Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Campbell To Return To Victoria’s Secret For New ‘Icons’ Campaign

The lingerie brand is staging a comeback.
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Victoria’s Secret is staging a comeback with a new campaign featuring some of the biggest names to ever walk its runways.

Victoria’s Secret reached unprecedented status in the noughties thanks to its annual televised catwalk presentations, which not only featured the industry’s most sought-after supermodels, but also attracted pop stars like Taylor Swift and Rihanna

The controversial lingerie brand suffered a PR nightmare around 2018 when former head of the brand, Ed Razek, was accused of misogyny by multiple people, including the company’s board. Victoria’s Secret was also widely criticised for its lack of inclusivity (with Razek refusing to cast Transgender and size-inclusive models), and for promoting unrealistic body and beauty standards via its highly publicised runway shows. The criticisms led to Razek stepping down and Victoria’s Secret attempting to rebrand.

The latest phase of said rebrand appears to be here with the launch of its newest ‘Icons’ campaign.

The Victoria’s Secret runway was criticised heavily for promoting unrealistic beauty standards. (Credit: Getty)

The Victoria’s Secret Icons line has brought back some legends of its catwalk, including Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Campbell, Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel and Sui He.

The brand has welcomed new—but certainly not lesser known—It Girls, Hailey Bieber and Emily Ratajkowski.

The Icons campaign also welcomes back Sudanese-Australian supermodel Adut Akech, who has repped the brand since 2022. 

Adut Akech and Naomi Campbell in the Icons campaign (Credit: Victoria’s Secret)

Also joining the roster is Paloma Elesser, a plus-size model who has frequented many magazine covers and who many may know from her Fenty Beauty work. 

While it is clear the brand is continuing its ongoing mission to diversify, the move to include models heavily associated with its runway era is causing a bit of confusion. 

Here’s everything we know about the icons. 

Adriana Lima

Adriana Lima is basically synonymous with the Victoria’s Secret brand. (Credit: Victoria’s Secret)

Adriana holds the record for walking the most Victoria’s Secret shows, officially hanging up her wings in 2018 after 20 years with the brand.

She walked her first Victoria’s Secret runway in 1999 at the age of 17, and became an official ‘Angel’ (one of the brand’s central ambassadors) in 2000. She opened the runway show five times and closed it three times, holding records for both (the latter tied with Heidi Klum). 

She has also worn the brand’s multi-million dollar ‘Fantasy Bra’ three times—tying with Heidi Klum again as the model to rep the bra the most times. 

In 2012, Lima opened the Victoria’s Secret runway for the 5th time, less than two months after giving birth to her second child. 

Now 42, the Brazilian model has three children: two with former spouse, NBA player Marko Jarić, and one with film producer Andre Lemmers. She welcomed her son with Lemmers in August 2022. 

Gisele Bundchen

Gisele debuted with VS in 1999. (Credit: Victoria’s Secret)

Bundchen, who also hails from Brazil, was a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 1999 to 2006. Gisele was the highest paid model in the world from 2002 to 2017, with a fortune 

In 2000 Gisele wore the $15 million (US) ‘Red Hot Fantasy Bra’ for Victoria’s Secret, which holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive bra in history. She also modelled the second most expensive bra: the Victoria’s Secret ‘Sexy Splendor Fantasy Bra’, valued at $12.5 million USD. 

Gisele has made headlines more recently for ending her 13-year marriage with star NFL player, Tom Brady. The former couple share two children and reportedly remain on good terms. 

Naomi Campbell 

One of the original supermodels, Campbell has walked the Victoria’s Secret runway six times between 1996 and 2005. She has opened the show once (in 1996) and closed it twice (in 1997, 1998). 

Campbell, 53, maintains an illustrious career and recently became a mother for the second time. Naomi welcomed her first child in 2021 and her second in June 2023. 

Sui He

Sui He has walked the Victoria’s Secret runway eight times, premiering on the catwalk in 2011. She became the second Chinese model to ever walk the VS catwalk, after legend of the industry Liu Wen.

Sui, now 33, continued to walk in the runway show up until its cancellation in 2018. 

Candice Swanepoel

Candice Swanepoel in her Icons ad. (Credit: Victoria’s Secret)

Candice has walked the VS runway 11 times, making her debut in 2007 and stomping the runway every year until 2018, except for 2016 when she had just given birth to her son.

Swanepoel, now 34, holds second place for the model to wear the most ‘winged’ costumes, another record which is held by Adriana Lima. 

In 2013 she wore the Royal Fantasy Bra, valued at US $10million. She has opened the show thrice and closed it twice. 

Emily Ratajkowski

Em Rata has joined the Victoria’s Secret lineage. (Credit: Victoria’s Secret)

Emrata is a newbie to the Victoria’s Secret world, but has amassed a huge following thanks to her modelling, acting, Instagram, memoir and podcast. 

Ratajkowski rose to fame after appearing in the controversial music video for Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. While a successful commercial model, Ratajkowski has also found success as an actor and memoirist. 

Ratajkowski now hosts a podcast, High Low, and frequently makes headlines for her personal life, like making out with popstar Harry Styles. 

Hailey Bieber

Hailey Bieber is another new addition to the brand. While Bieber has worked as a model in the past, she is now mostly beloved for her style serves on Instagram and, of course, for her beauty brand, Rhode. Hailey has spent her life in the public eye as the daughter of Stephen Baldwin (and niece of Alec), and married Justin Bieber in 2018. 

Adut Akech

Adut Akech Bior first modelled with Victoria’s Secret in 2022, after the brand abandoned its runway shows. 

Akech, who was born in Kenya but raised in Adelaide, has been named Model of The Year at the British Fashion Awards (2019) and was one of 15 women hand picked by Meghan Markle to cover the September issue of British Vogue that same year. 

She is a friend and mentee of Campbell’s (who frequently refers to Adut as her “daughter”) and both appeared in Beyonce’s ‘Brown Skin Girl’ music video in 2020.

Paloma Elesser

Paloma Elesser makes her VS debut. (Credit: Victoria’s Secret)

Paloma Elesser, 31, was born in London and raised in LA and rose to prominence as a model after being discovered on Instagram by legendary makeup artist, Dame Pat McGrath. 

Elesser has modelled for Fenty and has appeared on multiple magazine covers. She also appeared in the film Uncut Gems

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