Maybe it’s the fresh air, or the farm-fresh produce, but country Australia produces some of our most glowing global exports. Take Miranda Kerr, who hails from Gunnedah, or the newest Australian face to grace the runways: Victoria Lee.
A newly crowned David Jones ambassador, 27-year-old Lee grew up in Narrandera in before the bright lights of New York beckoned. She walked her first Victoria’s Secret show in 2017 (a major modelling coup) but, unlike many of her peers, hasn’t let fame – or that jaw-droppingly beautiful face – get to her head. In fact, she might easily be the nicest person on the planet.
On the eve of the David Jones A/W ’18 collection launch, we sat down with Lee to talk work, wish lists, Christmas windows and exactly how she maintains that fresh-faced glow.
How did it feel when you were named a David Jones ambassador?
“I couldn’t believe it. I was pinching myself. David Jones is the epitome of Australian fashion and to be even considered for an ambassador role, considering the women who have been past ambassadors, is something that isn’t lost on me.”
Do you feel less nervous walking for David Jones than you did for Victoria’s Secret?
“It’s really different, but just as important to me. David Jones is something that I grew up with, travelling with my family to see the Christmas windows, to see the spring flower shows, I would save my Christmas and birthday money to make the trip and go shopping at David Jones. So to now be in those windows, to be an ambassador for David Jones, is so special to me.”
You’ve been called the next Miranda Kerr- how do you feel about that?
“That’s lovely, I mean, I hope to be known as the first Victoria Lee if anything, just as myself, but Miranda’s career is so incredible, I admire what she’s done and the way she’s moved into business and created her skincare line, that’s inspirational.”
Have you two met?
“At David Jones, funnily enough. I’ve walked the show probably three or four times now. It’s always been so exciting, and Miranda I did meet backstage a couple of years ago when we walked in the same show. It was very early on in my career. So now to be back here, walking with Jess Gomes, is so nice. We met in New York a few weeks ago and she gave me some advice, she was like, ‘be yourself, have fun, enjoy’ and to be with her celebrating her fifth year as an ambassador is really exciting.”
How do you prep for a big show?
“Eating right, taking care of myself, getting enough sleep is probably my number one – if you get enough sleep you can handle anything. I moisturise, drink a lot of water, look after my skin, try to get some exercise if I have enough time but honestly, I have a really active lifestyle anyway. Leading up to a show, especially something that’s swimwear-based, I put in that extra bit of effort, but I like to think I always try the best I can for everything.”
Are there any beauty treatments you always have when in Australia?
“Coming home is so wonderful – we a) have such wonderful beaches, it’s so nice to get fresh air and we have amazing food too. But in terms of skincare, Melanie Grant does amazing facials, she’s wonderful, and nails is Jocelyn Petroni, I have my nails done by her right now – she did a custom nude nail for me – and if I want to do a workout I really love Lean Bean in Bondi, they do a great barre class.”
You have amazing skin – what’s your go-to foundation?
“I actually don’t use a lot of foundation, only because I like to let my skin breathe when I’m not working. I usually use the YSL Touche Eclat, but also their newer All Hours Concealer, it’s a nice coverage and does everything. Then I’ll also use the Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate, a little taupe eyeshadow, MAC mascara and Bobbi Brown on my brows. It’s kind of basic, because I don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to makeup! But the basics I’d hope I have down.”
Above: Victoria wears Zimmermann
And for your hair?
“I switch between Renya Xydis at Valonz and Diane Gorgievski at Koda. In terms of haircare, Aveda is really great. I love their Shampure, it’s a spray that detangles and smells like heaven, and Aesop have a really good rose scalp and hair treatment that I’ll use once or twice a week as my hair can get really dry sometimes.”
What Australian fashion brands do you love?
“Camilla and Marc is always classic and chic, but I love this season how they have so much colour in their collection. They have an incredible emerald green and deep blue. Dion Lee as well, he’s so creative and throughout my career I’ve had the opportunity to walk in his shows for Australian Fashion Week. Zimmermann is always amazing, Ellery, KitX, Bianca Spender, there’s so many! We really are renowned overseas, that’s one thing I’ve learned while travelling, overseas they really look to us for effortless, beautiful designs. I’m so proud to be able to talk about Australian design.”
What key items from tonight’s show do you want to take home with you?
“The key piece would be a structured, sharp jacket, like a Balmain blazer, but also ones that have more movement to them. Carla Zampatti has done a really nice suit that I was wearing yesterday that has a more casual, laidback feel to it, but still brings an elegant touch to your outfit. Also the dark florals – you see really stunning botanicals in the new season Zimmermann and Cameo.”