SA model wins 'angel' status
New York - Add a pair of wings to the backs of many models and you'll find they walk even taller than their long, lean stiletto-wearing frames normally do.
South Africa's Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge and Erin Heatherton are the newest to win Victoria's Secret "angel" status reserved for its top models, and that means they got some of the best outfits to wear in the retailer's annual catwalk show that will be shown on Tuesday on CBS.
At their fittings, though, these young women kept their eyes wide, their attitude humble and gave off more of the girl-next-door vibe than jaded fashionista.
Moment to shine
Candice Swanepoel gets "in a zone" that's positive, upbeat and confident when it's time to model lingerie on the catwalk. Yes, the thought of stumbling in the heels does cross her mind, but that happens more in the weeks beforehand than on actual show night.
"Getting down to your knickers in front of the whole world is a little nerve-racking, but I love it," she says. "I feel very comfortable in my own skin, and it's our moment to shine."
It's the 22-year-old South African who has been the face of the runway show this year, with her face featured on ads, in displays and on the invitation received by celebrities, stylists and fashion editors.
But when Swanepoel gets the retailer's catalogue in the mail, she'll study her own photos and look for flaws that surely no one else would notice.
Christmas time is when she'll let down her guard a little bit when it comes to exercise, but eating right and being fit is part of her job, she explains. The free time she does have is spent on the beach. "Being cold is not something that comes naturally to me," she says.
Because of that, her cold-weather uniform usually includes leather pants and several scarves.
She's also not a stranger to cozy, comfortable clothes that allow her to hunker down with her new Jack Russell terrier, Luna, and indulge in her homebody tendencies, she says.
Tell that to her midriff-baring gingham bra and bustle set - covered up just a bit with a red crocheted sweater.