Carla Bruni Tedeschi, known as Carla Bruni (born 23 December 1967) is an Italian songwriter, singer and model, and wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Heiress to the Italian tire manufacturing company CEAT founded in the 1920s by her grandfather Virginio Bruni Tedeschi and sold by her stepfather Alberto in the 1970s to Pirelli (the brand lives on via its Indian subsidiary, founded in 1958), she was born in Turin, Italy. The family moved to France in 1973, reportedly to escape the threat of kidnapping by the Red Brigades, a Marxist-Leninist terrorist group active in Italy in the 1970s. Carla grew up in France from five and attended boarding school in Switzerland. She returned to Paris to study art and architecture, but left school at 19 to become a model.
Bruni signed with City Models at 19. Paul Marciano, president and creative director of Guess? Inc., came across her picture among composite cards of aspiring models and chose her to model with Estelle Lefébure in campaigns for Guess? jeans. Bruni subsequently worked for designers and fashion houses such as Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, Sonia Rykiel, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Yves Saint-Laurent, Chanel and Versace. By the 1990s, Bruni was among the 20 highest-paid fashion models, earning $7.5 million a year. While modeling, Bruni dated Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger and Donald Trump. On Friday, 11 April 2008, it was confirmed that a 1993 nude photograph of Bruni had been auctioned for US$91,000 (£46,098) - more than 20 times the expected price.
In 1997, Bruni quit the world of fashion to devote herself to music. She sent her lyrics to Julien Clerc in 1999, based on which he composed seven tracks on his 2000 album Si j'étais elle.
In 2002, her debut album Quelqu'un m'a dit, produced by ex-lover Louis Bertignac, was released in Europe with success in Francophone countries. Three songs from the album appear in Hans Canosa's 2005 American film Conversations with Other Women. The song "Le plus beau du quartier" was used in H&M's Christmas 2006 commercial.
In 2005, she was a guest in Louis Bertignac's return album on the song Les frôleuses which they sang as a duet.
In 2006, Bruni recorded "Those Little Things" an English-language translation of the Serge Gainsbourg song "Ces Petits Riens", for the tribute album Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited. She participated in the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in a parade paying tribute to the Italian flag.
Her second album, No Promises containing poems by Yeats, Emily Dickinson, Auden, Dorothy Parker, Walter de la Mare, and Christina Rosetti, set to music, was released in January 2007.
Her albums are released by the French independent record label Naïve, which releases artists such as Vinicius Cantuaria and Aline de Lima.
A new Madame Sarkozy?
Very reliable sources inform me that President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to marry top-model-turned-singer Carla Bruni.
The two have been spotted in tête-à-têtes over the past month, and made a first public splash at EuroDisney over the weekend. Ms. Bruni bears an uncanny resemblance to the recent Madame Sarkozy. And I don't mean his mother.
No word yet on when he plans to officially pop the question, if he hasn't done so already. Perhaps this Sunday, her 40th birthday?
Look for all the details at the Paris newsstands tomorrow.