“Wild ’80s shoots where everyone smokes and does drugs? Nobody does that. Nobody gets drunk, stays out late or comes to work hungover,” Ed says. “I can’t remember when last I had to lecture somebody.”
Instead, models talk ambition and health. “My goal is a cosmetics line and maybe a talk show,” says Jasmine Tookes. In the past, this would’ve been an insane comment from a model, but as female celebrity has expanded, so has the concept of models. Stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba, who are entrepreneurs, moms and style icons, opened doors for those like Karlie Kloss, who went from VS to founding a coding camp for girls, Kode With Klossy, and expanding her cookie empire, Karlie’s Kookies.
“These are young businesspeople,” Ed says. “They’re crafting their brands on social media and it’s important that women see them as people they would like to befriend and hang out with.”
On Instagram, the Angels sort into Spice Girls-esque categories: There’s Stella Maxwell (Chill Spice), Sara Sampaio (Girl-next-door Spice), Elsa Hosk (Sporty Spice) and Alessandra Ambrosio (Hot-mom Spice).
What VS really provides is exposure. “Ask anyone to name a model, they will name a VS model,” says Jasmine. Opening a Prada show may be more prestigious, but it’s ultimately a niche. To become a mogul like Oprah or Gwyneth, you must be recognisable enough to capture the world’s attention and interesting (or smart or likable or ambitious or all) enough to sustain it. VS provides more visibility than any upstart could dream of. The rest? That’s up to the models.
THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE
who tuned in to the first live webcast (in 1999), causing the Victoria’s Secret website to malfunction.
Taylor Hill at the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Romee Strijd, Stella Maxwell, Josephine Skriver, Jasmine Tookes, Lily Aldridge, Adriana Lima, Elsa Hosk, Alessandra Ambrosio, Taylor Hill, Martha Hunt, Sara Sampaio and Lais Ribeiro at the 2016 Victo
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