible to bring Portuguese immigrants. Germany was suffering the effects of the wars against Napoleon, overpopulation and poverty in the countryside. Many Germans were willing to immigrate to Brazil. Furthermore, Brazil's Empress, Maria Leopoldina, was Austrian and encouraged the arrival of German immigrants.

Major Schaeffer, a German who was living in Brazil, was sent to Germany in order to bring immigrants. From Rhineland-Palatinate, the Major brought the immigrants and soldiers. To attract the immigrants, the Brazilian government had promised large tracts of land, where they could settle with their families and colonize the region. In fact, these lands were in the middle of big forests and the first Germans had been abandoned by the Brazilian government. From 1824 to 1829, the Major brought 5,000 Germans to Brazil.

German immigrants in Brazil settled mostly in rural areas, called colonies (colônias in Portuguese). These colonies had been created by the Brazilian government, and the lands were distributed among the immigrants. They had to construct their own houses and cultivate the land.

The first years were not easy. Many Germans died of tropical disease, while others left the colonies to find better living conditions. The German colony of São Leopoldo was a disaster. Nevertheless, in the following years, a further 4,830 Germans arrived at São Leopoldo, and then the colony started to develop, with the immigrants establishing the town of Novo Hamburgo (New Hamburg). From São Leopoldo and Novo Hamburgo, the German immigrants spread into others areas of Rio Grande do Sul, mainly close to sources of rivers. The whole region of Vale dos Sinos was populated by Germans. During the 1830s and part of the 1840s German immigration to Brazil was interrupted due to conflicts in the country (War of the Farrapos).

The immigration restarted after 1845 with the creation of new colonies. The most important ones were Blumenau, in 1850, and Joinville in 1851, both in Santa Catarina state; these attracted thousands of German immigrants to the region. Some of the mass influx was due to the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states. Nowadays these areas of German colonization are among the wealthiest ones of Brazil, with the lowest levels of unemployment and illiteracy found in the country, and still retain a strong influence from the German culture.

By the end of the 19th century, 122 German communities had been created in Rio Grande do Sul, and many others in Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. Germans helped to establish a middle-class population in Brazil, in a country divided between slaves and their masters.

Not all Germans who settled in Brazil became farmers. In the early 20th century, very few rural areas of Southern Brazil were empty. Most of them had been settled by German, Italian and Polish immigrants during the 19th century. Given this situation, most Germans who immigrated to Brazil during the 20th century settled in big towns, although many of them also settled in the old rural German colonies. German immigration to Brazil peaked during the 1920s, after World War I. These Germans were mostly middle-class laborers from urban areas of Germany, different from the poor peasants who had settled in the colonies of Brazil during the 19th century.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Brazil also attracted a significant number of German Jews, who settled mostly in São Paulo.

Germans actively participated in the industrialization and development of big cities in Brazil, such as Curitiba and Porto Alegre.

After World War II, the nationalist Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas forbade the use of the German language in Brazil, and German immigration became very low.

Most German-Brazilians speak only Portuguese nowadays. This is mainly due to the prohibition of German teaching in schools and the publication of German newspapers (together with Italian and Japanese) during World War II, when Brazil broke off diplomatic relations with Germany (and also with the other Axis Powers, Italy and Japan). However, German is still spoken by over 600,000 Brazilians as a first or second language.

Riograndenser Hunsrückisch is the Brazilian variety of the Hunsrückisch dialect (a German dialect) that best represents, at least in terms of total numbers, the German speaking regional culture of southern Brazil. Notably, other German dialects became part of the southern Brazilian cultural/regionalist landscape, including Plautdietsch, Pommersch, and Swabian German, amongst many others.

German as a regionalism in the south of Brazil is mostly a spoken, family and community language today. People tend to avoid speaking it in public and with persons outside of their closest social circles.

Most of the German-Brazilians are Roman Catholics or Lutherans (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil), but with significant Jewish, Mennonite and Adventist German communities. Germans were the first people to estabilish a Protestant church in Brazil.

When Germans first arrived in Southern Brazil in 1824, they found a country with a climate, vegetation and culture very different from those of Germany. Southern Brazil was a land of gauchos, cattle herders who lived, and still live, in the Pampas region of the Southern Cone. In the following decades, however, waves of Germanic immigrants arrived, to the point that in many areas of Southern Brazil the vast majority of the inhabitants were Germans and even after three or four generations born in Brazil, these people used to consider themselves Germans.

