Elsa Benítez (born December 8, 1977) is a Mexican model who is best known for appearing on the cover of the 2001 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and also for appearing on the covers of Victoria's Secret catalogs.
Elsa is from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. She won a model search in Costa Rica in 1995. That led to all sorts of modeling gigs, first in Mexico, where she started out her career, and then in the United States and Europe. In 1996, Elsa appeared on the cover of Vogue Italy three times -- in April, August and September -- a very rare feat. Elsa signed with Elite Model Management, and then she won the covers of top fashion magazines, including Elle, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Harper's Bazaar, and Marie Claire.
Elsa also appeared in over a dozen major-name fashion magazine photo shoots, and high-profile campaigns for the likes of Macy's, Ferragamo, Jones New York, Ann Taylor, including, of course, Victoria's Secret. Elsa appeared in the 1999 Pirelli Calendar that featured "Women Through the Decades". She was photographed as representative of the groovy '70s in the exclusive issue. Her many memorable covers include:
- August 1996 Italian Vogue
- February 1997 Marie Claire
- April 1997 UK Vogue
- May 1997 Cosmo
- June 2003 Mexican Cosmo
Elsa reached the peak of her career around the turn of the century, when she became the cover girl for Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue 2001. Around this time, she represented Dolce & Gabbana, Macy's, Episode, I-N-C, J.Crew, Oscar de la Renta, Rena Lange, Nine West, Valentino, and Jones New York.
Benitez was married for a few years to 6'11" basketball player Rony Seikaly, but they divorced in 2006. They had a daughter, Mila, and Elsa then cut back on her modeling appearances.