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17 Latina Models Who Have Dominated Victoria’s Secret

The Victoria’s Secret catalogue and Fashion Show, which has been an annual event since 1995, regularly features a bevy of gorgeous Latinas. Whether they’re catalog models or have risen up the ranks to become a Victoria’s Secret Angel, there are tons of Latinas that have achieved incredible success with this company. Today we’re going to explore some of our favorite Latina models that have posed or walked for Victoria’s Secret.  

1. Gisele Bündchen

Instagram@vsfsfaves

Undoubtedly the most famous Angel of all time is Gisele Bündchen, who became one of the highest-paid models in the world after her debut with Victoria’s Secret in 2000. Born in Horizontina, in the south of Brazil, alongside a large family (she has five sisters!), she was discovered in a mall in Sao Paulo in 1993. Because of her gorgeous curves, she is credited with ending the era of straight sized mdels, and ushering in a new age of voluptuous runway shows.

2. Arlenis Sosa 

Instagram @arlenissosa

Arlenis Sosa moved from the Dominican Republic to New York City in 2008, and started her modeling career immediately- she appeared at the Met Ball within a week of signing with an agency. She appeared in the 2008 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, where she wore an orange bra and panties with a modish fringe jacket. Since then, she has walked for incredible designers like Jason Wu and Anna Sui, and has been a spokesmodel for Lancôme for ten years.  

3. Adriana Lima 

Instagram @adrianalima

Adriana Lima is one of Victoria’s Secret’s most well-known models. She was hired as an Angel in 1999, and has been with the company ever since. Lima is so dedicated to her work as a model that she walked the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show just two months after giving birth to her second child. Born in Salvador, Brazil, Lima is fluent in four languages- Portuguese, English, Italian, and Spanish. Unfortunately, she walked her 20th and last Victoria’s Secret show in November 2018.

4. Joan Smalls 

Instagram @joansmalls

Another highly-paid, extremely valuable model is Joan Smalls, a Puerto Rican model who first appeared in a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2011. She was recently ranked the 8th-highest paid model in the world. Smalls grew up and attended university in Puerto Rico, then moved to NYC in 2007. She’s appeared in the VS Fashion Show six times between 2011 and 2016, and also appeared in the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Swim Special. 

5. Alessandra Ambrosio

Instagram @alessandraambrosio

Alessandra Ambrosio has walked in 17 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows, and recently posted an emotional Instagram post about her decision to move on after being with the company for almost two decades. The Brazilian beauty wore the Fantasy bra twice, and once walked the show in the heaviest wings ever made- the Passion Play Fan Wings, which were covered in Swarovski crystals and weighed 30 pounds.

6. Ines Rivero 

Instagram@victoriassecret_galleryFollow

Ines Rivero got her start at the age of 14, in a local fashion show in her hometown of Cordoba, Argentina. She signed with Victoria’s Secret in 1998, becoming one of the first generation of Angels alongside Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks. In 2012, she decided to switch careers, and became a judge on the reality TV show Model Latina South Beach. 

7. Daniela Braga 

Instagram @daniela

Daniela Braga’s first VS Fashion Show was in 2014, and since then she’s appeared in the show four times. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Braga is the star of E! network’s Model Squad, a show that’s helping to bring awareness to the issue of diversity within the fashion industry.  

8. Sessilee Lopez

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27-year-old Sessilee Lopez was born in Philly to parents who immigrated from the Dominican Republic. She made her runway debut in 2004, but it took another four years to make it to the elite stage of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Pro photographer Steven Meisel considers her his muse.

9. Barbara Fialho

Instagram @barbara

Barbara Fialho has walked in at least two segments of every Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show since her debut in 2012. This Brazilian bombshell most recently strutted the runway in a set of ‘wings’ made of metal stars, accompanied by studded thigh-high boots. In the same show, she also wore an orange-lined duster coat atop a silvery bra and panties.