Between 1937 and 1945 a significant portion of the Brazilian population suffered interference in daily life produced by a "campaign of nationalization". This population -- called by the Brazilian government as "alien" -- was composed of immigrants and their descendants. Both the Brazilian Empire and the early Republic allowed groups of immigrants to settle isolated communities, mainly in Southern Brazil, and to some extent in other parts, such as Espírito Santo, in the Southeast. These people remained non-assimilated in the major Brazilian society, a fact that worried the government of President Getúlio Vargas. The army had an important role during this process of forced assimilation of these areas of "foreign colonization" that created "ethnic cysts" in Brazil. German Brazilians saw themselves as part of a pluralist society, so that the Deutschtum conception (of being part of a community with the same ancestry, in this case German) seemed compatible with the fact that they were also Brazilian citizens. However, the Brazilian government only accepted the idea of the jus soli, so that all people born in Brazil should see themselves as Brazilians, and leave other ethnic associations behind. The Brazilian view contrasted with the jus sanguinis conception of most German Brazilians of that time, who were still conected to the ancestral homeland.

Nogueira also compared the German Brazilians to "an octopus who extended the tentacles" in Southern Brazil. Nogueira used the image of the occupation of the most fertile areas of southern territory by foreigners, who had no intention to be integrated to the new country, but to be segregated since the beggining of their settlement. The record of the first impressions about the city of Blumenau in the book received the subtitle of "One Weird City", arguing that "the German language is spoken without constraints, including in public offices". Silvio Romero (1906) compared the German immigration to the Barbarian Invasions which culminated at the end of the Roman Empire. Diverse texts of different authors against the German settlement in Brazil showed clear xenophobia (against the so-called "German threat"). The Portuguese language appears as a fundamental criterion of nationality and it justified the nationalization of education and the closing of ethnic schools. Most German Brazilians could barely speak Portuguese, and when the German language was forbidden from being spoken in the country, they faced many difficulties due to this language barrier.

From this perspective, the human element representative of the "more legitimate" national formation had the task of incorporating immigrants and their descendants to the imagined myth of the amalgam of the three races that makes up the nation (the Brazilian people as a result of the mixing of whites, blacks and Indians).

In the 1930s, Brazil was home to one of the largest German populations outside of Germany, with 100,000 German born people and a community of 1 million people of German descent, whose ancestors had been settling the country since 1824. Brazil also had the largest number of members of the Nazi Party outside of Germany, with 2,822 members. The large number of people with German roots and a notable number of Nazi members were used by the Brazilian government to keep their programs of nationalization. During World War II, in 1942, Brazilian ships were attacked by Nazi Germany and Brazil declared war against Germany. Then, President Getúlio Vargas initiated a strict program of forced cultural assimilation - Nacionalismo- that worked quite efficiently, if not initially. He forbade any manifestation of German culture in Brazil. German schools were closed, houses with German architecture were destroyed and the use of the German language in Brazil was also forbidden. Members of the Brazilian army were sent to areas of "foreign colonization" to "monitor" the local population. There are records of arrest or moral coercion motivated by the use of foreign languages.

Since then, the southern Brazilian German regional language/culture has been in decline. Some decried it as a tragic loss for the country while others felt that this meant national progress, saying assimilation would ultimately lead to a feeling of "getting together". However, German influence can still be seen all across the southern states, be it in architecture, shops, town names or the way of life. Many German schools re-opened during the 1950s and are regarded as some of the best places where to send children.

Germans are regarded as good industrialists in Brazil, manufacturing shoes, leather goods, furniture, textiles, charcoal, mechanical devices, etc., as well as good farmers. Many Brazilian towns were built using German architecture.

Many aspects of Brazil's culture were influenced by Germans. Today Brazil hosts Oktoberfests in Blumenau, in Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz do Sul and Igrejinha, in Rio Grande do Sul and Marechal Cândido Rondon, in Paraná, along many other cities. Beer itself is said to have been brought by German immigrants, and today it is Brazil's most popular alcoholic beverage.

They spread the Protestant faith (especially Lutheranism) and were the first people to cultivate wheat and to raise swine in Brazil. The regions heavily settled by Germans in Brazil still retain a strong German influence.

In the southern states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, Germans were 20% of their population in the 1930s. According to the German Consulate in Porto Alegre, there are 3 million people of German descent living in these two states, and 5 million in the entire Brazil, though another source claims 10% of Brazilians have at least one German ancestor, then the number would be as high as 18 million.

