Elsa Benítez (born on December 8, 1977) is a Mexican supermodel. Benítez
was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, and she got her modeling start
after winning an international model search, held in Costa Rica in 1995.
With Linda Evangelista as one of her childhood idols, Benítez decided to
follow her dream of modeling. Modeling opportunities opened up for Benítez
soon after, first in Mexico, where she started out her career, and then in
the United States and Europe.
She become a supermodel after being chosen by photographer Steven Meisel
and being featured many times on the US and Italian Vogue for Meisel's
In 1996, she appeared on the cover of Vogue Italy three times in April,
August and September. After signing with Elite Model Management, she then
appeared on the covers of many fashion magazines, including Vogue, ELLE,
Glamour, Mademoiselle, Harper's Bazaar, and Marie Claire. Benítez has also
done advertising campaign work for Dolce & Gabbana, Macy's, Episode,
I-N-C, J.Crew, Óscar de la Renta, Rena Lange, Nine West, Valentino, and
Jones New York, and has modelled for Victoria's Secret. Benítez appeared
in the 1999 Pirelli Calendar that featured "Women Through the Decades."
She was photographed as a representative of the "groovy '70s."
She also appeared in Enrique Iglesias' music video "Love to See You Cry"
in 2002. Benítez was also selected to be on the cover of the 2001 Sports
Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has appeared in the Swimsuit Edition five
times since her debut in the magazine. In the 2004 issue, Sports
Illustrated reported Benítez's story of nearly boarding the doomed TWA
Flight 800–a Boeing 747 that exploded over the Atlantic soon after
takeoff. She was crying on the phone to her husband and said, "I feel
something is going to happen on the flight." Her husband told her not to
worry, but she continued to cry. She changed her ticket and took off ten
minutes after TWA Flight 800. "It made me appreciate so much that just
being alive is a gift."
Benítez plans to enter the film industry and as such has taken acting
lessons. She hopes to work in both Spanish and English language films. She
married former NBA player, Rony Seikaly -- 12 years her senior -- in
September 1999, and she filed for divorce in August 2005. They have one
daughter together, Mila. In April 2007 she started dating Italian movie
producer Valerio Morabito.