Victoria’s Secret and the dreams of CT models


The morning after the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was broadcast on CBS, social media was abuzz as it was one of the top trending topics of the day.

In fact, even before the show was broadcast, the fashionably inclined and fashionably ambition were talking about the show.

Some Connecticut models were tuned in on Monday (or caught it On-Demand the next day) as this was their “must-see” television for the year.

Juliette Johnson, a local model from Waterbury, Conn., said, “VS is my fashion fantasy because of the way the models are portrayed as both sexy and classy. The models become major fashion icons and that’s a model’s fantasy all on its own.”

Valentina Ramirez, a model from Cheshire, Conn. said, “Victoria’s Secret has been my fashion fantasy for a very long time. Ever since I got an interest in the fashion world, it was something I watched for the creative aspect of it. When I later got into modeling, I began to watch the show more closely to not only watch all the inspiring models but to also watch how each individually walked and see if I could even learn tips and tricks from them. Having it be my fashion fantasy only refers to how glamorous it would be able to get to that level of modeling where basically everyone knows who you are all around the world. In addition, you get to be the face of a brand which ideally is what every model aspires to achieve.”

Tricia Aquilar, another state model from Woodbury, Conn. said, “Being an Angel would be any woman’s dream come true. Sadly, I’m not tall enough to be an Angel, but it is my wish to attend the show someday.”

“The VS brand is like no other. While not everyone fits into their sizes or styles, I would say the same thing about many things in life. Their fashions are beautiful. For many women, knowing they have something sexy or beautiful on under their clothing, will make them feel better about their own self image and perhaps put a little extra swing in their step. I have tried other brands but have never been as happy, or felt as good about myself, as I have been with VS,” said Aquilar.

Ashley Scott, an aspiring model from Waterbury, is a little more on the fence about Victoria’s Secret. “I think Victoria’s Secret great, but it’s not my fashion fantasy, per se.” However, she said, “I love their cute panties & bras, and the fashion show is fun to watch. But it’s not my fashion fantasy.”

As a model herself, Johnson said, “(The VS models) truly inspire me to be someone’s role model. I’ve looked up to (the Angels) for years, and I would love for young girls to look up to me one day and instead of saying ‘I wish I looked like that,’ they say ‘I can look like that’ and ‘I can do what she’s doing.’”

“Watching the show inspires me as a model because it is something that in the future could be a possibility,” said Ramirez. “It is also inspiring and motivating because as a model i know how hard all of those girls have worked to get there. Therefore, it gives me a great deal of motivation to keep working out and working hard on getting jobs and getting signed with a bigger agency to be able to reach that success.”

“It inspires me to keep in shape and to have a fun attitude,” said Aquilar.

Although the fashion show isn’t her fashion fantasy, Scott said, the VS show “inspires me as a model to want to be as confident as those Angels. Although I am a firm believer in that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes– and I feel as Victoria’s Secret isn’t quite as diverse as other brands that inspire me.”

“I believe a lot of models want to be as confident as (the VS models) are. It takes a lot of confidence to be able to do what they do,” said Johnson. “Plus, can you even imagine the discounts you’d get shopping there as an Angel?”

“I believe that many models aspire to be Angels because being a part of the Victoria’s Secret brand gives you a sense of recognition,” said Ramirez. “Not only do you get the success of having people know who you are but you also get to work with the best of the best in the business. Many of the Angels are able to get other contracts with top designers which is really what every model wants.”

Scott said, “Models aspire to be an Angel because it’s a great company to model for. The models are loved by so many, and the products are wonderful. It’s great publicity for sure, I can’t see why any model would turn down the opportunity to have Victoria’s Secret on their resume.”

If she herself had a chance to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel, Johnson said, “I can’t put it into any other words than ‘It would be a dream come true.’ I mean I have a pretty large tattoo now, but you never know what’s the next new thing in this industry. Fingers crossed.”

“If someday I was able to reach the potential to become part of this brand and take the place of one of the Angels I think I would be very satisfied with what I have accomplished,” said Ramirez. “I would be very excited to be part of such a well-known brand and be accepted for the person I am.”

“I think it would be a miracle if a model like me were to be an Angel,” said Scott. “I know they have strict requirements that I do not meet, but if I could be a VS Angel and use that power to inspire women to love themselves as they are, that would be a beautiful thing.”

However, for some models, Victoria’s Secret is not the Holy Grail of modeling.

Chelsea Renaldi, a model out of Waterbury, Conn. said, “Victoria’s Secret is a billion dollar corporation built on the premise that you can only be an Angel if your bra size is between 32A and 38DD. Their employees regularly encourage women outside these parameters to wear bras that don’t fit or even up sell unnecessary bra accessories to make them fit. Victoria’s Secret is the opposite of body positivity… Instead of a disgustingly lavish affair like the VS fashion show, maybe they could pour some of those billions into designing bras to fit every woman.”