Marisa Lee Miller (born August 6, 1978) is an American model best known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues and her work for lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret. After a stint shooting with photographer Mario Testino for fashion magazines like Vogue, Miller began working for both companies in 2002. In 2007, she became a Victoria's Secret Angel, and graced the cover of the 2008 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue to record-setting numbers. Her accomplishments have led to her being dubbed the "return of the great American supermodel."
She is also known for contracts with companies like Harley-Davidson, for whom she is the first spokesperson in the history of the company. Miller is considered a sex symbol; she ranked #1 on Maxim magazine's 2008 "Hot 100" list and in FHM's global 2010 "Sexiest Women in the World" poll. Aside from modeling, she is an ambassador for both the American Cancer Society and the USO.
Miller moved from a start as an amateur magazine model to high profile mainstream work after an acquaintance showed a picture of her to famed fashion photographerMario Testino in 2001. Testino asked to meet Miller, who was running a surf school at the time, and was invited to Manhattan Beach, California, where she would be surfing.
Noticing her, Testino snapped pictures of her and approached her with a job offer. It turned out to be editorials for both the American and Italian editions of Vogue. Within six months, Miller was working for Victoria's Secret and the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, in which she appeared in every issue from 2002 to 2008. In particular, she famously posed wearing only an iPod in the 2007 issue. She has also appeared in a diverse range of magazines, many of them international editions, such as GQ, Maxim, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Elle, and Vanity Fair. She has featured in advertisements for Nordstrom, J.Crew,Guess?, Tommy Hilfiger, Bath & Body Works, and True Religion jeans.
It was not until 2007 that she filmed her first television commercial for Victoria's Secret, appearing alongside Heidi Klum for the It bra.
On December 4, 2007, Miller made her debut in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, and opened a segment in the following year's edition. Other runway work include 2007'sFashion for Relief show, benefiting victims of Hurricane Katrina, as well as MTV's Fashionably Loud, Imitation of Christ, Inca, and Amir Slama's Rosa Cha, for which she was one of the most anticipated models.
On the February 12, 2008 episode of The Late Show with David Letterman, it was revealed via a three-story billboard in New York City that Miller would grace the cover of that year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The tandem online launch of the issue drew record page views to the SI website: 228 million, a 41% increase over 2007. In September 2008, Sports Illustrated released a "Best of Marisa Miller" swimsuit calendar for the 2009 year.
Victoria's Secret also put her to work in 2008, with a five-city tour to promote the 2008 Swim collection's release in stores; the April–May tour included stops in New York City, Miami, Chicago (where she threw the opening pitch at a Chicago Cubs baseball game), Boston, and Minneapolis. The relaunch of Victoria Secret's sports line, VSX, soon followed, along with her first official campaign as an Angel: promoting the company's fragrance Very Sexy Dare.
For the 2009 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Miller was chosen to wear the year's "Fantasy Bra," a harlequin design featuring 2,300 white, champagne, and cognacdiamonds, and a 16-carat heart-shaped brown-yellow diamond pendant for a $3-million value and 150 total carats.
In response to claims that Miller had parted with Victoria's Secret in January 2010, the Chief Marketing Officer for Limited Brands responded, saying the claims were "unfounded and untrue" while adding "we adore Marisa and we will continue to work with her in the future." In late 2010, Miller confirmed she had moved on from Angel status.