What Victoria's Secret's Top Models Are Up To in 2023
After its inception in 1995, the yearly Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, in which models paraded down a catwalk in the brand's avant-garde lingerie, quickly transformed into one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. The annual runway spectacular — which included musical performances by the year's hottest acts, from Phil Collins and Destiny's Child to Bruno Mars and The Weeknd — was infamously discontinued in 2019 after the company found itself in a slew of controversies.
As of 2023, though, the show is officially returning after a four-year hiatus, though few details have emerged about what its comeback will look like. "As we've previously shared, our new brand projection and mission will continue to be our guiding principle," a Victoria's Secret spokesperson told POPSUGAR in March. "This will lead us into new spaces like reclaiming one of our best marketing and entertainment properties to date and turning it on its head to reflect who we are today. We're excited to share more later this year."
The fashion show and brand definitely have a difficult legacy to contend with. In 2022, Hulu's three-part docuseries "Victoria's Secret: Angels and Demons" dug deep into the rise and eventual fall from grace of the legendary lingerie behemoth due to its decidedly consistent lack of diversity, its promotion of unattainable beauty standards, and former CEO of L Brands (Victoria's Secret & Co.'s former parent company) Les Wexner's sketchy ties to Jeffrey Epstein.
Despite its many, many pitfalls, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (VSFS) put lots of models on the map. Some models walked shows here and there, but others signed contracts with the brand, making them official Victoria's Secret "Angels." Many VS models have gone on to become some of the biggest names in fashion.
As we prepare for the fashion show's return to the airwaves, you may be wondering how the top former VS models feel about the brand in 2023. While most have stayed mum on the brand's many controversies, others have stood up and acknowledged that it was, indeed, time for a reckoning. Some have even come out in defense of the show.
Ahead, take a look back at all the high-profile models who frequented the runway through the years, explore where they are now, and what, if anything, they've said about Victoria's Secret's legacy.
Heidi Klum Then
Heidi Klum debuted as a Victoria's Secret Angel in 1999 when she was 26. The trailblazing supermodel was the first model of German descent to be named a Victoria's Secret Angel. Klum bowed out of Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows in 2010 after walking in 11 shows.
Heidi Klum Now
The 49-year-old media personality has since expanded her career, venturing into hosting and producing various shows like "Project Runaway" and "America's Got Talent." Klum also started a family with her ex-husband Seal and is a mother of four children: Leni, born in 2004; Henry, born in 2005; Johan, born in 2006; and Lou, born in 2009.
Klum weighed in on Victoria's Secret shutting down its annual fashion show in July 2021. "About time, is all I can say. About time. As a model, you go there, you are happy to have a job. When you are not the company, you do what you are told. But finally, looking at this now, I'm like, about time," she told "The Sunday Project" (via Us Weekly) adding: "You know, because things do need to change. They have been changing. It's been taking too long."
More recently, in April 2022, Klum joined Tyra Banks, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Candice Swanepoel for one of Kim Kardashian's Skims shapewear campaigns.
Tyra Banks Then
Tyra Banks graced the Victoria's Secret runway starting in 1997 when she was 24 years old and became the brand's first Black contract model. She walked in nine consecutive shows until 2005.
Tyra Banks Now
The 49-year-old model has branched out into various entertainment roles since her stint with VS, dabbling in acting, hosting, producing, and writing. Debuting on screen in the popular 1993 sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," Banks went on to appear in several projects, including "Life-Size" and "Coyote Ugly." The credit for creating "America's Next Top Model," one of the longest-running reality-TV series, also goes to Banks. Drawing inspiration from her real-life modeling experience, Banks wrote a YA novel titled "Modelland" in 2010.
Banks expressed her desire to see Victoria's Secret continue its efforts to diversify its models in a January 2021 Instagram. "First is hard. First is lonely. But first is necessary," Banks shared in the post. "First is crucial so that a door can be opened for others to fit through. Within a 10 year span starting in 1995, I was the first Black @VictoriasSecret contract model ever. The first Black Victoria's Secret cover model. The first Black VS model to do so many other groundbreaking things with the brand — as well as other brands."
