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Carla Bruni - Biography

The singer and fashion model who became France's first lady after her marriage to Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008 was born 23 December 1967

Carla Bruni posing for a photo in a black dress at a red carpet event
Hannah Watkin
Content Writer
Updated: 13 June 2023
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Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi was born on 23 December 1967 in Turin, Italy. The daughter of concert pianist Marisa Borini and composer Alberto Bruni Tedeschi, Carla would go on to pursue a career in music as a singer herself the late 90s.

Carla was the youngest of three children in a family which had built its wealth on tyre manufacturing. As a result of her family's wealth, when she was five years old, concern over the kidnapping threat then prevalent in Italy led the family to move to France. The future model would eventually leave France in order go to boarding school in Switzerland, although she returned as a teen to study in Paris. 

Fashion career

Aged 19, the aspiring catwalk queen gave up her studies in art and architecture to pursue a career as a full-time model. It was a life-changing decision, as Carla was soon signed by a top agency and began modelling in an ad campaign for Guess jeans. Lucrative high-profile contracts with major fashion houses and designers such as Christian Dior, Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel and Versace followed. 

While she gave up further education for life on the runways, Carla's passion for the arts remained strong. With her modelling career came a jet-set lifestyle and Carla was soon splitting her time between New York, London, Paris and Milan, and dating a string of high-profile men, including rockers Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton.

Musically minded

By the end of the 90s Carla was one of the world's highest-paid models, reportedly earning $7.5 million in 1998 alone. This success gave her the opportunity to switch her focus to her first love – music. Carla released her debut album Quelqu'un m'a dit in 2003. It was an instant hit in France, and she followed it up in January 2007 with her second disc No Promises - which helped take her music sales to over two million discs. 

Marriage to Nicolas Sarkozy

As Carla's music career went from strength to strength, so did her personal life. After a complex affair with philosophy professor Raphael Enthoven which led to the birth of the model and singer's first child, Aurelian, in 2001, Carla met French president Nicolas Sarkozy at an official gathering in 2007. The pair met and began dating just a few weeks after the then-President had divorced his second wife, Cecilia Attias. 

A whirlwind media-friendly romance followed with the pair making their union official in a private Paris ceremony at the Elysee Palace on February 2, 2008. Carla gave birth to her second child and the couple's first, a daughter named Giulia in October 2011.

For all the latest news on Carla, see here.

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