The percentages are higher in some cities. For example, in the town of Pomerode, Santa Catarina, 90% of the population are Brazilians of German descent, and the main local language is a Pomeranian dialect. It is considerated the most "German" city in Brazil. Many towns in Southern Brazil have a majority of German-descended people, such as São Leopoldo, Novo Hamburgo, Nova Petrópolis, São Bento do Sul, Blumenau, Joinville, Santa Isabel, Gramado, Canela, Santa Cruz do Sul, Estância Velha, Ivoti, Dois Irmãos, Morro Reuter, Santa Maria do Herval, Presidente Lucena, Picada Café, Santo Ângelo, Teutônia, Ibirubá, Victor Graeff, Brusque and many others.

Brazilian female models of German origin have achieved fame for their beauty and class in the fashion world and in beauty contests. Many are world-class top models or supermodels and seem to be proportionally better represented in these areas than models of other ethnic origins. The small cities of the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul are ideal grounds for talent hunters from all over the world. The best known is Gisele Bündchen as well as Ana Claudia Michels, Ana Hickmann, Mariana Weickert and Letícia Birkheuer, Raquel Zimmermann, Cintia Dicker, Solange Wilvert, Monique Olsen, Carol Trentini, Jeísa Chiminazzo and Bruna Erhardt.

Winners of the Miss Brazil beauty pageant have included Vera Fischer (1969), Ingrid Budag (1975), Eveline Schroeter (1980), Maria Carolina Portella Otto (1990), Leila Cristine Schuster (1993), Thaisa Thomsen (2002), Carina Beduschi (2005) and Rafaela Zanella (2006).

The Miss Brasil 2007 pageant broke all records regarding the participation of misses of German descent. They were: Jakeline Lemke (state of Espírito Santo), Priscilla Riker (Amazonas), Liandra Schmidt (Goiás), Rafaela Studart (Brasília), Sabrina Rhoden (São Paulo) and Manoella Heiderscheidt (Santa Catarina).

The following list shows people of at least partial German descent.

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Claudia Schiffer

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Claudia Schiffer (born August 25, 1970) is a German model and actress, who reached the height of her popularity during the 1990s, initially due to her striking resemblance to Brigitte Bardot. Schiffer is one of the world's most successful models, having appeared on over 500 magazine covers. Forbes estimated Schiffer to be worth £38 million in 2002.

Schiffer was born in Rheinberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, which is a small town 15 km northeast of Duisburg. She is the daughter of Gudrun and Heinz Schiffer, a lawyer. She has two brothers, Stefan and Andreas, and one sister, Ann Carolin.

Schiffer said that she was popular in high school, but felt socially overshadowed by the other girls in her class. She has revealed that because she was so tall, she became very shy and did not want to be noticed. She was also subjected to jealousy by others as she came from a wealthy family that was well-known locally. Schiffer became fluent in French and English.

She originally wanted to become a lawyer and work in her father's law firm. She later dropped these aspirations when in October 1987 at seventeen she was spotted in a nightclub in Düsseldorf by Michel Levaton, the boss of Metropolitan Model Agency who signed her up to become a model.

She completed her education and then began to work as a model. She flew out to Paris for a trial photo shoot and soon after she appeared in the cover of French Elle after being well received in Paris. After several other magazine appearances she quickly achieved supermodel status when she was selected by Karl Lagerfeld to become the new face of Chanel. Schiffer went on to become a world-famous supermodel, becoming instantly recognizable with her blue eyes, blond hair and tall figure, now standing at 5ft 11.

In the early 1990s she starred in highly publicised Guess? jeans adverts in North America which created essential publicity for Schiffer. Paul Marciano said in E! Forbes Top 15 Supermodel Beauties Who Made Bank, "Guess name became really much more known around the world because Claudia". Soon after appearing in the campaigns, her name was launched worldwide, appearing on five magazine covers in the United States and seven covers around Europe. Her modelling career continued to grow. Schiffer joined Thomas Zeumer's prestigious Metropolitan Models and was contracted to model for Revlon. She also became deeply involved in modelling for several catalogues and modelled on high profile catwalk shows. Schiffer has done catwalk modelling for Versace, Jil Sander, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and Valentino. Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The New York Times and People all saw Schiffer as the first model to make their covers. She has also appeared many times on covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Time.