10. Izabel Goulart

Instagram @izabelgoulart

Although her professional name is Izabel Goulart, this model was actually born Maria Izabel Goulart Dourado. Hailing from Sao Carlo, Brazil, she’s walked in an unbelievable 12 consecutive shows, from 2005 to 2016. Her very first outfit was a candy cane fantasy with red and white striped wings, and red stockings under silver stilettos. In 2016, she led the closing parade at the Rio Summer Olympics.

11. Helena Christensen

Instagram@Capsule98

Helena Christensen was born to a Danish father and a Peruvian mom, and grew up speaking five languages- Danish, Spanish, English, French, and German. This multi-lingual stunner started her modeling career in Paris, and soon became one of the most popular supermodels of the 90s. She walked in both the 1997 and 1998 VS Fashion Shows.

12. Isabeli Fontana

Instagram @isabelifontana

35-year-old Isabeli Fontana was a fixture of the VS Fashion Show between 2003 and 2014. Born in Curitiba, Brazil, to Italian parents, she moved to Milan at the age of 14 to pursue a modeling career. She was only 16 when she first appeared in a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, and as a result of the controversy, Victoria’s Secret promised not to use models that were under the age of 18.

13. Omahyra Mota 

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Omahyra Mota is a Dominican model who walked in the 2001 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Professionally, she’s often known by just her first name. After working as a model for several years, she transitioned into acting full time, appearing as Arclight in X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006.

14. Janeice Dilone 

Instagram @_dilone

Janeice Dilone, who often goes by simply Dilone professionally, was born in New York City to a large family of Dominican heritage. Despite only being 24 years old, she’s walked in two consecutive VS Fashion Shows in 2016 and 2017. In her debut season, she walked in over 50 fashion shows. 

15. Lais Ribeiro

Instagram @laisribeiro

Born in Brazil, Lais Ribeiro dreamed of being a Victoria’s Secret Angel since she was little. The 6-foot nurse-turned-model first walked for VS in 2010, and has appeared in the VS Fashion Show seven times. In 2015, she wore the $2 million Champagne Nights Fantasy Bra, which was set with thousands of yellow diamonds, sapphires, and topaz.

16. Daniela de Jesus Cosio

Instagram @realdanielacosio

Born in Mexico, Daniela de Jesus Cosio’s career started when she placed second in the Nuestra Belleza Mexico pageant in 2005. She’s represented by six separate modeling agencies, and splits her energy between runway shows and print advertisements. She’s appeared in Victoria’s Secret ad campaigns in addition to her work for Abercrombie & Fitch, L’Oreal, and Ralph Lauren.

17. Flavia de Oliveira 

Instagram @flaoliveiraofficial

Born in Londrina, Brazil, Flavia de Oliveira has walked in five VS Fashion Shows between 2006 and 2011. This green-eyed beauty only ever wore one pair of wings, which were made of pleated black tulle. Since her time with Victoria’s Secret, she’s walked shows for Missoni, Dior, and Chanel.

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This Trans Model Is Rallying For Victoria Secret To Evolve Its Limited Perspective Of What Beauty Is

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This Trans Model Is Rallying For Victoria Secret To Evolve Its Limited Perspective Of What Beauty Is

Big box lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret is no stranger to controversies related to cultural insensitivity. In recent years the brand has been lambasted by critics and feminist groups alike for their Influence on sociocultural body image norms, child labor, and appropriation of culture. More recently, the manufacturer gained criticism after the company’s chief marketing officer Ed Razek of Victoria’s Secret’s parent company L Brands made anti-trans comments in a recent interview with Vogue magazine about the direction of the company’s branding and use of models.

In a recent interview, Razek emphatically rejected the idea that VS would have a trans model walk down its runway or appear in its catalogs.

Speaking to Vogue about the brand’s opinion about including trans and plus-size models in its lineup, Razek told the magazine “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.” The marketing executives comments quickly provoked a mass of social media pushback, with some of the lines’ own models even calling for a boycott and support for a more evolved and diverse show in the near future.

