On June 16, 2021, Victoria’s Secret officially announced that they will be ending its Angels’ runway event. The sexy show paused in 2019 after a slew of controversies including claims of a lack of diversity. Now that pause has been made permanent.
After Victoria’s Secret started suffering decreasing show ratings and declining sales, they decided to shift gears by updating their marketing to reflect what the modern woman wants to see. The company has overhauled its executive team and all except one of the board of directors’ seats are now held by women.
Replacing the Angels is the VS Collective, seven women who will appear as Victoria’s Secret’s new faces in advertisements and promote the brand through Instagram.
But as we embrace the new era, let’s take a look back at seven of the most iconic Angels who ever graced the runway, before turning to the future and meeting VS Collective, seven representatives of Victoria’s Secret’s next, more representative chapter.
The Brazilian-born beauty twice wore the brand’s Fantasy Bras that were worth US$2.5 million – 2012’s Fantasy Bra and the Dream Fantasy Bra in 2014 – and donned 30-pound wings while she was pregnant. She has her own beachwear brand and is an ambassador for the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The famous Brazilian model, now married to American football star Tom Brady, wore the world’s most expensive piece of lingerie in the brand’s 2000 show: the Red Hot Fantasy Bra, worth US$15 million. She was an Angel from 2000 to 2007.
Banks was Victoria’s Secret first black contracted model, joining them in 1997 until 2005. She is well-known today for her television show America’s Next Top Model, which she created in 2003, and the daily talk show Tyra.
Kerr was the first Australian Victoria’s Secret model, joining the brand in 2007. She has her own skin care brand, Kora Organics and together with her billionaire second husband, co-founder of Snapchat Evan Spiegel, she is a regular donor to charities from firefighters tackling bush fires to activists working on #BlackLivesMatter.
German-American Klum worked with Victoria’s Secret for 13 years, wearing the US$10 million Millennium Bra in the 1999 Runway Show and the Heavenly Star Bra valued at US$12.5 million in 2001.
Identifying as an Afro-Brazilian, Lima’s mixed descent means she speaks four languages. She’s also Victoria’s Secret’s longest-running model, walking for them from 1999 to 2018. Today she has a net worth of US$95 million.
Liu became the first Chinese model to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2009, going on to appear in seven shows in all. This success helped make her first Asian model to ever make Forbes’ annual highest-paid models list.
Adut Akech Bior
The 21-year-old South Sudanese moved via Kenya to Australia as a refugee. Today she is a mental wellness advocate as well as an in-demand model. She was awarded model of the year in 2019 at the British Fashion Awards.
Amanda de Cadenet
This British journalist, photographer and equality advocate is today based in Los Angeles. She is the founder of the Girlgaze Network, a platform with the mission of connecting the world’s best businesses with female and non-binary creatives.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas
The Indian Bollywood actress and singer got her start in show business after winning Miss World 2000. In 2016, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world and in 2018 she married the singer Nick Jonas.
Gu is a Chinese-American model who competes for China as a pro freestyle skier. In the 2021 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships she won gold in the Freeski Halfpipe and Freeski Slopestyle. The 17-year-old will attend Stanford University in 2022 after the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Rapinoe is a professional football player who plays for OL Reign and the US national team. She was named The best Fifa women’s player in 2019 and was part of the team that won Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019. Outside football, she is a noted LGBTQ+ and pay equality activist.
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Elsesser is a plus-size model and outspoken body positive activist who graced the cover of Vogue in January 2021. She has modelled for Nike and Rihanna’s label Fenty Beauty.
Another Brazilian model and actress, Sampaio made history as Victoria’s Secret’s first transgender model in 2019 and followed that up by being the first trans model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2020.
Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.