Schiffer has also been the face of Mango, a chain of Spanish clothes stores and Accessorize, where she had her ears pierced especially for her Autumn/Winter 2006 Accessorize advertising campaign in 2006. Schiffer still holds a contract with L'Oréal and Ebel watches, and her billboard picture for Kenar has also hung over millions of tourists at Times Square. Since 1990, she has created a swimsuit calendar each year which she stars in and designs herself.

Schiffer later secured contracts with Pepsi appearing in advertisements promoting the brand, and has also danced with a cartoon version of Mickey Mouse in advertisements promoting Fanta for an estimated $2 million. From her appearances in a 1998 Citroën advertisement, she earned a reputed £3 million. Karl Lagerfeld recently filmed her for a Dom Perignon campaign, some ten years after her first appearances in Chanel adverts.

She is signed to several agencies, including 1/One Management in New York City and her mother agency 'Model Management' in Hamburg.

Schiffer has appeared in a number of films and music videos. Her first appearance in film was in the children's movie Richie Rich in 1994 and then starred opposite Dennis Hopper and Matthew Modine in Blackout. She went on to appear in Friends & Lovers and Black and White in 1999, In Pursuit and Life Without Dick in 2001, and then Love Actually in a semi-cameo role. Schiffer has made several other cameo appearances in film which include, Ben Stiller's Zoolander in 2001.

Schiffer has appeared on several talk shows and sitcoms, such as Larry King Live, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Dharma & Greg and Arrested Development. She was also in boyband Westlife's music video for "Uptown Girl", and made a cameo in Bon Jovi's video for "Say it isn't so".

She has also released four exercise videos, entitled Claudia Schiffer's Perfectly Fit, which were successful and reached the bestsellers list. Schiffer has hosted the French Fashion Awards and the World Music Awards in Monaco.

With fellow supermodels Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Elle Macpherson, Schiffer was joint owner of a chain of fashionable restaurants called the Fashion Café in 1995. Schiffer remains a prominent figure in German society and helped present and carry the trophy with Pelé during opening ceremonies at the 2006 World Cup. She also presented Prince William with a polo trophy in 2002.

When talking about the model profession at present, she said: "Supermodels, like we once were, don't exist any more." She has said that Gisele Bündchen is the only person who comes close to earning the supermodel title.

Schiffer was dating magician David Copperfield for about five years from 1994 until 1999. They first met in 1993 at one of Copperfield's stage shows, where he invited her on stage to take part in his 'Flying' illusion, and he then subsequently sawed her in half during a joint appearance on German television. Following the end of her relation to Copperfield, she met and had a relationship with Tim Jefferies.

On 25 May 2002, she married the film producer Matthew Vaughn. Instead of an engagement ring, Vaughn bought her a tortoise. On her wedding day, many journalists and 200 onlookers gathered to see her in her wedding dress. She was married in St. George's church in the village of Shimpling. The wedding reception was held at Schiffer's Elizabethan mansion.

Schiffer and Vaughn have two children: son Caspar Matthew, (born 30 January 2003) and daughter Clementine de Vere Drummond, (born 11 November 2004). They all now live in London. During spare time, Schiffer enjoys horse riding, painting, playing tennis and skiing.

Schiffer had two significant problems with harassment in the past. In 2002, an Italian kitchen porter, named Agostino Pomata, was arrested after making nine visits to Schiffer's £5 million Suffolk mansion near Bury St Edmunds, attempting to see her. Charges against Agostino Pomata were dropped however, as he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He had believed that the Pope had told him to marry Schiffer. In 2004 a Canadian man, Louis Brisette, was accused of harassing Schiffer, again at her mansion in Suffolk. He reportedly called at her mansion three times in the hope of seeing Schiffer. He also repeatedly left letters at her home.

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Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton situated on the famous Champs-Elysées.

Louis Vuitton Malletier (IPA: /ˈluːi ˈvutɔ̃/), commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton, or sometimes shortened to LV, is a French luxury fashion and leather goods Founded in 1854, one of the main divisions of LVMH headquartered in Paris, France. Known especially for bags and trunks, the company collaborates with prominent figures for marketing and design (most notably supermodel Gisele Bündchen and fashion designer Marc Jacobs). Internationally renowned and highly regarded for name recognition in the fashion world, as a result LV has become one of the most counterfeited contemporary luxury brands.

