The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is one of the year’s most televised, widely awaited, and popular shows. Victoria’s Secret is the ultimate fantasy of being a sexy, strong, and confident woman. And while we love the brand’s lingerie and clothing, we think you’ll agree that it’s the models and Angels who make the show what it is.
The show itself has evolved over the years, becoming more and more extravagant and expensive. Some of the biggest names in fashion today started out on Victoria’s Secret runway in the nineties.
In fact, many of the models from the nineties who are commonly referred to as the OG supermodels. Some models, however, have now left the show for good, so we take a look at their run with VS, as well as what they’re up to now!
Adriana Lima (1999-2018)
Adriana Lima is, no doubt, one of the most famous models associated with Victoria’s Secret. She was the brand’s longest-running model as well as their oldest one before she called it quits last year, after having walked the VS runway for nearly twenty years (and owning it every single time, we might add).
Adriana was an Angel almost from the very beginning of her career, and she was chosen to wear the much-coveted fantasy bra not one, but three times. VS also named Adriana the “Most Valuable Victoria’s Secret Angel” in 2017.
The 2018 show was the last time Adriana walked the VS runway. Speaking to People magazine about her decision, she claimed that she was still happy to be part of this last (for her) show.
When asked about her future, Adriana simply said, “I’m looking forward to support women and being connected to different projects which support women around the world.” She further added on Instagram that she did not like the pressure that VS put on her to look and dress in a certain way.
Adriana has also worked with high fashion brands like Armani, Versace, Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu, and has been the face of Maybelline for quite some time now.
She is still gorgeous at nearly forty years old, and very intelligent, as well, so we can’t wait to see what she does next!
Miranda Kerr (2006-2013)
Another more recent departure from the show, Miranda Kerr left Victoria’s Secret amidst controversy in 2013. It was said that Victoria’s Secret fired Miranda because they did not think she was doing a good job selling their lingerie, or that she did not clearly represent what the brand was about. Ouch!
Miranda managed to spin the news in her favor, however, by saying that it was she who had chosen not to renew her contract with VS because she wanted to focus more on herself and her family, as she already had a son at the time.
There were also rumors that VS was trying to get Miranda back by offering her huge amounts of money, but the model had already made up her mind; she was not going to return.
Today, Miranda has her own skincare brand called Kora Naturals and has written a self-help book called Treasure Yourself: Power Thoughts for My Generation.
Tyra Banks (1996-2005)
Tyra Banks is a name that needs no introduction. In 1996, Banks accomplished the first milestone of her career by becoming the first African-American woman to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, soon after she landed a gig at Victoria’s Secret.
Tyra dabbled in some acting while she was still a VS Angel, most notably in Life Size. She also started the hit reality show America’s Next Top Model just a couple of years before she left VS to focus on this show full time.
ANTM has been praised for the way Tyra promoted a love-yourself, flaws-are-beautiful; approach to beauty. Speaking of reality TV, she also became the host of America’s Got Talent in 2017.
Recently, Tyra proved that she is quite the entrepreneur by releasing her own swimsuit line called BanX, for which she came out of retirement as a model!
At this time she posed for Sports Illustrated again after nearly twenty-two years.
Tyra also wrote a book called Perfect Is Boring with her mother, and she also has her own beauty line, TYRA Beauty. And let’s not forget, she returned to TV last year with the release of Life Size 2 as well!
We are firm believers that there is nothing that this woman can’t do.
Stephanie Seymour (1995-2000)
Stephanie Seymour was one of the most famous models of the eighties and nineties. She was also one of the first to model for Victoria’s Secret, being a part of their original catalogue.
Stephanie also appeared in magazines such as Vogue, Playboy and Sports Illustrated during that time.
After being one of the lead models to walk the VS runway, Stephanie left in 2000 to work on other projects. Since then she has been in Gap campaigns with her children and she has also been the global face of Estee Lauder.
Stephanie loves collecting vintage couture even today because she has always wanted to stand out for the way she dresses.
Although she retired as a model a few years ago, recently Stephanie came out of retirement to walk the Versace fashion show in Milan, and she was also the once to close it. Stephanie was also seen on TV, as she has also done many TV cameos too.
Alessandra Ambrosio (2000-2017)
Alessandro Ambrosio is, again, one of the most recognizable faces out of the whole Victoria’s Secret bunch. She began her modelling career working with brands such as Ralph Lauren and Dior.
VS hired her quite early on in her career, and when their line PINK was introduced, she became the first spokesmodel for it and also got to wear the Fantasy Bra twice.
Alessandra left the VS line in 2017 to focus more on her career as a designer. She released her own swimsuit line Alessandra Ambrosio by Sais, in 2004 and also has another lifestyle and clothing brand called Ale by Alessandra.
Alessandra also does social work, using her name and image to help the needy where she can, as she is an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Alessandra makes often TV appearances and has even been a guest judge on shows such as Project Runway.
She continues to work as a model; associating with brands like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Oscar de la Renta.
Heidi Klum (1997-2010)
Heidi Klum began modelling in her native country Germany when she landed a contract with Victoria’s Secret after she moved to New York. Since leaving VS, Heidi has had one hell of a career.
Heidi has hosted and produced Project Runway, for which she won an Emmy, and is a judge on America’s Got Talent. She also hosts Germany’s Next Top Model and she has made appearances in many shows and movies, including Blow Dry, Ella Enchanted, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, and Spin City.
Heidi was the long-time muse of photographer John Ranken, but she now has her own clothing line, both for men and women, a lingerie line and a jewellery line. Klum has also been the designer for Birkenstock.
Perhaps she is most famous for her spectacular Halloween costumes she has been showcasing each year, including dressing up as Jessica Rabbit!
