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Elsa Benítez Yáñez (Spanish pronunciation: [elsa βeˈnites]; born December 8, 1977)[2][3] is a Mexican model and television presenter, perhaps best known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, including her appearance on the cover in 2001.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

Elsa Benítez
Elsa Benítez Yáñez

(1977-12-08) December 8, 1977 (age 41)
Rony Seikaly
(m. 1999; div. 2005)
Modeling information
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorHazel
  • Front Management (Miami)
  • Modelink (Stockholm)[1]



Benítez began to parade after winning a modeling contest in Costa Rica in 1995.[6] Her early opportunities were soon marching to local firms in Mexico and later in the United States where she earned more recognition and with it, her move to Europe. In 1996 she obtained one of her best chances when chosen to appear in one of the major fashion magazines: Vogue Italia, once accepted, she was on the cover of the Journal for three consecutive months.[13]

After being hired by Elite agency, she began appearing on the cover of many magazines like Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Harper's Bazaar and Marie Claire. After appearing on the cover of Vogue from various countries such as Mexico, Greece, Germany, and Marie Claire in several numbers, Benítez received the offer that would launch success and worldwide recognition to any model: US magazine Sports Illustrated.[4][13]

After arriving in Europe, specifically in France and Italy, participating in fashion, presenting collections of top designers; starts on runways prêt-à-porter becoming the muse of Dolce & Gabbana Italian house for which she starred in their shows and marketing campaigns.[4][13][14]

She also paraded on runways and/or campaigns for Chanel, Valentino, Christian Lacroix, Versace, Fendi, Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Gianfranco Ferre, MaxMara, Salvatore Ferragamo, Chloé, Escada, Emanuel Ungaro, Massimo Dutti and in the U.S. for Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta, Anna Sui, and CoverGirl.[4][13]

Benítez is perhaps the only model that has marched in Latin Couture during her stay in Paris. She marched for some of the most important fashion houses presenting Haute Couture, which have always been a few of the significant work involved in this fraction fashion, so Benítez walked for Chanel, Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Pierre Balmain, Emanuel Ungaro and Versace.[4][13][15]

She has worked for the houses Macy's, Episode, INC, J.Crew, Rena Lange, Nine West and Jones New York.[4][13] Benítez has also modeled for Victoria's Secret.[13][16]

Benítez appeared in the 1999 Pirelli calendar showing women through the decades. She was photographed as representative of the "groovy" in the 1970s. In 2002, she appeared in the music video for "Love to See You Cry" by Enrique Iglesias.[6]

From 2009 to 2012, Benítez presented Mexico's Next Top Model.[17][18]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1999, Benítez married former basketball player Rony Seikaly.[19] In 2003, they had a daughter named Mila.[9] She divorced him in 2005.[20][21][22] She later had a romantic relationship for several months with Mexican businessman Roberto Slim.[23][24] In February 2007, Benítez started dating producer, Valerio Morabito.[25][26][27] Benítez currently resides in Santa Monica, California.[28]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Elsa Benitez on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  3. ^ "INK361 - The Instagram web interface". INK361. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Elsa Benitez: Model Profile". Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  5. ^ "Elsa Benitez on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover". Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  6. ^ a b c "Sports Illustrated's 50 Greatest Swimsuit Models (30-21)". 2013-06-25. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  7. ^ Jimmy Traina. "Hot Clicks: Elsa Benitez, Shaquille O'Neal's diet". Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  8. ^ MC Ley. "Hot Clicks: Elsa Benitez; Jesse Crain's massive bruise from line drive". Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  9. ^ a b "NBA WAGs: Elsa Benitez". Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  10. ^ "Mexicana Conquista La Moda Internacional". 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  11. ^ "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2014 50th Anniversary Celebration Features A Tribute To Legendary Cover Models - The Pioneers, Trailblazers And Groundbreakers - Who Transcend Fashion, Business, Entertainment And Philanthropy". 2014-02-11. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
  12. ^ Ann Oldenburg (2014-02-13). "Jimmy Kimmel to unveil 'SI' swimsuit cover". Retrieved 2014-08-13.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "Elsa Benitez Biography". Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  14. ^ "Monda Fashion Hipsters a la Baja". 2014-07-16. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  15. ^ "Modelos, guapas y ¡mexicanas!". 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
  16. ^ "VICTORIA'S SECRET "OLD SCHOOL" MODELS (MARCH 2006 - JULY 2013)". 2006-03-28. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  17. ^ Luiggy (2013-05-22). "Jaydy Michel será la nueva conductora de 'Mexico's Next Top Model".
  18. ^ "Elsa Benitez never became a supermodel because she never let the public know her". 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
  19. ^ "Supermodel divorce drama heats up". 2006-05-25. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  20. ^ "Forget LeBron: The real king of South Beach is Rony Seikaly". 2010-07-08. Retrieved 2015-05-12.
  21. ^ Rony Seikaly. "Don't take my wife, please". Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  22. ^ Gerald Narciso (2009-10-08). "Rony Seikaly will DJ Your Party". Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  23. ^ "Elsa Benitez". Retrieved 2015-05-12.
  24. ^ John Branch (2010-12-08). "Former N.B.A. Center Plays to a Different Crowd". Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  25. ^ "Elsa Benitez". Retrieved 2014-08-13.
  26. ^ "Tutti sognano Benitez: Elsa". 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
  27. ^ "Crossed Paths". 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
  28. ^ Scott E. Roeben. "Interview With A Swimsuit Model: Elsa Benitez". Retrieved 2015-05-12.

External linksEdit