LV is also one of the oldest fashion houses in the world, having started in 1854. It sells its products strictly through its own retail stores, small boutiques in high-end department stores, and online (as an effort against counterfeit). It primarily competes with Versace, Gucci, Chanel, Armani, Prada and similar luxury fashion brands.

In the mid 19th century, Louis Vuitton was a renowned trunks and luggage retailer. Entering into the 20th century, the company expanded in terms of locations and financial success. Beginning in the middle of the century, it entered the fashion world, integrating its signature Monogram Canvas into purses and bags. Its merger to create LVMH became a milestone step, and from then on, LV came to acquire its luxury fashion image known today.

Prominent figures to have exclusively ordered Louis Vuitton luggage in history include Congo explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, who ordered a combined trunk and bed from the company, and American conductor Leopold Stokowski (for his travels), whose travelling secrétaire was designed by Gaston-Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton (born, August 4, 1821; died, February 27, 1892), future founder of his eponymous company, was born in Jura, France (now part of the commune of Lavans-sur-Valouse). In 1835, he moved to Paris. The trip from his hometown to Paris was over 400 kilometers (249 mi), and he travelled the distance by foot. On his way there, he picked up a series of odd jobs to pay for his journey. There, he became an apprentice Layetier to prominent households. Because of his well established reputation in his field, Napoleon III of France appointed Vuitton as Layetier to his wife, Empress Eugénie de Montijo. Through his experience with the French aristocracy, he developed expert knowledge of what made a good travelling case. It was then that he began to design his own luggage, setting the foundations for LV Co.

Louis Vuitton: Malletier à Paris was founded by Monsieur Vuitton in 1853 on Rue Neuve des Capucines in Paris. In 1858, Monsieur Vuitton introduced his flat-bottom trunks with trianon canvas (they were lightweight and airtight). Before the introduction of Vuitton's trunks, rounded-top trunks were used, generally to promote water run off, and thus could not be stacked. It was Vuitton's gray Trianon canvas flat trunk that allowed the ability to stack for ease with voyages. Becoming successful and prestigious, many other luggagemakers began to imitate LV's style and design.

In 1867, the company participated in the universal exhibition in Paris. To protect against the duplication of his look, he changed the Trianon design to a beige and brown stripes design in 1876.By 1885, the company opened its first store in London, England on Oxford Street. Soon thereafter, due to the continuing imitation of his look, in 1888, the Damier Canvas pattern was created by Louis Vuitton, bearing a logo that reads "marque L. Vuitton déposée," which translates to "mark L. Vuitton deposited" or, roughly, "L. Vuitton trademark". In 1892, Louis Vuitton died, and the company's management passed to his son.

After the death of his father, Georges Vuitton began a campaign to build the company into a worldwide corporation, exhibiting the company's products at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. In 1896, the company launched the legendary Monogram Canvas and made the worldwide patents on it. Its graphic symbols, including quatrefoils and flowers (as well as the LV monogram), were based on the trend of using Japanese and Oriental designs in the late Victorian era. The patents later prove to be successful in stopping counterfeiting. In this same year, Georges traveled to the United States, where he toured various cities (such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago), selling Vuitton products during the visit. In 1901, the Louis Vuitton Company introduced the Steamer Bag, a smaller piece of luggage designed to be kept inside Vuitton luggage trunks.

By 1914, the Louis Vuitton Building opened on the Champs-Elysees. It was the largest travel-goods store in the world at the time. Stores also opened in New York, Bombay, Washington, London, Alexandria, and Buenos Aires as World War I began. Afterwards, in 1930, the Keepall bag was introduced. During 1932, LV introduced the Noé bag. This bag was originally made for champagne vintners to transport bottles. Soon thereafter, the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag was introduced (both are still manufactured today). In 1936 Georges Vuitton passed away, and, his son, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, assumed control of the company.

During this period, the look of the leather was utilized in everything from small purses and wallets to larger pieces of luggage. In order to broaden its line, the company revamped its signature Monogram Canvas in 1959 to make it more supple, allowing it to be used for purses, bags, and wallets. Audrey Hepburn is seen carrying the bag in the film Charade (1963). It is believed that in the 1960s, counterfeiting returned as a greater issue to continue on into the 21st century. In 1966, the Papillon was launched (a cylindrical bag that is still popular today). By 1977, LV owned two stores, with annual revenue up to 70 million Francs ($10 million USD). A year later (1978), it opened the first stores in Japan (in Tokyo and Osaka). In 1983, the company joined with America's Cup to form the Louis Vuitton Cup, a preliminary competition (known as an eliminatory regatta) for the yacht race. Louis Vuitton later expanded its presence in Asia with the opening of a store in Taipei, Taiwan in 1983 and Seoul, South Korea in 1984. In the following year (1985), the Epi leather line is introduced.