She continued: "But after a first, must come a flow of more. A flow of different. A flow of unique. A flow so strong, a flow of so many that we LOSE COUNT. I retired from the runway 16 years ago — and I'm proud that in my lifetime, I'm witnessing a beauty revolution. To the new collective of badass ROLE models, I may have cracked that door open, but y'all are charging through. Keep on keepin' on until we all LOSE COUNT of how many are breaking through behind you."
Gisele Bündchen Then
From 2000 to 2006, Gisele Bündchen strutted down seven consecutive VSFS runways. She was just 19 years old when she signed her contract.
Gisele Bündchen Now
Bündchen retired from modeling altogether after walking at São Paulo Fashion Week in 2015. "Automatically, my body tells me if what I do is worth it, and it asked to stop. I respect my body. It's a privilege to be able to stop [runway work]," she told the Folha de São Paulo newspaper following her decision to walk away from modeling. She added, "I don't see how to continue (modeling on the catwalk) . . . and stopping will leave room for other projects I have for myself."
Bündchen, who frequented the top spot in several year-round rankings as the world's highest-paid fashion model, walked down the aisle with American football quarterback Tom Brady in 2009. The couple welcomed their son, Benjamin, in 2009, followed by a daughter, Vivian, in 2012, but announced their divorce in October 2022.
In 2018, the now-42-year-old Brazilian model and philanthropist released her memoir, "Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life," in which she opened up about how walking the VSFS runway really made her feel. "For the first five years, I felt comfortable modeling in lingerie, but as time went on, I felt less and less at ease being photographed walking the runway wearing just a bikini or a thong," she wrote, per The Independent. "Give me a tail, a cape, wings — please, anything to cover me up a little!"
In May 2022, Bündchen told British Vogue, "I always made sure that my back was covered because it just made me uncomfortable walking on a runway with my butt hanging out, from looking from down up." The experience wasn't all bad, however. "I always had fun on the shows. It was always like a production. There was always someone singing. There was always something happening. It was a fun experience."
Karlie Kloss Then
Karlie Kloss walked five VSFS runways from 2011, when she was 19, until 2017 (although she was only contractually an Angel from 2013 to 2015).
Karlie Kloss Now
Kloss enrolled at New York University to finish her degree after ending her contract with VS in 2015. Kloss later founded a free coding campaign, Kode With Klossy, to help train young girls between the ages of 13 and 18 in technology-driven professions. She also took on the role of host for the popular reality series "Project Runaway" in 2019.
Initial reports suggested Kloss stepped away from VS due to schedule conflicts, however, the model later revealed the decision was due, in part, to the unrealistic beauty standards Victoria's Secret had set for young girls.
"The reason I decided to stop working with Victoria's Secret was 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 told British Vogue in July 2019. "I think that was a pivotal moment in me stepping into my power as a feminist, being able to make my own choices and my own narrative, whether through the companies I choose to work with, or through the image I put out to the world."
Selita Ebanks Then
Selita Ebanks took on the title of Angel in 2005 at the age of 22 and walked in six shows, her last being in 2010.
Selita Ebanks Now
Ebanks has modeled for numerous high-end fashion brands, such as Ralph Lauren and Neiman Marcus. In addition, the Caymanian supermodel launched her swimwear line, SASS (an acronym for "Selita's accessories, shoes, and swimwear") at BET's Rip the Runway in 2012. Ebanks has also appeared on the small screen with titles such as "Real Husbands of Hollywood" and "Catfish: The TV Show."
In October 2021, Ebanks opened up about the harsh reality behind the glitz and glam of the VS Fashion Show. "Modeling for Victoria's Secret, there's a code you have to follow," Ebanks revealed on "E! True Hollywood Story," according to E! News. "There is expectation to maintain the size, and unfortunately, we are going against Mother Nature. It is not something that's natural, it is not something that should happen. It's tough."
Naomi Campbell Then
Naomi Campbell was never officially a VS Angel, with Campbell telling The Sun (via People) that the brand "could not afford me." Still, the model graced the VSFS runway with her presence at six shows from 1996 to 2005.
Naomi Campbell Now
Campbell was among the "big five" supermodels of the '90s. Throughout her modeling career, which spans over 35 years, Campbell has graced the covers of more than 500 magazines. In fact, she became the first Black woman to grace the cover of Time magazine.
