It's hard to believe that Victoria's Secret even bothers with model castings for its big December show. It's surely a case of cherry-picking the most sought-after, hard-to-book supers of the moment, attaching some wings and sending them on their merry way.
But according to the show's creative director Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou, attaining Angel status is a lot tougher—even if you happen to go by the name of Alessandra Ambrosio.
"It's quite terrifying for them," Sophia said in an interview with Vogue UK. "They are provisionally cast by John Pfeiffer but 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. They all have to do it—even the contracted girls—and it's incredibly nerve-wracking for them."
"For the show, there is no retouching," long-time Angel Doutzen Kroes said in a recent interview. "We can't escape from the truth. There are millions of people watching—and even people watching live— so it's really important to work out a lot, which I do, and I definitely change my diet."
But Sophia is keen to dispel any assumptions that being skinny is part of the deal, and instead compares her Angels to sportswomen. "It's about being show-ready," she explained. "It's really like being an Olympian—they have to be in peak condition. 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."