Since her childhood, Esther Cañadas wanted to pursue a career as a criminologist, but her mother persuaded her to give modeling a try.
Cañadas signed her first contract with the Take 2 Agency after winning a local competition for a teen magazine. She represented her country in a model search and was sent to South Africa. She then moved to Barcelona on her own to begin working.
Cañadas has walked the catwalk for many designers, including Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Chanel, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Moschino, and Givenchy.
Cañadas made her feature film debut with an appearance as "Anna Knudsen" in 1999 action/romance The Thomas Crown Affair, starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo.
She moved to New York City in 1996 and has since appeared in campaigns for Atelier Versace, Gianfranco Ferré, Donna Karan, and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as appearing in the Victoria's Secret catalog. She is probably most known, however, for her appearances in DKNY ads. She has graced the cover of Vogue España, Mademoiselle, Marie Claire Italy, Mondo Uomo, as well as Vogue Spain -- all in 1997.
She is signed to Unique Models in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Cañadas met her first husband, Mark Vanderloo on the set of a Donna Karan advertising shoot in 1997. They married in 1999, but divorced in November 2000. She married MotoGP rider Sete Gibernau. In January 2004 the couple adopted a baby girl, whom they named Maxine. In 2008 Gibernau confirmed that he had split with Cañadas.