The 52-year-old model has successfully expanded into other fields of entertainment as well, including acting and singing. Her well-received small- and big-screen credits include "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Empire," "I Feel Pretty," and many more. The multihyphenate artist also released a studio album in 1994, "Baby Woman." From Michael Jackson's "In the Closet" to Madonna's "Erotica" and Beyoncé's "Brown Skin Girl," Campbell has appeared in a dozen music videos over the years.
In May 2021, Campbell welcomed a baby girl into the world. She's since shared rare glimpses of her daughter through social media. In a June 2022 Instagram post, Campbell shared her baby's first steps in adorable pictures.
Adriana Lima Then
Adriana Lima was 18 when she joined the lingerie brand as one of its contract models. To this day, the Brazilian model remains the longest-running VS Angel, having collaborated with the brand from 1999 to 2018 in a whopping 18 shows. Given her ubersuccessful modeling career, Lima is a staple among the top-earning-models list.
Adriana Lima Now
Lima has a couple of acting credits, including "Ugly Betty" and "Ocean's 8." She also served as an executive producer and host of the Lifetime reality series "American Beauty Star," which ran for two seasons. Lima tied the knot with former Serbian basketball player Marko Jarić in 2009. Though the pair split up in 2016, they share two daughters: Valentina, born in 2009, and Sienna, who arrived in 2013. She welcomed her third child, a son named Cyan Lima Lemmers, in 2022, and shares him with boyfriend Andre Lemmers.
The former VS Angel has previously opened up about her emotional last runway walk with the brand. "I knew for a year [beforehand] that it would be my last walk, and I was emotional all year about it, because I hold the brand in my heart," she told Fashion Week Daily in March 2019. "I truly loved the work we've done together. I was trying my best not to cry, but I just broke down in tears. I loved walking the runway. It was always the highlight of my life. Knowing that it was my last time wasn't easy to take in. It was very emotional. During the rehearsal, they had a surprise for me that I didn't know about. I didn't know they were going to do a video and segment dedicated to me. When I saw that, I broke down in tears. I had no clue. I felt very appreciated and loved by everyone. It was a wonderful feeling. I broke down in tears because I was sad, but also because of the love expressed. It's not just the brand but the girls, my dressers, the makeup artists."
Alessandra Ambrosio Then
Alessandra Ambrosio ruled the runway as a VS Angel for 13 long years before she hung up her wings in 2017. She began her modeling stint for the lingerie giant at 23 years old in 2004.
Alessandra Ambrosio Now
Following her 17th and last show for the lingerie company, Ambrosio shared a sweet post on her Instagram page, reminiscing about the fond memories of her tenure. "Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have been working for this amazing brand that inspires me and women all over the world," she wrote. "In my wildest dreams I would have never imagined doing 17 Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows. . . . I could not have done this without all the love and support from my fans. It gives me great pride to be part the Victoria's Secret movement! I will always be cheering for you! Love you forever."
Now, the Brazilian American model has two children, whom she shares with her ex-fiancé Jamie Mazur — Anja, who was born in 2008, and Noah, born in 2012. In March 2019, Ambrosio put her fashion expertise to use by launching beachwear line Gal Floripa, started in joint efforts with childhood friend Gisele Cória and sister Aline Ambrosio.
Miranda Kerr Then
Miranda Kerr rose to prominence modeling for VS from 2007 to 2013, having participated in six shows.
Miranda Kerr Now
The supermodel married English actor Orlando Bloom in 2010 after dating for three years. In 2011, they welcomed a son named Flynn. However, the couple went their separate ways in 2013 following a divorce. Kerr announced her engagement with Snapchat CEO and cofounder Evan Spiegel in 2016, and the two exchanged marital vows a year later in 2017. The married couple welcomed a son named Hart in 2018 and another son named Myles in 2019.
Kerr, who launched her organic skin-care line, Kora Organics, in 2009, also authored two self-help books — 2011's "Treasure Yourself" and its follow-up, "Empower Yourself" in 2013.
Martha Hunt Then
Martha Hunt walked six VS shows from 2013 to 2018.
Martha Hunt Now
Apart from her successful modeling work, the 34-year-old has also been the face and spokesmodel for Free People since 2013, which is where she met her photographer fiancé, Jason McDonald. The pair got engaged in January 2020 and announced the birth of their daughter, Emery, on Nov. 6, 2021, news Hunt shared on her Instagram. Hunt also appeared alongside Kloss as "Homeslice" in Taylor Swift's chill-inducing music video for "Bad Blood" in 2015.
