Being cast in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is every model's dream for a reason - firstly, it catapults your career to unthinkable heights and secondly, it's almost impossible to be given a spot in the famed runway show - hence being a dream. Models who audition for a part are in the running against the most beautiful and charismatic women from all corners of the world and most who eventually do earn a golden ticket into the biggest fashion show on Earth have auditioned for years before finally having success.
But for fresh-faced 18-year-old Alannah Walton, who left Australian soil just four days before heading to Victoria's Secret's New York headquarters, the first time's a charm. Not only was it her first VS audition, but it was the teen's, who was discovered by IMG in 2014 via their Instagram scouting initiative @WeLoveYourGenes, first-ever international casting.
Take one look at her Miranda Kerr-esque dimples and bright blue eyes and it's obvious that Victoria's Secret saw a supermodel in the making - one who just happens to be from Down Under.
Below, we chat to Alannah about what goes into prepping for the runway extravaganza and the unconventional way she found out she'd made it.
Congrats on being confirmed to walk your first VS Fashion Show! How did you find out you had made it?
It was about three or four days after my second casting and New York Fashion Week was on at the time, so I was out with a booker from London and we were going to a few of the events with some other models. I got a text from [senior creative for Victoria's Secret] Ed Rasek who said we should come to Russell James’ book launch. So I arrived there and said hello to everyone, but I was so nervous because I knew within the next day or two everyone was going to find out if they had booked the show. As I was leaving, [Ed] whispered in my ear, ‘You got the show’ and just casually walked off, I was like, ‘wait, are you kidding?!’ I could not believe it.
Has it always been a dream of yours to walk the show?
For as long as I’ve ever considered modelling, it’s been the end goal. I watched my first show in 2014 and that’s when I was first introduced to Victoria’s Secret. I wasn’t even signed to a modelling agency back then. My family friends put it on the TV for me over New Year’s and I saw Candice Swanepoel come out and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that is what I want to be one day.’ And then within six months I got signed to IMG and now I’m here!
What was the audition process like?
So, there are two castings. The first one is the first round with about 500 or 600 girls. I arrived in New York about four days before that casting, it was my first international casting ever, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. There was a lot of paparazzi outside, which I’ve never seen before, so that was a whirlwind in itself. But when I got in and saw everyone, they were just so gorgeous, I was so nervous, I was like ‘what am I doing here?!’ For the second call back, I walked in and all of the girls I looked up to were in that room, which was very surreal. I spent about four hours there waiting for my turn to go into the casting, so I had a lot of time to think about what I was doing. But when got in there it was very relaxed, we had a quick chat and I walked twice and that was it. Then I just sat by my phone waiting for the call!
Did you have one VS Angel you really looked up to growing up?
Well, the first ever model that I saw was Candice Swanepoel. She was definitely my beauty icon. But as the years went on, I started following Adriana Lima’s career and she’s definitely the most inspiring Angel to me because of her hard work and dedication and the longevity in her career and how hard she’s worked. She’s definitely someone I look up to and I aspire to have a career like hers – hopefully [laughs].
What have you been doing exercise wise to prep for the show?
I have a trainer called Michael Olajide in New York and his form is based on boxing and jump rope. I started working with him the day I arrived here in the lead up to the casting and since I found out I got the show, we’ve been working two hours every single day on my jump rope and boxing. That’s been my main form of exercise in the lead up to the show and I’ve also been doing a lot of reformer pilates and Kyo therapy and saunas to relax and lengthen and stretch.
What does your morning routine look like? How do you like to start your day?
I generally start my day with a cup of hot lemon water and then I usually like to get the gym out of the way as soon as I can, so I wake up and do a little walk to the gym. I usually take some nuts with me to just fuel up before the gym and I like to get two hours out of the way with my trainer Michael, so I know it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it later.
What’s your usual day on a plate?
I’m doing something that puts my body in ketosis right now, so it’s high fat and low carb and lots of protein. So I’m eating a lot of eggs for breakfast, a lot of nuts for snacking during the day and then lunch and dinners are pretty similar. I’ll do a big bowl of fish and vegetables or a chicken stirfry and just keeping it pretty simple with not much salt and lots of veggies and protein.
What is your everyday beauty routine like?
Definitely, since I’ve moved to New York I’ve noticed that my skin is a lot dryer than usual, so I’m moisturising with my favourite brand, Ultraceuticals, which is from Australia. I’m cleansing a lot here, morning and night, because the air’s really dirty and I’m using the Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum a lot more, maybe three to four times a week before the show, just to make sure there’s no blemishes or anything out of place.
Victoria's Secret is opening its first store in Australia later this year at Melbourne's Chadstone Shopping Centre. To find out everything about this year's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, head here.