How all 13 Victoria's Secret Angels got discovered

Thomas Concordia/Getty ImagesAdriana Lima is the longest-serving Victoria’s Secret model ever.

Only a handful of the models who walk in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show hold the coveted status of an Angel.

These models, who have special contracts with the brand, have obligations to the company that others cast in the runway event do not. While Victoria’s Secret has never specified what these obligations are, former Angels have said that the job entails a high level of commitment and dedication.

Currently, there are 13 active Angels, not including Alessandra Ambrosio, who parted ways with Victoria’s Secret last year – although the Brazilian model is still listed as an Angel on the company’s website.

Below, find out how each Angel got her start in the modelling world.


Adriana Lima was discovered at a shopping mall when she was 13 years old.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesLima walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
According to Model Management, Lima won Ford’s Supermodel of Brazil competition at the age of 15, two years after she was first scouted. She was also named the first runner-up in Ford’s Supermodel of the Year contest in 1996.

Lima debuted on the Victoria’s Secret runway in 1999 and became an Angel the following year.

The model reportedly walked in her last Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show this year. Lima, who returned for her 19th appearance in the event, looked tearful on the runway when the show was filmed in New York City on November 8.

She also thanked the lingerie brand and fans in a heartfelt Instagram post ahead of the show.


Behati Prinsloo was scouted at a grocery store in Cape Town, South Africa.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesPrinsloo walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

In a 2009 interview with Fashionista, the Namibian model said she was discovered while vacationing in Cape Town with her grandparents.

“We went to the grocery store after church and this guy came up to me and asked if I was a model and wrote his number on a piece of paper,” Prinsloo said. The model said she told her parents about it after she went home but “never did anything.”

But the next time Prinsloo was in Cape Town, she was approached by Noelle Doukas. Noelle’s mum, Sarah Doukas, is the agent who founded Storm Model Management and discovered Kate Moss.

“[Noelle] came up to me and asked me to come into the agency,” Prinsloo told Fashionista. “So I finally went in and signed with Sarah right there. I spent the summer in Cape Town and it went really well so they shipped me off to London.”

After a three-year hiatus, Prinsloo returned to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show this year. The model, who earned her Angel wings in 2009, previously walked in the show for nine consecutive years, from 2007 to 2015.


Candice Swanepoel was discovered in Durban, South Africa.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesSwanepoel walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

In a 2015 interview on NBC’s “Today,” the South African model said she was scouted at a flea market.

Swanepoel made her Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show debut in 2007 and became an Angel three years later. In an interview with W Magazine in 2012, the model said she was “so nervous” at the casting for the lingerie brand’s 2007 show because she “wanted it so badly.”


Elsa Hosk started modelling at the age of 13 after her dad sent photos of her to two agencies.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesHosk walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

“My dad actually sent photos to two different agencies of all of my family, and I had no idea,” the Swedish model told Harper’s Bazaar in a 2016 interview. “I was such a tomboy. I was playing basketball, living in Sweden. I […] did not have dreams to be a model.”

“Then [both agencies] responded and my dad was like, ‘You’re going up to the agency!'” Hosk continued. “We took photos, and it was such a foreign world to me. I remember I was wearing hand-me-downs from my brother and sitting there, trying to be cool, and then it went from there.”

Hosk later put her modelling career on hold so she could finish high school, and then again to play professional basketball in Sweden for two years.

The model has walked in every Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show since 2011 and was made an Angel in 2015, along with nine other models.


At 15, Jasmine Tookes was discovered during one of her mum’s showroom appointments.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesTookes walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Speaking to The Cut in 2011, Tookes said she “grew up being on set or in showrooms” that her mum, a celebrity fashion stylist, worked in.

“I was actually discovered while at a showroom appointment and was immediately sent over to an agency in LA,” the model, who was born and raised in Huntington, California, said.

Tookes was cast in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for the first time in 2012 and has returned to the runway every year since. Like Hosk, she also became an Angel in 2015.


Josephine Skriver was approached by a scout during a trip to New York but didn’t start modelling until later.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesSkriver walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

In a BuzzFeed essay from 2013, Skriver said she was in New York with her soccer team when someone came up to her and said, “We really want to represent you.” The Danish model, who was around 14 to 15 at the time, said she thought it was “weird.”

