The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is one of the most sought-after gigs in the modeling business.
But the lingerie brand's audition process is "terrifying," even for the most seasoned models, creative director Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou told Vogue.
The models are cast provisionally by one director, but they still have to face a gauntlet:
"The final decision is made by the whole team, sitting at this long table in a room with really harsh lighting and they have to walk towards us and away from us," Neophitou-Apostolou told Vogue. "They all have to do it—even the contracted girls—and it's incredibly nerve-wracking for them."
Neophitou also explained why some beautiful women don't make the cut.
"It's really like being an Olympian—they have to be in peak condition," she told Vogue. "It's not about being thin or anything like that—it's about being ready to perform and be the best you can be in that moment."
Victoria's Secret executives rely on one specific quality to sell underwear, Richard Habberley at DNA Model Management told Women's Wear Daily last year.
“The merchants drive the decisions on the Angels. They [Victoria’s Secret] try the girls out, and certain girls sell product. They’re women that appeal to other women. And they’re special because they never appear in men’s magazines. Once you start to do that, they become threatening [to potential female customers],” said Habberley.
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