She did it!
Kelsey Merritt makes history as first Fil-Am to feature at VSFS
WHAT was once a dream has become reality for Kelsey Merritt.
On Thursday, Nov. 8 (Nov. 9 local time), the Pampanga-born stunner made fashion history as the first-ever Filipina to strut on the runway of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (VSFS).
The annual event, a soughtafter gig for models the world over, was held this year at Pier 94 in New York City.
Merritt was tapped for the PINK segment of the fashion show along with fellow newcomers Winnie Harlow, Barbara Palvin, and Lorena Rae.
Other segments of the fashion show including “Glam Royal,” “Golden Girls,” “Flights of Fantasy,” saw the appearance of fashion stars Adriana Lima, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Bella Hadid, among others.
In a series of updates on Instagram, Merritt shared photos of her being prepped up for her turn on the catwalk.
She also shared a photo of her with Lima captioning it, “Growing up watching the @victoriassecret fashion show, I wanted to be like @adrianalima! She is such an inspiration.”
The model celebrated her casting on VSFS via Instagram in September, but some Pinoys actually discredited her for it claiming she was only cast in the show because she looks more Caucasian than Filipino and that she has “Eurocentric features.”
“My only issue with Kelsey Merritt, is that you can almost see that she’s pure American,” one tweet went. “It would not be that difficult for her to get cast as VS as she fits the ff standards: tall, skinny, and white.” Someone else added, “As much as I’m happy for Kelsey Merritt that she got into VS, I just wish she looked more like the average Filipina.”
That said, there were plenty others who came to Merritt’s defense.
Merritt herself took to Twitter to address the backlash.
“Pinanganak ako sa Pilipinas at lumaki ako sa Pampanga. Tinapos ko ang pagaaral ko sa Manila bago ako lumipat sa US last year. Mas pinoy pa dugo ko kesa sa mga ‘pure’ na hindi pa nakatapak sa (Pilipinas). I love my country and I’m proud of where I came from,” she wrote.