Karlie Kloss (2011-2015)
Karlie Kloss began modelling for Victoria’s Secret in 2011 but she quit a few years later. At the time, people assumed that the model quit so that she could make time for her college courses at NYU.
But this was only partly the reason.
Karlie was studying feminist theory at NYU, and she felt that being a VS model didn’t quite fit into the narrative she was trying to create for herself. “I didn’t feel it was an image that was truly reflective of who I am and the kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful,” she said in an interview, further adding that being able to make her own choices was what empowered her the most.
Karlie returned to VS for just for one show in 2017. This was when the #MeToo and TimeUp movements had gained power, and Karlie decided to defend the brand saying, “There’s something really powerful about a woman who owns her sexuality and is in charge.”
Karlie supports many charity organizations and helps young girls get degrees in science and technology, by offering them scholarships.
To add to her busy schedule, the beauty has a YouTube channel called Klossy.
Gisele Bundchen (2000-2007)
Gisele Bundchen graced the cover of Vogue in 1999, and that is how she was promptly hired by Victoria’s Secret the next year.
Her first VS runway was at a benefit held by the brand for the 53rd Annual Cannes Film Festival. For the first fifteen consecutive years of her career, Gisele remained the highest-paid model in the world, with eighty per cent of her income coming from VS.
Gisele had made appearances in movies such as The Devil Wears Prada and Taxi. The beauty even though she continues to high-end brands, she also supports a number of charities.
To keep in touch with her modelling years, the supermodel makes surprise appearances on runways at times, such as the 2010 Balenciaga show which she also closed. She has also been the face of brands such as David Yurman and Chanel’s Les Beiges line.
She recently wrote a memoir called Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, in which she also reveals why she left Victoria’s Secret, stating that with time: “I felt less and less at ease being photographed walking the runway wearing just a bikini or a thong.”
Gisele eventually quit because she wasn’t comfortable with the brand’s expectations just as Adriana Lima wasn’t as well.
Rosie Huntington-Whitely (2006-2010)
Rosie Huntington-Whitely walked Victoria’s Secret runway for five consecutive years before she quit for good. She claimed that modelling had a ‘shelf life’ and she wanted to build something for herself.
And that is what she did indeed!
Rosie owns her own business, Rose Inc., which is a beauty website that Rosie creates content for herself. She has also worked as an actress in the third instalment of the Transformers series and Mad Max: Fury Road.
Rosie became the face of Burberry’s fragrance, Burberry Body in 2011 after she quit Victoria’s Secret. She has since walked the runway for brands such as Oscar de la Renta, Givenchy, Burberry, and Valentino, and has appeared in campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Versace and Tommy Hilfiger, to name a few.
Rosie has also won titles such as ‘Model of the Year’ and the ‘Female Star of Tomorrow’ on many occasions.
Naomi Campbell (1995-2009)
Naomi Campbell is the queen of the fashion world. Her runway walk is so famous that it’s the standard that other models are measured up against. Naomi stuns to this very day, but she was also one of the original Victoria’s Secret models.
Naomi had some struggles after she quit Victoria’s Secret, as she was admitted to a rehab centre for cocaine abuse and she was also amidst multiple assault claims and accusations of violent behavior carried out by her to her personal assistants.
Luckily, she has cleaned up her act now and spends her time being a full-time diva and a philanthropist.
Naomi was the first African American model to appear on the cover of Time. She walked in Gianni Versace’s tribute show in 2017 and signed off on a Nars campaign and one for Valentino Garavani this year.
Naomi has also been a judge and coach on The Face, but she has also spent most of career fighting racism in the fashion industry and working as an activist, as she proceeds to support many of Nelson Mandela’s charities and has a few of her own.
Naomi also has a fabulous YouTube channel that we highly recommend checking out!
Karolina Kurkova (2005-2008)
Karolina Kurkova was only seventeen years old when she landed her first Vogue cover! Anna Wintour even called her the ‘next supermodel.’
She was hired by Victoria’s Secret after she showcased her modelling skills on the runway for the likes of Versace and Alexander McQueen. Karolina wore the Fantasy Bra once during her VS days.
Even after leaving Victoria’s Secret, Karolina remained a prominent figure in the fashion industry. She has worked with names such as Calvin Klein, Chanel, Balenciaga, Gucci, and Dior. She has also worked with many famous photographers such as Steven Klein.
In 2018, Karolina became the first model on the cover of Vogue Czechoslovakia. Her film debut was in My Sexiest Year, and she also appeared in G.I Joe: Rise of Cobra.
She has been a judge and coach on The Face, and a guest judge on America’s Next Top Model and Germany’s Next Top Model.
Karolina also has a herbal skincare line intended for children.
Doutzen Kroes (2005-2014)
Doutzen Kroes has the title, “The Helen of Troy of Advertising,” (coined by Models.com) and we couldn’t agree more! With her beautiful face, she could sell anything. Doutzen walked Victoria’s Secret runway for three years as a model and then the remaining years as an Angel but the model left in 2014 as she felt it wasn’t right for her anymore.
“Victoria’s Secret gave me a lot, but I had to move on and do different things,” she said, adding that she will still always cherish the memories and relationships she made with the other Angels.
Doutzen now supports many charities such as the World Wildlife Fund and Dance4Life, which aims to educate youth about HIV and AIDS, but through song and dance.
Doutzen also became the face of Mercedes-Benz recently. What is more, after she quit Victoria’s Secret, she went on to appear on campaigns such as Calvin Klein’s fragrance Reveal, and also became the spokesperson for Dutch brand Hunkemöller.
Doutzen has been taking acting lessons in New York for years and plans on being in many movies in the future.
So far she has made a brief appearance in Wonder Woman, and in a Dutch film called Nova Zembla.
We can’t wait to see what she plays in next!