Gisele. Heidi. Doutzen. These women weren't always recognizable by their first names alone, but after years of modeling for Victoria's Secret (and walking for the brand's annual fashion show) they've achieved bona fide celebrity and their careers have soared. Everyone has to start somewhere, and before your favorite model was a household name, she was a runway rookie, hoping to stand out among intense competition at one of the industry's most fierce castings.
This year, 10 new girls from all over the globe made their debuts at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (which airs on CBS on Dec. 9) and we caught up with them all backstage as they were prepping for the biggest modeling gig of their careers thus far. Luckily, the rookies all agree that the veteran models have taken them under their wings and welcomed them into the growing, happy Victoria's Secret family. Between the nerves, giddy excitement and some selfies, we got to know (and love) them all, so we suggest keep your eye out for these ladies — one or two are certainly destined for mega modeling fame.
How she got cast: "My agent told me that the brand wanted to see me and I couldn't believe it. He caught my face — he took a picture. I was almost crying! I've been modeling for less than one year, so it's amazing for me to be here."
Angel she most admires: "I love Alessandra Ambrosio. She's been doing this for so many years, and she's basically my inspiration for the show."
Fun fact: "I love traveling — I've done it since I was really little and now I get to do it for my job, which is great!"
How she got cast: "My agency sent me, and I went there and did Samba! I was very excited and very happy. The very same day, they said, 'Yes, we want you in the show.' I've done the catalog for them before, too."
Angel she most admires: "I love Adriana Lima. She's amazing — her energy, she's perfect. The other one is Naomi Campbell, I love her legs!"
Fun fact: "I love dance, and I do it in my house alone sometimes — enough that I'll see myself in the mirror and say, 'What am I doing?'"
How she got cast: "Up until this point I've been doing high fashion, and now that I get to walk Victoria's Secret, I'm hoping to work more commercially."
Angel she most admires: "I give a standing ovation to Adriana Lima for walking the show for 14 years — that's unbelievable!"
Fun fact: "I make up my own lyrics to every song. Even though I know the real words, I still don't sing them."
Nationality: Moroccan and Egyptian
How she got cast: "When I heard I had the casting I was so nervous — my heart was sinking, I was dying — but I knew I had to really be myself and not to focus too much or try acting like someone else. Two days later my agency told me I was booked for the show!"
Angel she most admires: "They're all so normal — they're so down to earth and talking to you, telling you it's all going to be fine. They even told me stories about their first times. I like Doutzen, she's from Holland like me and her career is super amazing."
Fun fact: "I love to dance! I have a couple of dance videos on YouTube..."
How she got cast: "My agent told me I had a casting for the show, and she told me, 'Be confident, relax, show how you're beautiful inside and outside!' It's like a big magic world backstage and onstage!"
Angel she most admires: "I love Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. They're very beautiful girls, and their attitude, their character — everything's so amazing, that's why they're Angels!"
Fun fact: "I'm a simple girl who grew up in a normal village in Russia, but I do think I'm a talented girl — can I say that? I can sing, I can dance...if you want, just ask me!"
Fun fact: "My English still isn't very good. Sorry!"
How she got cast: "My agency told me I had a request to come to the casting, so I went — after working out, of course! There were 300 girls doing the first casting, so I was like, 'OK, that's a little chance.' We were all waiting with the girls in lingerie before we walked. When I heard I got confirmed, it was pretty amazing. I stopped working for a year to finish school, so now I am coming back to model full-time."
Angel she most admires:"All of the Angels! I don't have a favorite."
Fun fact: "I really like cooking -- healthy muffins and banana bread, things like that."
Nationality: United Kingdom
How she got cast: "I've been shooting with them a little bit so I knew most of the team, but the show is a totally different casting process — they don't necessarily use every girl they shoot with. But luckily I got it!"
Angel she most admires: "Candice is amazing, she's one of the girls that I look up to most in the business. I did feel like the little baby girl coming in, but it's been so nice — like having older sisters hanging out with you. I watch them a lot; I sit and see how they move and take everything in. I kind of follow that."
Fun fact: "I have a music project coming out. It's still kind of secret... well, not anymore."
How she got cast: "Since I signed with IMG, their goal for me has always been Victoria's Secret; they've been grooming me for it. When I turned 18 and the opportunity came around, they were like, 'You're obviously going to the casting!' It's a pretty empowering feeling to be here with everyone, and to be like their equal."
Angel she most admires: "I really love Adriana Lima and Gisele Bundchen. They're like Victoria's Secret stars, the ideal Angels."
Fun fact:"I'm left handed, I snowboard and I love to draw. Those are really weird things."
How she got cast: "In the very beginning of my modeling career, I told my agency that if there's one thing I want to do at least once in my life, it's the Victoria's Secret show. And what's funny is that one month before I was confirmed for the show I said to my booker, 'Yeah I know I have the casting, but I'm no Karlie Kloss!' But I'm doing it! So you can imagine how excited I am."
Angel she most admires: "When I discovered Victoria's Secret it wasn't just one girl whom I admired, it was like a big family — I was more looking at the whole team. Everyone is so nice, I don't feel new at all."
Fun fact: "I love dancing alone in my room when I'm kind of bored. I put on some music from YouTube and dance like crazy!"
Disclosure: Victoria's Secret paid for my travel and accommodation in London to cover its annual fashion show.