Most models do not lead the life the public envisions for them. Instead of drinking Champagne, shooting in the Caribbean and walking for Prada, the majority spend their time working off their debt to their agencies, shivering in studios and being treated as expendable deaf mutes by casting people on go-sees.
But there are exceptions: good commercial girls, the smiley ones you see in catalogues but never in editorial, can easily pull in six figures each year and, of course, there are those girls fashion followers all know who manage to get great editorial and prestigious ad campaigns.
Hovering above all of these are the chosen few who manage to snag contracts that pay millions for a few week's work a year to ensure exclusivity.
The mother lode is not a Milanese fashion house or a cosmetics giant, but the bordering on tacky lingerie powerhouse that is Victoria's Secret. Every few years they announce the signing of a clutch of new Angels, girls who have been groomed to act as celebrity spokesmodels for the brand.
"We don't subscribe to that nameless, faceless model routine," said Edward Razek, Victoria's Secret Chief Marketing officer in a 2007 Forbes interview. He's not exaggerating: Angels become global household names, most of whom are recognisable by theri first names alone: Gisele, Helena, Karolina, Adriana, Tyra, Laetitia. Heidi Klum is the most long-standing - she's been with the company since 1999, but this year Victoria's Secret have a problem.
Of the seven angels who started the year, the most recent appointment still working as an Angel is Miranda Kerr who was signed in 2005, and three of them have become pregnant, including Karoline Kurkova who has stepped down.
Time for a fresh batch of Angels: Victoria's Secret announced the appointment of five more today: Emanuela de Paula, Lindsay Ellingson, Candice Swanepoel, Chanel Iman & Britain's first Angel,Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (pictured above & below), currently Model of the Year at the 2009 British Elle Style Awards. Looking at the line up, I'd guess that Rosie is being drafted to fill in the 'classy looking girl' slot. (Victoria's Secret being known for having a diverse line up that runs the gamut from sought after editorial girls (Doutzen) to sexy American cheerleader type (Marissa Miller).)
Who cares that you have to wear outfits of gob smacking tackyness when you've just signed what is reasonably assumed to be a multi-million, multi year contract?
(news via The Cut)