Times Square turned a little more chaotic (and a lot more pink) than usual on Tuesday morning when the new class of Victoria's Secret Angels hit up "Good Morning America" to debut the Body by Victoria campaign — the first that the new class all appear in together. In April, the lingerie giant announced it would be adding 10 new women to its roster of contract models, joining the likes of Behati Prinsloo, Lily Aldridge, Candice Swanepoel, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. Just as the models who have held this coveted title before them have become bonafide celebrities, it's safe to say that the lives of the newbies — who hail from all different parts of the world — have not been the same since they earned their wings.
Sara Sampaio, the 21-year-old beauty from Portugal, says that aside from her social media numbers making a huge jump since she got the gig, the biggest change is how frequently she gets recognized in the streets. "It almost turns you into a 'brand' — people know who you are and will associate your name with your face, which gives you a chance to have a voice," she explains.
This newfound celebrity has affected the other new Angels similarly. "You get, like, paparazzi-ed, you’re really out there," says Jac Jagaciak. "But you can use the fame you’re getting for so many things — not only promoting yourself, but charities [you care about] or helping friends who are putting projects out."
Martha Hunt, who is probably equally famous for her status as Taylor Swift's bestie, doesn't mind the extra attention, but every so often a fan can go too far. "I usually give a picture, except an airplane bathroom one time which was not the best spot," she says. "There’s never good lighting on a plane, c’mon!"
The job security that comes with a Victoria's Secret contract is something that many of the new Angels appreciate, especially those who lived internationally and often felt that they didn't have a home base. "This is for sure like a full-time job; it feels like I was just hired by a company and I’m literally like going to the office," says Jagaciak, who was previously known for her high fashion work and walking the top tier shows in every city during Fashion Month. "It’s more stable for me, which I love — I finally live here full-time and that’s a big change. I feel very settled." With swim trips, photo shoots and Angel appearances occurring so frequently, Hunt explains that Victoria's Secret takes priority in the models' scheduling, meaning less work and travel for other, less steady gigs.
Being that the crew of new Angels is so large and multicultural, the models say they find strength and motivation from one another — although, like every other woman on the planet, they still have their insecurities. "I work with these girls and I’m like, ‘OK, I need to go to the gym! I need to step up my game,'" Sampaio says. Hunt agrees: "There’s always somebody that I look up to that sets an example... In the beginning, I remember seeing Candice and thinking, 'OK, I’ve gotta get it together.'"
When asked if earning their wings (and being considered their generation's group of supermodels) added extra pressure to their day-to-day careers, the answer was a resounding yes — but that doesn't mean it's a negative. "I think feeling the pressure is a good thing; the moment we stop feeling it, there’s a problem," Hunt says.
"I've learned from this business to never compare yourself to anybody because you’re not going to survive," says Elsa Hosk, who was previously the face of Victoria's Secret Pink. "You have to be proud of who you are and embrace it."
See each Angel in her Body by Victoria campaign image in the gallery below.