1987 witnessed the creation of LVMH. Moët et Chandon and Hennessy, leading manufacturers of champagne and brandy, (respectively) merged with Louis Vuitton to form the luxury goods conglomerate. Profits for 1988 are reported to be up by 49% more than in 1987. By 1989, Louis Vuitton came to operate 130 stores worldwide. Entering the 1990s, Yves Carcelle was proclaimed president of LV, and in 1992, his brand opened its first Chinese location at the Palace Hotel in Beijing. Further more introduced products became the Taiga leather line (1993) and the literature collection of Voyager Avec... (1994). In 1996, the celebration of the Centennial of the Monogram Cavas was held in seven cities worldwide.

After introducing its pen collection (1997), Louis Vuitton made Marc Jacobs along side Jae its Art Directors (1998). In March of the following year, they designed and introduced the company's first prêt-à-porter line of clothing for men and women. Also in this year, the Monogram Vernis line, the LV scrapbooks, and the Louis Vuitton City Guide were launched. 1300 km from Dalian to Beijing, the first rally in China is held ("China Run") as well. The last events in the 20th century were the release of the mini monogram line (1999), the opening of the first store in Africa in Marrakech, Morocco (2000), and finally the auction at the International Film Festival in Venice, Italy were the vanity case "amfAR" designed by Sharon Stone is sold with proceeds going to The Foundation for AIDS Research (also in 2000).

By 2001, Stephen Sprouse, in collaboration with Marc Jacobs, designed a limited-edition line of Vuitton bags that feature graffiti written over the monogram pattern. The graffiti reads Louis Vuitton and as well, on certain bags, the name of the bag (such as Keepall and Speedy). Certain pieces, which feature the graffiti without the Monogram Canvas background, are created and only available to the customers on Vuitton's V.I.P. customer list. Jacobs also creates the charm bracelet, the first ever piece of jewelry from LV, within the same year.

In the year of 2002, the Tambour watch collection was introduced. During this year as well, the LV building in Tokyo is opened, and the brand collaborates with Bob Wilson for its Christmas windows sceneography. In 2003, Takashi Murakami, in collaboration with Marc Jacobs, masterminded the new Monogram Multicolore canvas range of handbags and accessories. This range includes the monograms of the standard Monogram Canvas, but in 33 different colors on either a white or black background. (The classic canvas features gold monograms on a brown background.) Murakami also created the Cherry Blossom pattern, in which smiling cartoon faces in the middle of pink and yellow flowers are sporadically placed atop the Monogram Canvas. This pattern appeared on a limited number of pieces. The production of this limited-edition run was discontinued in June 2003. Within 2003, the stores in Moscow, Russia and in New Delhi, India are opened. The Utah and Suhali leather lines are released, and the 20th anniversary of the LV Cup is held as well.

Louis Vuitton celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2004 worldwide. In this year, the brand inaugurated stores in New York City (on Fifth Avenue), São Paulo and Johannesburg. It also opened its first global store in Shanghai. By 2005, Louis Vuitton reopened its Champs-Élysées store (reputed to be the largest LV store in the world), and release the Speedy watch collection. In 2006, LV held the inauguration of the Espace Louis Vuitton on its 7th floor.

The Louis Vuitton company carefully cultivates a celebrity following and has used famous models and actresses in its marketing campaigns. Breaking from their usual traditions of employing supermodels and celebrities to advertise their products, on August 2, 2007, the company announced that the former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev would appear in an ad campaign along with Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi, and Catherine Deneuve.

The company commonly uses print ads in magazines and billboards in cosmopolitan cities. It previously relied on selected press for its advertising campaigns (frequently involving prestigious stars like Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi, Gisele Bündchen and Catherine Deneuve) shot by Annie Leibovitz. However, Antoine Arnault, director of the communication department, has recently decided to enter the world of television and cinema: The commercial (90 seconds) is exploring the theme "Where will life take you?" and is translated into 13 different languages. This is the first Vuitton commercial ad ever and was directed by renowned French director Bruno Aveillan.

