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7 things you didn't know about Victoria's Secret and its Angels

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - It's that time of the year again when Victoria's Secret gives its Angels wings - as well as a multi-million dollar 'Fantasy' bra set - as long legged beauties from around the world come together to showcase the latest looks and designs from the US lingerie giant. Victoria's Secret annual fashion show continues to attract attention from all four corners of the world, with this year's event, set to take place in Paris, promising to be the most glitzy show yet. VS already flew in a number of its high profile angels, including the likes of 'it' girls Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, on a private Victoria's Secret jet, sharing behind the scenes photographs of the models enjoying the city before the big event, taking place November 30.

Although the show will not be officially broadcast to the public until December 5, FashionUnited has taken a moment to collect the top 7 facts you may - or may not - have known about Victoria's Secret.

#1 Who is Victoria and what's her Secret?

The name may be Victoria's Secret, but in reality the lingerie company has not much to do with any famous Victoria or her secret. The US lingerie label was founded by Roy Raymond in 1977, who wanted to create a speciality retailer for men looking to buy that special, lacey something for the lady in his life. The lingerie company did not fare well and nearly went under, so Raymond sold it to its current owner Les Wexner for approximately 1 million dollars in 1982.

The name Victoria is said to be linked to the elegance, sophistication and fancy undergarments wore by women during the Victorian period. The 'secret' part comes from the fact women wear it under their clothing, so no one knows what it looks like - unless they are meant to see it that is. The rest as they say, is history.

#2 Who are Victoria’s Secret ‘Angels’?

Unlike other lingerie brands, Victoria’s Secret has established a very tight-knit, selected group of models to act as the faces of its campaign, known as the Victoria Secret Angels. These Angels are officially given their ‘wings’ when they are selected to walk in the company’s annual show. Even if a model already has a contract with Victoria’s Secret, she must still audition for the show. Adriana Lima is currently Victoria’s Secret longest walking Angel, appearing in her first VS show in 2000.

This year’s event will feature established VS Angels Lily Aldridge, Alessandra Ambrosio, Martha Hunt, Adriana Lima and Jasmine Tookes. Additional models to walk in the show include ‘it’ girls Kendall Jenner, Gigi and Bella Hadid as well as Joan Smalls.

#3 Creating the Show

A large portion of Victoria’s Secret marketing centres on its annual fashion show. Currently in its 21st year, the event will be broadcast in 190 countries on December 5. In addition to featuring VS Angels, which cost the lingerie retailer approximately 20 million dollars in 2014, the show also include live performances from artists and the annual jewel encrusted “fantasy bra”. This year’s set will be donned by Jasmine Tookes, featuring emeralds and diamonds, costing 3 million dollars. Therefore it comes as little shock that each annual show costs Victoria’s Secret roughly 12 million dollars.

# 4 Victoria qui?

Although Victoria's Secret is a household name throughout the United States, overseas in Europe the name does not nearly hold as much sway. Especially in France, where the lingerie brand is nearly totally unheard of. This could be linked to the fact that the brand only has one small store which sells its accessories and selected panties at Paris Orly airport. Or perhaps French women, who are known to hold a strong preference for high-quality, sexy yet functional underwear, have yet to take to the US brand which claims to offer "the world's best bras and sexiest lingerie." Either way, the brand's decision to host its 21st show in a city where it lacks a strong presence is certainly unusual.

# 5 Battle preparations

In order to earn their wings, Victoria’s Secret Angels need to be in tip-top condition. Casting is said to start months before the show takes place, and the brand has started to tap into increasing social media interest in how models prepare for the show. Under the hashtag #trainlikeangel, models such as Candice Swanepoel show what type of workouts they do in order to get in shape for the catwalk. Everything from boxing to yoga and ballet beautiful is undertaken by the models. Rumour also has it that many of the girls undergo a juice diet a week before the big show and even cut down on the water intake to make sure they are in tip-top form.

# 6 An Angel's Wings

Some of you may be wondering how heavy an Angels wings really are? Although the exact weight of each set of wings tends to vary, the heaviest wings to date weighed more than 18 kilos. These were donned by Alessandra Ambrosio in 2011 and featured more than 105.000 Swarovski crystal. Heidi Klum has been credited with wearing the largest pair of wings on 2003, which measure more than 12 feet (3.6 meters).

#7 Most expensive “Fantasy” bra?

In 2003, Heidi Klum also had the honour of wearing the second most expensive Fantasy Bra. Costing 11 million dollars, the glitzy bra featured a 70 carat diamond in the middle, which happened to be the second largest diamond in the world at the time. However, the most expensive Fantasy Bra was worn by Gisele Bündchen in 2005. Consisting of 2,900 diamonds, rubies and featuring a 101 carat diamond centerpiece set in white gold, the Sexy Splendor Fantasy Bra cost a total of 12.5 million dollars.

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