When you think of Victoria’s Secret, visions of lingerie-clad Angels appear. Although Victoria’s Secret models are sexy and simply gorgeous, the paparazzi sometimes forget about the face behind the angel wings. For many of these famous faces, it’s the high-profile Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show that created and launched their super-model-turned-household-name status. Since the first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at New York’s Plaza Hotel in 1995, its catwalk creations have sparked careers for many models—and these five in particular. In honor of the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion, which will air on CBS on Tuesday, December 10th, at 10 PM ET/PT, we take a look back at the models who owe their careers to this iconic fashion show.
Touted as one of the world’s most famous faces, Stephanie Seymour has undoubtedly wowed the modeling industry since her early days as a model in the Victoria’s Secret catalog. Initially a hosiery and lingerie model for the catalog, Seymour was one of the first supermodels to walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway in 1995 and her modeling career landed her several Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues. Prior to becoming a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show model, Seymour posed for a spread in Playboy Magazine in 1991.
The German-American beauty began her modeling career with Victoria’s Secret around the age of 18. Heidi Klum was invited to participate in various Victoria’s Secret fashion shows and quickly became one of the Victoria’s Secret Angels. In this role, Klum traveled the world with fellow supermodels promoting Victoria’s Secret products. In addition, Klum worked side-by-side with Victoria’s Secret creators to design “The Body” by Victoria’s Secret as well as her own makeup collection under the “A Very Sexy Makeup,” called the “The Heidi Klum Collection.” Klum was one of the first Angels to be given a prominent spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As an Angel, Klum hosted the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2009.
Like Klum, Tyra Banks’ name has been on the forefront of the public mind since she was named “Supermodel of the Year” by VH1 in 1997. At the same time in her modeling career, Banks made history as she became the first-ever African American to be on the cover of the Victoria’s Secret catalog. Banks proceeded to become an Angel at the Victoria’s Secret Angel from 1997 to 2005. Upon retiring as an Angel, Banks’ career took off as she catapulted into the television industry with the launch of “America’s Next Top Model.”
The Brazilian supermodel has graced the pages and runways since the beginning of her model career in the late 90’s, which spearheaded a trend of Brazilian beauties to model in the United States. From 2000-2007, Bündchen modeled for Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show as an Angel, where she coined the runway’s “horse walk,” a fashionable trotting leg extension. Bündchen experimented in the film industry with her supporting role in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada.” Since 2004, Bündchen has been named the highest paid model in the world and in 2012, Forbes named her first on its top earning model list.
Arriving later on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show scene, Ambrosio became a Victoria’s Secret Angel in 2004. During this time, Ambrosio was named spokesperson for the brand’s Pink collection. This notoriety garnered her worldwide recognition, which ignited several cameo appearances in television and film including James Bond “Casino Royale” in 2006 and an appearance on HBO’s “Entourage” from 2004-2011. Since her first debut as an Angel, Ambrosio has been on the cover of Vogue 120 times and named the face of Chanel’s Les Beiges makeup collection.
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Jennifer Geisman is a freelance writer and faithful beauty junkie living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.