The company manufactures and markets luxury leather goods, fashion accessories, prêt-à-porter, and jewelry. Many of the company's products utilize the signature brown Damier and Monogram Canvas materials, both of which were first used in the late 19th century. All of the company's products exhibit the eponymous LV initials. The company markets its product through its own stores throughout the world, which allows it to control product quality and pricing. It also allows LV to prevent counterfeit products entering its distribution channels. Louis Vuitton has no discount sales nor any duty-free stores. In addition, the company distributes its products through a single online retailer, eluxury.com.

The brand is highly counterfeited, and just over 1% of the items bearing the trademark monogram are authentic. Ironically, the signature Monogram Canvas was created to prevent counterfeiting. In 2004, Louis Vuitton fakes accounted for 18% of counterfeit accessories seized in the European Union. The brand has always been a target of counterfeit (since its establishment) due to the goods' rather prestigious state.

LV takes a serious view of all counterfeiting, employing a team of lawyers and special investigation agencies, actively pursuing offenders through the courts worldwide, and allocating about half of its budget of communications to counteract piracy of its goods. LVMH (Vuitton's parent company) further confirmed this by stating that "some 60 people at various levels of responsibility working full time on anti-counterfeiting in collaboration with a wide network of outside investigators and a team of lawyers." In a further effort, the company closely controls the distribution of its products. Until the 1980s, Vuitton products were widely sold in department stores (e.g. Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue). Today, Vuitton products are primarily available at authentic Louis Vuitton boutiques, with a small number of exceptions. These boutiques are commonly found in upscale shopping districts or, less commonly, inside ultra high-end department stores. The boutiques within department stores operate independently from the department and have their own LV managers and employees. LV has recently launched an online store, through its main website, as an authorized channel to market its products.

The French book Louis Vuitton, A French Saga (authored by French journalist Stephanie Bonvicini and published by Paris-based Editions Fayard) tells how members of the Vuitton family actively aided the puppet government led by Marshal Philippe Pétain, increasing their wealth from their business affairs with the Nazis. The family set up a factory dedicated to producing artifacts glorifying Pétain, including more than 2,500 busts. Petain's Vichy regime was responsible for the deportation of French Jews to German concentration camps.

Caroline Babulle, a spokeswoman for the publisher (Fayard) said, "They have not contested anything in the book, but they are trying to bury it by pretending it doesn't exist." Responding to the book's release in 2004, a spokesman for LVMH stated that "this is ancient history...The book covers a period when it was family-run and long before it became part of LVMH. We are diverse, tolerant and all the things a modern company should be." Another LVMH spokesman told the satirical magazine, Le Canard Enchainé, that "We don't deny the facts, but regrettably the author has exaggerated the Vichy episode,". That publication was the only French periodical to mention the book.

On November 19, 2007 Louis Vuitton, in further efforts to prevent counterfeiting, successfully sued Britney Spears for violating counterfeiting laws. In a music video for the song "Do Somethin'" it shows fingers tapping on the dashboard of a hot pink Hummer with what looks like Louis Vuitton's "Cherry Blossom" design bearing the LV logo. Britney Spears herself was not found guilty, but a civil court in Paris has ordered Sony BMG and MTV Online to stop showing the video. They were also fined €80,000 to each group. An anonymous spokesperson for LVMH stated that the video constituted an "attack" on Louis Vuitton's brands and its luxury image.

On February 13, 2008 Louis Vuitton sent a Cease and Desist order to artist Nadia Plesner for the "reproduction" of a bag that infringes Louis Vuitton's Intellectual Property Rights. The reproduction referred to is a satirical illustration that depicts a malnutritioned child holding a designer dog and a designer bag. The illustration features on T-shirts and posters, with all profits going to the charity "Divest for Darfur". The artist defended her "Simple Living" campaign and her right to artist freedom in a written response to Louis Vuitton on February 27, 2008, calling attention to the lack of the famous monogram, further asserting that the illustration refers to 'designer bags' in general, with no specific mention of the Louis Vuitton brand in either the illustration or any associated campaign material. On April 15, 2008, Louis Vuitton notified Ms Plesner of the lawsuit being brought against her. It has been reported that Louis Vuitton is demanding $7,500 (5,000 Euro) for each day Ms Plesner continues to sell the Simple Living products, $7,500 for each day the original Cease and Desist letter is published on her website and $7,500 a day for using the name "Louis Vuitton" on her website. In addition, it is alleged that Louis Vuitton is demanding that the artist pays LV's legal costs, including $15,000 to cover additional expenses the company has incurred in protecting their intellectual property rights. Although the outcome of this lawsuit is yet unknown, the images of Louis Vuitton have now been removed from Ms. Plesners website.