Chanel Iman Then
Chanel Iman was given her VS Angel wings in 2010 at the age of 20. She walked in three VS shows before bidding farewell to the brand in 2012.
Chanel Iman Now
Iman has appeared in a couple of movies, including 2015's "Dope" and 2017's "Mad Families," as well as many celebrated music videos from mainstream artists, such as Beyoncé's "Yonce," Usher's "Dive," and The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face." In 2010, the now-32-year-old supermodel started her own clothing boutique, The Red Bag, in Culver City, CA, with her mother.
Iman and her ex-husband, New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard, welcomed a daughter named Cali in 2018 and another little girl named Cassie in 2019.
Izabel Goulart Then
Izabel Goulart became an Angel in 2005 when she was 21 years old and walked her 12th and final show in 2016.
Izabel Goulart Now
Goulart was among People magazine's annual 100 Most Beautiful People in the World in 2017. She has also made guest appearances on sitcoms "Two and a Half Men" and "Entourage." In July 2018, the 38-year-old supermodel announced her engagement with German soccer player Kevin Trapp.
Liu Wen Then
Liu Wen walked her first VSFS runway in 2009 when she was 21 years old. Hailing from Yongzhou, Hunan, China, she was the first East Asian model ever to walk the VSFS runway. Liu would go on to walk in seven VS Fashion Shows, her last being VS's final show in 2018.
Liu Wen Now
Liu is a model with many firsts. Besides being the first East Asian model to walk the VSFS runway, she was also the first Asian model ever to make Forbes's annual highest-paid-models list, doing so in 2017. As of 2023, Liu remains focused on her modeling career, gracing the December 2022 cover of Vogue China.
Lily Aldridge Then
Lily Aldridge walked her first VS Fashion Show in 2009. She walked in nine consecutive shows before parting ways with the brand after the 2017 show.
Lily Aldridge Now
Aldridge married Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill in 2011. The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Dixie, on June 21, 2012. In 2018, the supermodel shared that she and her rock-star husband were expecting their second baby. Their son, Winston, was born in February 2019.
Aldridge has appeared in various music videos over the years, such as Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood," Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff," and Kings of Leon's "Temple" and "Use Somebody." The now-37-year-old philanthropist also launched a sustainable fragrance line, Lily Aldridge Parfums, in 2019.
Lais Ribeiro Then
Lais Ribeiro started walking the VS runway in 2010 when she was 20. She was officially dubbed an Angel in 2015, and in 2017, she was tapped to wear the brand's luxurious diamond-encrusted Champagne Nights Fantasy Bra. VS's final show, in 2018, was Ribeiro's ninth.
Lais Ribeiro Now
The 32-year-old has a son named Alexander who she welcomed in 2008. The mother-son duo are occasionally spotted enjoying quality time on Ribeiro's Instagram.
To mark her son's 10th birthday, Ribeiro shared an adorable picture where she is carrying Alexander on piggyback, with the caption reading: "10 years old today 😭 they grow up so fast! Happy birthday to the most happy, sensitive and pure spirit person that I know ( and it's not just because he's my son 😜) you always bring light to whatever situation you are in. Love you so much paizinho feliz aniversário."
Ribeiro has gotten two meaningful tattoos that signify her strong bond with her son over the years. "Don't know if you guys know and I was never open about it but my son was diagnosed with autism 5 years ago," she shared in a July 2018 Instagram post, revealing her first tattoo is Alexander's name on the back of her neck and her second is an ode to kids with disabilities. "I decided to do the symbol of autism . . . as a tattoo and it's beautiful and perfect just the way I wanted to be."
Ribeiro has continued to model over the years, appearing in Victoria's Secret's spring campaign with For Love & Lemons, which debuted in March 2022. Ribeiro and NBA player Joakim Noah tied the knot on July 13, 2022, in a romantic beach wedding in Trancoso, Brazil, after being together for nearly four years.
Jasmine Tookes Then
Jasmine Tookes walked her first VS Fashion Show in 2012 when she was 21 and became an official Angel in 2015. She wore the coveted $3 million Fantasy Bra a year later. Tookes walked her seventh and final VS show in 2018.
