A Day in the Life of Victoria's Secret Model Adut Akech
Adut Akech has a long history with lingerie giant Victoria's Secret: she was one of the original models to be enlisted in the VS Collective, a platform that promotes inclusivity tied to the brand's relaunch. Now, the 24-year-old South Sudanese-Australian model, who's a staple on luxury runways and Vogue covers, stars in Victoria's Secret's 2024 Valentine's Day campaign. Akech was particularly inspired by the concept behind the shoot, which celebrates everyone's unique interpretation of love. "Throughout my experience shooting the new collection, going from sexy looks to totally silly moments, I was reminded to celebrate all the different ways we define love," she tells POPSUGAR.
For her favorite lingerie look, Akech slipped into four pieces from the brand's Very Sexy collection: the Shine Strap Push-Up Bra ($52, originally $70), the Shine Strap Lace Garter Belt ($45), the Shine Strap Thong Panty ($25), and the Crystal Logo Thigh Highs ($30), though she thinks the VS Archives Rosette Corset Top ($200) embodies the classic aesthetic of the holiday most appropriately. "It features handcrafted satin rosettes that have been intricately assembled as a heart," she explains. "It screams Valentine's Day to me because it's romantic, it stands out, and it feels like one of a kind."
Meanwhile, she plans to practice plenty of self-love in 2024 by making herself feel cozy and refreshed with skin-care goodies and comfortable clothing, both of which she integrates into her regular routine. She starts and ends her day by applying different toners, serums, and moisturizers — and reaches for casual loungewear when she's off duty.
Ahead, Akech walks us through her schedule on the day she brought the Victoria's Secret Valentine's Day campaign to life, taking the time to reflect on all the rewarding moments.
8:30 a.m.: Wake-Up and Self-Care
Akech prioritizes her skin-care routine first thing in the morning, referring to it as her nonnegotiable me time. As she explains, "I have a few different toners, serums, and moisturizers that I love, but when I'm traveling for a shoot, I do my best to simplify."
10 a.m.: Fuel
Akech prepares for a shoot day both mentally and physically by checking in with her mom to chat about the day ahead and then taking time for a good meal to sustain her energy. She notes that a day of shooting with Victoria's Secret is always high-energy with lots of laughs. "I have been on a major smoothie kick at home and grab one before heading over to set," she says.
10:30 a.m.: Commute
Akech has lived in New York for years, so she knows to anticipate plenty of travel time with potential delays. "I like to arrive on set a few minutes before call time for ample moments to say hello to my VS family," she says. "My excited nerves always kick in when I get in the car to head to set."
11:30 a.m.: Call Time
Once she's settled, Akech gets started on glam. For the VS Valentine's Day campaign, she works with hairstylist Lucas Wilson and makeup artist Fara Homidi. She begins to hone in on the mission of the campaign in an effort to adjust her mindset. "I was really inspired by this Valentine's Day concept of 'What is love?' and started to get into the right fun, sexy mindset before stepping on set," she says. "I grabbed a quick bite and then it was time to shoot."
1:30 p.m.: Shoot Time
The outfit changes for the VS Valentine's Day campaign are a reminder that Valentine's Day can be celebrated in many different ways. From sexy head-to-toe red looks to more colorful sets that veer more playful, each one exudes personality. "I loved getting to bring my full self to set and even had some time to be silly when we created these really fun photo strips!" Akech says.
6 p.m.: Wrap and Post-Shoot
Akech winds down after a shoot by grabbing dinner. "I reconnected with local friends. It felt like the Galentine's end to a V-Day-themed day, and I couldn't have asked for it to be any different," she says.
11 p.m.: Bedtime
Akech brings her day full circle by incorporating beauty rituals into her schedule before turning off the lights and heading to bed.