Sara Sampaio drew the attention of various modelling agencies when she was 15 years old. However, she was not permitted to take part in modelling competitions until she turned 16.
In 2007, she participated in and won a hair modelling contest called ‘Cabelos Pantene’ in Portugal. After the competition, she landed the opportunity to appear in a commercial in Portugal. She subsequently signed a contract with an agency. However, her parents insisted that she had to finish high school before she could think of becoming a professional model.
After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the University of Lisbon. She had to study as a part-time student because she did not get the permission for being home-schooled. During her time in Lisbon, she briefly held a part-time job as an editor before she moved to US and became an international sensation.
In US, Sampaio became one of the most prominent ambassadors for Axe body spray. She was selected to be featured on the cover of ‘Portuguese Vogue’ in April 2012. In the summer of that year, she secured a contract with Calzedonia Mar to be the face of their international advertising campaign. It was later extended to 2015. For this campaign, she got the opportunity to work with the renowned photographer, Raphael Mazzucco.
She got the chance to work alongside fellow supermodels Irina Shayk in the Replay Fall/Winter 11/12 campaign and supermodel Adriana Lima in the Blumarine Fall/Winter 11/12 campaign. She also walked on the runway in the Armani Fall/Winter 11/12 campaign.
In 2013, she was featured in the very first edition of ‘Portuguese GQ,’ in which she was hailed as the “eighth wonder of the world”. She and Hungarian supermodel Barbara Calvin worked together in the Rosa Cha 2013 campaign.
In 2015, Maxim marked the 20th anniversary of Victoria’s Secret by publishing the list of ‘The 20 Most beautiful Angels of All Time.’ Sampaio was featured in the list, alongside the likes of Adriana Lima, Elsa Hosk, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Miranda Kerr, and Tyra Banks.
The year 2016 was a busy one for Sampaio as she appeared on the runway for Elie Saab, Jean Paul Gaultier, Balmain, Mugler, Emanuel Ungaro, Giambattista Valli, Redemption, Miu Miu, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, Jeremy Scott, Marc Jacobs, Alberta Ferretti, Francesco Scognamiglio, Philipp Plein, Dolce & Gabbana, and Missoni to name a few.
In 2017, she walked the ramp for Tommy Hilfiger, Redemption, Elie Saab, Mugler, Peter Dundas, Prabal Gurung, Zadig & Voltaire, Tory Burch, and several other brands.
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She was featured on the cover of ‘Maxim’ in May 2016. This was her first appearance on the cover of any prominent US magazine. In 2016, she became the new face of the Israeli brand Moroccanoil. In 2017, she was involved in the commercial campaigns for PINKO, Blumarine, Hogan, Tory Burch, Mackage and DUNDAS.
In 2018, she was picked as one of the brand ambassadors of Sì Passione fragrance by Giorgio Armani. In August, she made an appearance at the Venice Film Festival as one of the brand ambassadors of Giorgio Armani Beauty.
In 2016, she worked with singer Nick Jonas in the music video for his song ‘Chainsaw’. A year later, she appeared in the music video for ‘2U’, a David Guetta track featuring Justin Bieber.
As an actress, she made her debut in a season two episode of ‘Billions’, portraying a character named Prianca. In 2017, she made her cinematic debut in ‘The Clapper’. Appearing as herself, she got the chance to share screen space with Ed Helms, Amanda Seyfried, Tracy Morgan, and Adam Levine. Sampaio is set to appear in the upcoming short film ‘Carga’.
It had always been Sara Sampaio’s dream to model for Victoria’s Secret. Her agency took the initiative and a few headshots were given to the legendary clothing brand. She was subsequently asked to appear for an audition but ultimately did not make it to the Fashion Show. Despite this, she continued her work as a runway model.
During the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Sampaio modelled for the brand for the first time and walked the ramp in one segment. In the following year, which was her sophomore appearance, she was featured on the runway in two segments.
In 2015, she was elevated to be one of the newest “Angels” and in December that year, she appeared on the ramp as an Angel for the first time. She walked the ramp along with the other Angels in the 2016 Fashion Show in Paris, France.
Family & Personal Life
Sara Sampaio is presently dating entrepreneur Oliver Ripley. The news of a possible relationship between the two first surfaced in 2015. A native of London, Ripley later relocated to New York City. He is the founder and CEO of Black Ocean Group, a tech firm that invests in tech start-ups, as well as Habitas, a chain of hotels and restaurants. He has previously served on the board of Beespace, a non-profit company.
Sampaio firmly believes in the notion that modelling is a form of artistic expression and regards nudity to be empowering. However, in October 2017, she revealed in an Instagram post that French publication ‘Lui Magazine’ had compelled her to pose nude and subsequently put out her topless photos despite the “no nudity” clause in her contract and accused them of sexual harassment.
She feels that people should be comfortable in their own skin, regardless of their shape and size. As a result, she holds strong opinions against skinny shaming.