Exclusive: Alessandra Ambrosio Tells the Story of Her First VS Fashion Show

by Amanda Montell

Picture this: You're 19 years old, an up-and-coming model, bursting with all the hopeful uncertainty that comes with youth, when suddenly a miracle occurs—you've been cast in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Within a matter of weeks, you're on a supersonic jet to France, sitting next to Adriana Lima, catapulting at Mach-speed toward the rest of your life.

Sixteen years ago, this was Alessandra Ambrosio. "I was really young, so naïve," she tells me, as we sit across from one another at a Victoria's Secret boutique in West Hollywood. "It was amazing." At the time, Ambrosio had no idea that she would grow to become one of the most recognised supermodels in the world, known everywhere for her seductive gaze, toned physique, and enigmatic allure, signature to so many Brazilian models.

This year, Ambrosio walked in the Victoria's Secret Fashion show for the sixteenth year in a row. She promises it never gets old. Her eyes sparkle as she recalls her adventures with the iconic yearly event. We wanted a deeper understanding of that magic Ambrosio and her fellow angels feel every year. So, we got Ambrosio to take us back, 16 years ago, to her very first show. In her own words, she told us the tale of her start as a VS angel and the wild evolution she's gone through since. Keep scrolling to read her story.


Photos: KMazur/Getty and Francois G. Durand/Getty

This interview has been edited for tone and clarity.

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