You heard it here first. Way back in January 2016, we predicted that Australian model Victoria Lee, from country NSW (Narrandera to be exact) would be our next household name. Well now's her time. Victoria Lee has just walked the prestigious Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, alongside Candice Swanepoel and Bella Hadid and adding to that, David Jones just announced she will be joining their family as their newest ambassador. Working along with Jessica Gomes, Jesinta Franklin and Adam Goodes, Victoria commented, " this is most certainly a career highlight and something I am really proud of” in a press release.
Following in the similar footsteps of Miranda Kerr, who also grew up in a small Australian town and became a Victoria's Secret model in 2007, we predict we'll be seeing a whole lot more of the fresh face within the Australian fashion scene.
Have you ever wondered what the Victoria's Secret casting process is actually like? We sat down with Victoria in the lead up to Shanghai, to discover what the audition process is really like, what she wore to impress the casting directors, and found out her favourite VS moment of all time.
Keep scrolling to meet (and fall in love with) Australia's next household name.
Who What Wear Australia: We’ve been watching your Victoria’s Secret journey so far from afar, describe what it’s been like for you?
Victoria Lee: It’s been a complete whirlwind, but a lot of fun, and it’s a lot of time sweating it out in the gym. But I’m reminding myself to just enjoy the ride and I can’t wait to walk down that runway.
WWW: What makes Victoria’s Secret so special—what made you want to become involved?
VL: Victoria’s Secret is such an iconic brand that embraces its models for their personalities and who they are. I love the fact the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show encourages you to be yourself, and to bring your own unique quality to the show.
WWW: How many auditions did you have to attend?
VL: I’ve tried out 4 times in total, and this year I attend two separate auditions.
WWW: What is the audition process like? What did you have to do?
VL: The process is a little nerve-racking but also super exciting and such a rush. There are two rounds of auditions and both are held at the Victoria’s Secret headquarters in New York City. The first is more of an open call, but still a limited number who are asked to audition. The process involves changing into Victoria’s Secret lingerie and heels from past shows. You can wear your own shoes, but they need to be extremely high. You then walk out from the changing room and meet casting director, John David Pfieffer and his team. Everyone is smiling, welcoming, and friendly. They know you’re nervous and want you to feel comfortable in order to do your best—it’s supposed to be fun! You have a chat and say hello, then you do a ‘walk’, and that’s it! There are no cameras or ‘behind the scenes’ going on here, it’s more relaxed. If you pass this audition, you make it through to the second round where there is a bit more pressure. This round is for those who made it through the first round, and who were in the show the previous year. We come in and have our names checked off a list, and then we sit and wait on the couches in the hallway. This is where the nerves can start to creep up on you, but you are there with all the other girls who are in the same boat. It’s nice to know you are all feeling the butterflies together! I was just so excited to be there—I made a real effort not to let the nerves even enter my mind. When it comes to your turn, you enter the room five at a time and go behind a curtained off changing area. The process here is the same (VS underwear and heels) except there are Victoria’s Secret stylists to help make sure everything fits perfectly. Then, one at a time, it’s your turn! This year was a little different—you stepped out of the curtain and onto a glittery runway all set up like a mini version of the runway show. It was amazing! There were lights and cameras on you and you look down to see Ed Razek, Monica Mitro, Sophia Neophitou, and John seated at a desk at the end of the runway. There were flowers and mannequins wearing past outfits and wings. Again, everyone is smiling, welcoming and happy to see you. They may ask you some questions, like what you’ve been up to or how you’ve been preparing for the show. Then, it’s your turn to walk, to do the best you can and that’s it!
WWW: What did you wear to your auditions?
VL: For the first round, I wore a vintage tan leather skirt, a white Helmut Lang top, black Manolo Blahnik heels, and black Céline bag. The second round I had a bit more of a sexy look, but still simple; a black asymmetrical Sandro skirt and grey singlet top, with my black Manolo’s and Céline bag.
WWW: How did you get ready for your auditions?
VL: A few days before the casting I had a light spray tan. The day of the casting I woke up early, made a cup of tea, and took a few moments to take a deep breath. I just reminded myself I’d done everything possible to be ready for today and that all I can do is try my best (no negative self-talk allowed!). I had a shower, got dressed and did my makeup—nothing too heavy, just very natural. I then went to have my hair done at Dry Bar (a hair salon that specialises in blow outs) to get that sexy Victoria’s Secret volume. I got a car to the casting and ended up arriving fairly early—I made sure I wouldn’t be stuck in traffic!
WWW: Did you receive and advice from any Angels pre-audition?
VL: I’m friends with a couple of the Angels and their advice was simply to shake off the nerves, be confident, and be yourself.
WWW: Do you have a favorite Victoria’s Secret moment of all time? What is it?
VL: I have so many favorite Victoria’s Secret moments! There’s a section in the 2009 show that stands out. It was called ‘All Aboard’. The Angels looked absolutely gorgeous, the outfits were vintage-inspired, there were incredible dancers and the music was ‘Your Sex is On Fire’ by Kind of Leon, a favourite band of mine. I was blown away.
WWW: How did you celebrate when you were confirmed to walk?
VL: At the very moment I found out, I celebrated by jumping around the room! A couple of days later though it was my birthday, so it was a double celebration. I went to my favourite spot for brunch with friends, and then my boyfriend and I went to see ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway. It was a great week!
WWW: How does Victoria’s Secret influence your style?
VL: Victoria’s Secret influences my style by encouraging me to be more playful, sexy, confident, and comfortable in my own skin—no matter what I’m wearing.
Opening image: Getty Images