6 Victoria's Secret Models Before They Were Big

What happens right before the "lights, camera, action"? What goes through a model's mind before she takes her first step on the Victoria's Secret runway? We're assuming even the most seasoned Angels experience some butterflies. But, there must also be a swift realization of pride: "This is it. I've made it."
We're taking a look at the moments before that moment. (Actually, we've gone back thousands of moments before that moment.) Here's how six VS models from IMG got discovered, were booked for the first time, and how they made it to the coveted Victoria's Secret stage. Ahead, an exclusive look at how these women got their starts.
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1 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Devon Windsor.
Devon Windsor
"When I was around 14, I went to a Bar Mitzvah where a local photographer was there taking pictures; [she] gave me her card. I ended up calling and did a photo shoot with her. That led me to signing with my mother agency, West Model Management, in St. Louis, Missouri."
2 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Devon Windsor.
"One of my very first paid jobs as a model was the Bakers Shoes campaign, which I shot in St. Louis. I remember being so nervous when my mom was driving me to the job that I felt sick! As the shoot continued, I got more and more comfortable, but I remember just wanting the client to be happy with the shot. The crew was very nice, so that was helpful."
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3 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Devon Windsor.
"I walked in my first Victoria's Secret show last year. I am beyond thrilled to be able to walk again this year, and to work with some of my favorite people in the business. Working with Ed Razek, Monica Mitro, Sophia Neophitou, John Pfeiffer, and many more is always so much fun. They bring such amazing creative talent to each show. I can't wait for everyone to see all the outfits and join in on all the fun the show brings!"
4 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Jasmine Tookes.
Jasmine Tookes
"I was discovered while working with my mom, who is a fashion stylist. I would always go to work with my mom and pretty much grew up on sets, so it makes sense."
5 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Jasmine Tookes.
"My first job was Abercrombie, and I had the honor of shooting with the legendary Bruce Weber. I was so nervous; I left unsure of how I did that day. But, when I saw my picture in the Abercrombie store...I figured I did a pretty good job, and I knew I was on my way. My mom's dear friend is a photographer named Marc Baptiste. After the Abercrombie photos came out, he insisted it was time I move to New York to pursue modeling. He opened the door for me by setting up a meeting with IMG in New York. I am forever thankful for that introduction, as my career has soared to heights I could never imagine since."
6 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Jasmine Tookes.
"I feel so incredibly blessed to be walking in my third show for Victoria's Secret. I am truly honored to be part of the Victoria's Secret family... I know that dreams really do come true. All of the girls are very excited to be going to London, and I think it is going to be one of the best shows to date."
7 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Lily Donaldson.
Lily Donaldson
"I was discovered in London at the Camden market, close to where I grew up. I was with some friends and didn't believe the scout at first. I was nervous about going to meet with the team at the agency, but a friend persuaded me. I was actually scouted again on the way to meet everyone!"
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8 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Lily Donaldson.
"One of my first shoots was with David Sims for V magazine, with Tabitha Simmons. I was very excited but nervous! The shoot is still one of my favorites."
9 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Lily Donaldson.
"Victoria’s Secret is always a fun show; there’s nothing like it. It’s such a spectacle and it has become such a pop culture phenomenon, so it’s really exciting and interesting to be able experience something like that."
10 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Shanina Shaik.
Shanina Shaik
"I was discovered by CHIC management in Australia when I was 15 years old. I really wanted to model and go to New York, so I entered in a modeling competition called the Girlfriend magazine model search. I actually didn't end up winning and only made it through to the semi-finals, but CHIC accepted me into the agency."
11 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Shanina Shaik.
"The first job I booked in NYC was a hair campaign. They dyed my hair a light red; it was so big for me because it was only my first week in New York City. I was really excited, but nervous at the same time, and wanted to impress the clients... I was so young and had a lot of learning ahead of me in the modeling industry."
12 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Shanina Shaik.
"I'm extremely excited to be walking in the Victoria's Secret show in London. This has always been my dream. I'm humbled and very honored...dreams can come true!"
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13 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Grace Mahary.
Grace Mahary
"As a kid growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, I always dreamed of being a doctor or professional basketball player. I never knew of or heard of modeling as a career. When I was scouted in a mall while shopping with my mother, my perspective and my life really changed. I was introduced to the fashion world and educated about the opportunities it holds."
14 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Grace Mahary.
"Winning the Elle Canada model search contest was such a surprise. This photo was taken the night before the winner was announced. I remember thinking about how the East African women who came into the modeling world before me opened up a door that was not always there for me to enter."
15 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Grace Mahary.
"Once upon a time, [I] was a tomboy! I love being able to represent all the women and young girls who have ever thought they weren't pretty or beautiful."
16 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Jacquelyn Jablonski.
Jacquelyn Jablonski
"I was first scouted at a cafe I worked at in my hometown — around the age of 15. At the time, I had never heard of the agency. I was still in school and was focused on playing a lot of sports, so I never did anything with the business card. Later on that year, my uncle who used to be a model suggested I meet his friend, who was a photographer. I finally went to the city with my mother to meet him and take a few pictures. He advised me to drop off the pictures at an agency. I did, and ended up getting offered a contract."
17 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Jacquelyn Jablonski.
"My first BIG job was with Calvin Klein Jeans. At the time, I was getting ready to graduate high school, go to Fairfield University, and take a pause in the modeling world. One day, my agents told me to come into the city for a casting at Calvin Klein. Of course, I was so excited and nervous, but I didn't want to get my hopes up. I don't think I even knew that it was for a specific job. That casting was followed up with two more...to meet Karl and Fabien from the brand. After the last casting, my mom and I were getting ready to get into the Holland Tunnel to go back to New Jersey when my agents told me to stop by the agency to say hi first. They then told me the great news with cupcakes that said 'Calvin Klein' on them."
18 of 18
Photo: Courtesy of Jacquelyn Jablonski.
"It is always so exciting when you hear you have been confirmed for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. It is never guaranteed, no matter how many times you've done the show. You feel like an athlete training for a big game, and all the girls put in so much hard work to look their best. This will be my fifth time walking the show, and it has been an honor.

"The team at Victoria’s Secret is so sweet. They let you be yourself on the runway, interact with the audience, and just show your personality. The energy is unbelievable. There is definitely no show like the Victoria's Secret Fashion show."
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