Jasmine Tookes Now
The 32-year-old California native announced her engagement with longtime boyfriend Juan David Borrero, a Snapchat exec, on her Instagram on Sept. 24, 2020, alongside a shot of her gorgeous diamond ring.
In a September 2020 interview with Vogue, Tookes shared details from Borrero's dreamy proposal, telling the outlet he took her on a surprise getaway "to the most beautiful, otherworldly-like secluded place in the middle of the desert rocks in Utah. It was just us." She added: "Shortly after that, he escorted me to a lookout above where we were sitting and on the ground was a bunch of rocks which spelled out WYMM? At first glance, I didn't know what this meant, but it immediately dawned on me that it meant 'Will you marry me?'"
The adorable couple walked down the aisle a year later, on Sept. 4, 2021, in Quito, Ecuador. They welcomed their first child, a daughter named Mia, on Feb. 3, 2023.
Taylor Hill Then
Taylor Hill debuted on the VS runway when she was just 18 and wowed the audience with her catwalk at five consecutive shows until the final VS show in 2018.
Taylor Hill Now
The 27-year-old model has moved on to walk the runway for high-profile fashion houses such as Versace, Ralph Lauren, and Chanel. Hill, who announced her engagement to British entrepreneur Daniel Fryer in June 2021, has also shown off her acting chops in movies such as "The Broken Hearts Gallery," "Good on Paper," and "Dating and New York."
Sui He Then
Though never an official contract Angel, Sui He was a Victoria's Secret runway staple. Hailing from Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China, she modeled for the brand in eight consecutive shows, starting at age 22 in 2011.
Sui He Now
In 2011, Sui became the first Asian model to open a Ralph Lauren runway show. Despite her schedule that's jam-packed with high-profile campaigns for renowned brands, Sui's ventured into acting with Chinese-language projects like "Pegasus," "Legend of the Naga Pearls," and "You Are My Sunshine."
Candice Swanepoel Then
Candice Swanepoel became an Angel in 2010 and is still under contract with the brand. She walked in 11 VS shows and was chosen to wear the coveted Fantasy Bra in 2013.
Candice Swanepoel Now
The South African model announced her engagement to Hermann Nicoli in August 2015. The couple share two sons: Anacã, who they welcomed in 2016, and Ariel, who arrived in 2018. The pair split up in November 2018 but continue to coparent their children. In 2021, the 34-year-old businesswoman launched her line of eco-friendly and sustainable swimwear pieces under the brand name Tropic of C.
"I wanted the line to be something I could be proud of from all angles, not just adding to the problem. I want to leave the world a better place, not worse," she told Fashion Week Daily in April 2021 about her brand, which she models herself.
Swanepoel is also actively involved with the nonprofit Mothers2Mothers, which focuses on raising awareness regarding mother-to-child HIV transmission. She joined the charity as its global ambassador in 2019.
Behati Prinsloo Then
Behati Prinsloo walked the VS runway 10 times in total, starting in 2009. She became an official Angel in 2012, and her final show was in 2018.
Behati Prinsloo Now
The Namibian model married Maroon 5 lead vocalist Adam Levine on July 19, 2014. The pair welcomed their first daughter, Dusty Rose, in September 2016, with her younger sister, Gio Grace, arriving in February 2018. Their third child, whose name has not yet been revealed, arrived in March 2023.
In 2018, Prinsloo and Levine were featured in the popular star-studded music video for Maroon 5's "Girls Like You" hit. In 2021, the power couple jointly founded a premium tequila brand, Calirosa. The following year, despite a rumored scandal that erupted when messages Levine sent to another woman emerged, the pair appear to still be going strong, with Prinsloo sharing numerous snaps from her husband's Las Vegas residency in March and April 2023.
Meanwhile, when Victoria's Secret landed in hot water over its consistent lack of diversity, the 34-year-old came under fire when she came to the brand's defense.
"I think Victoria's Secret embodies a lot of things," she told Elle. "There's a lot of talk about everything but I think people need to also understand that it's a show. It's not saying negative or positive about any body type, it's 'this is who they are.' We're strong, we're confident, and I think any woman is a Victoria's Secret woman. But people also need to understand that it's just a show. I don't think that it says that they're not for a certain type of body. It's cool to talk about it and great to open up a conversation and so much good has happened. I think it's a show. Let's just have fun and not make it about anything and just have a great night and celebrate everyone."