Marisa Miller (born August 6, 1978) is an American supermodel 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. As of late 2007, she is a Victoria's Secret Angel, and graced the cover of the 2008 SI Swimsuit Issue to record-setting numbers, accomplishments that have led to her being dubbed the "return of the great American supermodel."
She is also known for contracts with companies like Harley-Davidson and for taking the #1 spot on Maxim magazine's 2008 "Hot 100" list. Aside from modeling, she is an ambassador for the American Cancer Society.
Born Marisa Bertetta in Santa Cruz, California, she was first "discovered" at age 16 walking through a San Francisco café by two Italian modeling agents. After talking to her mother Krista Bertetta, she was on a plane to Italy with her mother a few months later, despite such a "shy and conservative" personality growing up that she had to put on all her clothes just to go to the trash can while at the beach. Miller gained attention when she appeared in a 1997 issue of Perfect 10 magazine. Although she came in third behind Ashley Degenford and Monica Hansen in Perfect 10 magazine's first annual model search, she was repeatedly showcased in following issues, including the covers of the Winter 1998, Aug/Sept 1999, and Fall 2004 editions.
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 photographer Mario 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 for a job offer that 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, which she appeared on the cover in 2008. 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, as well as working on campaigns/advertisements for Nordstrom, J.Crew, Guess?, Tommy Hilfiger, Pepsi, Panasonic, Bath & Body Works, and most recently, for True Religion jeans and motorcycle company Harley-Davidson. In July 2008, Miller took her first step beyond modeling when her shoe line with skateboarder/surfer-oriented company Vans launched.
Television spots of Miller's include the short-lived reality television series Manhunt: The Search for America's Most Gorgeous Male Model (2004), Puddle of Mudd's "Spin You Around" music video (2004), the pilot episode and finale of VH1's reality show The Shot (2007), and cameos in HBO's Entourage and the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother (both 2007), the latter with her fellow Victoria's Secret Angels. However, it wasn't until 2007 that she filmed her first television commercial for Victoria's Secret, appearing alongside Heidi Klum for the It bra. Miller's other commercials include a 2008 viral video on YouTube with All Star baseball player Ryan Braun for Remington's ShortCut clippers and a commercial for the NFL Network.
On December 4, 2007, Miller made her debut at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, and opened a segment in the following year's edition. Other runway credits of Miller's include 2007's Fashion 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 announced 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 Cubs 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 newest fragrance, Very Sexy Dare.
The swell in publicity resulting from her 2008 work served to land Miller in the number one spot on Maxim magazine's "Hot 100" rankings for 2008, beating out list regulars such as Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, and Eva Longoria-Parker. This marked the first time anyone has debuted on the list in the number one position. In her subsequent cover story for the July issue, Maxim proclaimed her as the "return of the great American supermodel." She also finished first place in The Best Damn Sports Show Period "Smokin' Sixteen" competition in 2008, repeating her 2007 win over competitors such as Gisele Bündchen and Adriana Lima. Miller ranked third in Askmen.com's "Top 99" for 2009, after ranking ninth in 2008, twelfth in 2007, and fourteenth in 2006. She added to her popular accolades with the "Hot N' Fresh" award at the second annual Spike Guys' Choice Awards.
She married Jim Miller, a Los Angeles surfing contest promoter and lifeguard from California in 2000, and separated from him in 2002. They divorced soon after. She married Hollywood producer Griffin Guess on April 15, 2006. From an early age she loved surfing; in 2004, she placed second in the celebrity division of the Kelly Slater Surf Invitational. She was a standout volleyball player on her high school team at Monte Vista Christian and has taken up boxing. She has said that she would like to be a sportscaster.
Miller is currently an ambassador for the American Cancer Society, to which proceeds from her online store are donated. She also supports the Young Survival Coalition, which seeks to promote awareness of breast cancer in women under 40, as well as environmental organization The Surfrider Foundation, which aims to preserve the world's oceans and beaches.