New York Magazine has reported that Louis Vuitton actually tried to stop the case from going to court, but that Plesner did not cooperate. Plesner initially intended to donate 30 percent of the surplus. Only later when the case got media attention, did she pledge to donate 100 % of the surplus.

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Taxi (2004 film)

Taxi 2004 movie.jpg

Taxi is a 2004 American remake of the 1998 Luc Besson-penned, Gérard Pirès directed French film of the same name, starring Queen Latifah, Jimmy Fallon and Gisele Bündchen, and directed by Tim Story.

Belle Williams (Queen Latifah) is a talented driver and auto mechanic who dreams of driving in NASCAR. As the film opens she celebrates her last shift as a bicycle courier by performing a crowd-pleasing sequence of bicycle stunts as she passes through New York City, breaking a speed record in the process. She has won her taxi license. Belle neglects her boyfriend Jesse (Henry Simmons) and has bestowed much love on her custom-built cab over the past five years. This evening, having skipped her dinner date, she installs a supercharger into the cab.

The next day, her first customer offers her a $100 tip if she can make it to JFK in fifteen minutes. She makes it in nine, making the passenger sick in the process. Meanwhile, a group of beautiful women exit the airport.

The action cuts back to New York City where undercover detective Andy Washburn (Jimmy Fallon) is about to bust a phone card ring from Cuba. He makes up a street name in Havana, which blows his cover, and a gunfight develops. Washburn's partner is wounded in the arm and the Cubans escape. Trying to follow them in his partner's car, Washburn starts it in reverse and crashes it. Back at the precinct station, Lt. Marta Robbins, (Jennifer Esposito) confiscates his driver's license and demotes him to Foot Patrol duty.

Later, hearing of a bank robbery, Washburn in plainclothes tries to flag down a car in the middle of a street, causing dozens of civilians, and their cars to crash into each other, resulting in a major pile-up. He flags down a taxi cab, which turns out to be Belle's. They arrive at the bank just as the four robbers depart in a BMW. Washburn accidentally shoots out one of Belle's windows and they end up cornering the BMW in an alley. The BMW driver cleverly gives Belle the slip, but as the car passes she recognises the occupants as the same models from the airport. Their leader is Vanessa (Gisele Bündchen). In a misunderstanding, police arrive and hold up Belle and Washburn.

Belle's cab is impounded as evidence and she is taken in for questioning as a witness to the robbery; she is upset as it means the loss of two weeks' earnings. Washburn promises to get her cab back if she will join him on his beat--thus solving the problem of his confiscated license.

Belle and Washburn pursue the robbers, getting close once or twice. Washburn takes Belle home. His mother (Ann Margret) is constantly drunk and always has a margarita going in the blender. She brings up embarrassing moments of Washburn's past and why he's such a bad driver.

Later, Washburn talks to the impound cop (Patton Oswalt) and eventually convinces him to give him and Belle the cab back. They realize that the gang always robs banks just before the garbage collection is due. The robbers take the money, put it in the trash and the garbage man collects it. However, things haven't gone well, and Washburn is fired from his job. Later that night, Belle teaches him to drive. They discover that the garbage collector on the bank round has been performing collections for the gang because they have kidnapped his wife. They trace the kidnapper and recover the garbage collector's wife and all the loot.

The police learn which bank is next to be hit, and they lie in wait for the robbers, who take a hostage. After a hostage swap, the gang escape with Lt. Robbins as hostage, followed by Washburn and Belle in her cab. Belle calls on the help of her former bike messengers to pinpoint the location of the car. During the ensuing chase they continually try to swap the hostage for the money while driving down the road. Washburn forces the robbers down a long bridge he knows is under construction. Belle is wounded by Vanessa, and Washburn drives Belle to the hospital.

In the final scene, Belle is behind the wheel of her new car in a NASCAR stadium, sponsored by New York banks. Washburn (recently reinstated back into the NYPD), Robbins, and Washburn's mother cheer her on. Jesse makes his proposal to Belle. Jeff Gordon, driver of the 24 car in NASCAR's top series, makes an appearance.

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Source : Wikipedia