Juliana Martins was born in 1984, in the town of Jos Bonifcio, Brazil. Although she always dreamed of being a model, she decided that modeling was out of her reach when she was just 10 years old. But a few years later, at age 12, an opportunity presented itself: she was considered for a commercial campaign. Although she didn’t get the job, the opportunity gave her the confidence she needed to enter the Elite Model Look Contest in 1997, in which she became a finalist.
After the contest, she signed on with Elite, who represents her to this day, although she is represented in Europe by Munich Models. Juliana’s choice to pursue modeling was well informed, as industry players were soon calling Juliana “the Brazilian Cindy Crawford.”
When she was 15, Juliana first left her native Brazil and started traveling the world, living in locales as diverse as Switzerland, Canada and France. But Juliana’s cosmopolitan teen years, ironically, haven’t cured her dislike for flying.
In the half-dozen years since Juliana decided to model professionally, she’s worked for Ralph Lauren, Bruno Magli, Armani, Blumarine and Emmanuel Ungaro.
She’s been photographed by such noted shutterbugs as Ellen Von Uwerth, Bob Wolfenson and Steve Meisel. Moreover, she’s appeared in fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, and was featured in the 2003 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, exposing her for the first time to the lucrative, though less fashion-minded, audience of mainstream America.
Not surprisingly, Juliana now lives in New York City, whose clubs help to sate her appetite for dancing. But however much she enjoys the nightlife in the Big Apple, her hometown, Jos Bonifcio, still has a special place in the worldly model’s heart. It’s where “my life, family, and friends are,” Juliana once explained. “It’s the best place in the world.”