But when Skriver returned to Denmark, “more and more people encouraged” her to give modelling a shot. “So we sent some pictures to [Unique Models] and very shortly thereafter they were like, ‘Oh, yeah, we want to have you,'” she said.

While Skriver ended up meeting with the agency’s New York branch, she decided she “wasn’t ready” and put off modelling until she finished high school. After she graduated, she tried out for New York Fashion Week, and her career took off from there.

The Danish model, who has walked in six consecutive fashion shows for Victoria’s Secret, earned her Angel wings in 2016.


Lais Ribeiro never considered modelling until one of her friends suggested she try it.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesRibeiro walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

In a 2015 interview with Italian Vogue, Ribeiro said she grew up in the town of Miguel Alves in Piauí, Brazil, and “did not plan to be a model.”

At 19, she was “studying to be a nurse” when a friend encouraged her to try modelling. After working a few local jobs, Ribeiro entered Joy Model Management’s competition in Brazil. Upon being named a finalist in the contest, she moved to São Paulo before travelling to work internationally.

The Brazilian model joined the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2010. Since then, she’s walked in the runway event every year except 2012, when she sprained her ankle during a rehearsal ahead of the show.

In 2015, Ribeiro was named one of the brand’s 10 new Angels.


Lily Aldridge was discovered at a school carnival when she was 16.

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty ImagesAldridge walks the runway at the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Born in Santa Monica, California, Aldridge’s first modelling job was for Abercrombie & Fitch.

“‘I was a tomboy for years and suddenly everyone thought I was hot,” the model told Tatler in 2013.

Aldridge walked in nine consecutive fashion shows for Victoria’s Secret from 2009 to 2017. The model, who is currently pregnant with her second child, was absent from this year’s lineup. She earned her Angel wings in 2010.


Martha Hunt started modelling after a photographer introduced her to agencies in New York.

Thomas Concordia/Getty ImagesHunt walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

In 2012, Hunt told Vogue that she was discovered when a photographer she met in Charlotte, North Carolina, connected her with agencies in New York.

The model, who hails from Wilson, North Carolina, was cast in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for the first time in 2013 and became an Angel two years later.


Romee Strijd was scouted while shopping with her mother in the Netherlands but turned down the opportunity at first.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesStrijd walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Years after the scout approached her in Amsterdam, Strijd’s “interest in modelling grew” and she reached out to the agent. Her career took off quickly from there, according to the model’s biography on IMG Models.

Born in Holland, Strijd made her Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show debut in 2014 and became an Angel one year later. She’s walked in a total of five shows for the brand.


Sara Sampaio won a hair modelling contest at the age of 16.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesSampaio walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

In 2011, the Portuguese model told Women’s Wear Daily that she only modelled part time after winning the contest because her parents were “strict” and wanted her to focus on school.

After graduating from high school, Sampaio attended university in Lisbon, where she booked more editorial jobs until she got the opportunity to work internationally.

The model was named an Angel in 2015, two years after her first appearance in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. This year, Sampaio returned to the lingerie brand’s runway for the sixth time.


A scout discovered Stella Maxwell while she was a student at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesMaxwell walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Speaking to Australian Vogue in 2015 about how she was discovered, Maxwell said: “I was on the street with my friend, we were shopping, and this woman came up to me and what like ‘Would you like to come in? I own an agency. We can just talk about things.'”

The model continued: “After my first shoot, I actually just really enjoyed it and I really got into it. I think it kind of spurred me to think about it more as a career.”

Maxwell, who was born to Northern Irish parents in Brussels, Belgium, joined the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2014. She earned her Angel wings in 2015 and walked in her fifth show this year.


Taylor Hill was signed to IMG models after getting scouted at the age of 14.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesHill walks the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

The model was scouted by Jim Jordan, an agent for White Cross Management, according to Business of Fashion. At 15, Hill left high school and earned her GED one year later.

Born in Illinois but raised in Colorado, the model was cast in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for the first time in 2014 and signed on to be an Angel the following year.

See all 13 Angels in the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which airs Sunday, December 2, at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. Find out more about how to watch the show here.

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