Razek has since apologized for his words but celebrity figureheads and customers of the brand have proved that they are still not pleased.

Trans Filipina model Geena Rocero has also spoken out against Razek by proving that trans models can certainly sell “fantasy.”

In a piece published on Elle.com, the Manila-born activist explained why she started to post #TransIsBeautiful photos on her Instagram in response to the transphobic Victoria’s Secret stance and how she is not letting naysayers bring her down. She admitted that it has “always been such an aspiration to be a part of that dream” [of walking the Victoria’s Secret fashion show runway] because it is televised globally and can mean a lot for a model’s career,” she explained before going onto highlight that the brand launched the career of big-name models like Tyra Banks, Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima. “All of these supermodels walked the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. I wanted to be just like them — especially the models of color… VS has started including different races in their casting, but it’s not enough. They need to do more.”

Rocero’s assertion that trans women are sexy and just as capable of selling the “fantasy” of lingerie comes at a truly crucial time.

This isn’t her first foray into activism, however. In 2014, Rocero gave a TED Talk where she came out as transgender and launched Gender Proud, an advocacy group that “aims to uplift transgender communities around the globe.”

Not only is she a trans rights advocate but she is also a proud Filipina immigrant and is outspoken about how those identities need to be represented.

“For me, two big intersections — being a proud, transgender woman of color and an immigrant, and being a proud Filipina — all of these things I bring into the work that I do because it provides me a sense of pride and healing. For so long, it was dictated to me that all those identities — trans, immigrant, Filipina — were not represented. I wanted to do my part in making an impact.”

In the Elle piece, she writes about how she had to come to terms with the colonized mentality that whiteness is more beautiful than brown skin.

Ultimately, however, she came to be proud of all of her identities.

“Growing up in the Philippines, I bought all those ideas that stem from a colonized mentality — that your proximity to whiteness makes you beautiful. I myself would buy skin whitening soap and cream. It’s blatantly advertised on billboards and commercials: You want to be white? You’ll be sexier and happier if you’re white. But the moment I became more in touch with that, I realized the power I carry with me in all the spaces I inhabit is because of those identities, not despite those identities.”

Rocero’s criticism of Victoria’s Secret boils down to this: If you don’t become more inclusive (that means including both trans and plus-size models in your future fashions hows), you are going to get left behind.

“Inclusivity in a brand ethos is both the now and the future. You can’t escape that fact. The train is moving so fast. You’re going to get left behind,” she concluded.

And she’s not wrong.

If the backlash Victoria’s Secret has faced in the past few days has proven anything, it’s that anti-trans and fatphobic comments do not belong here anymore. The world is moving along in the right direction, even if that’s still difficult to see in today’s political climate. If Victoria’s Secret wants to sell “fantasy,” then they need to include diverse women who represent what America and the world really look like today.

Fans of Rocero took to Twitter to express their support of her calling out Victoria’s Secret.

As fans have pointed out, she can most definitely sell fantasy with her, well, model body and gorgeous looks. It’s not like she’s lacking in work, either.

Others took to pointing out that Rocero is, well, hotter than anyone VS has featured.

Seriously, why is she not a VS Angel yet? Perhaps now, with these controversial comments, she simply won’t want to be. Though if Victoria’s Secret really wants to correct their horrible mistake, they’ll hire her ASAP.

In the meantime, we’ll be following the model, producer, and activist on Instagram for more #TransIsBeautiful photos.


Read: The Trailer for Life-Size 2 Just Dropped and It’s Full of Latina Magic

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7 Body Positive Latina Models That Are Killing The Fashion World and Beyond

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7 Body Positive Latina Models That Are Killing The Fashion World and Beyond

Up until a few years ago, many women of color, particularly “plus-size” or just women bigger than a size 2 really, were often excluded from major fashion campaigns, advertisements and designer runways. Many of us never saw ourselves or women that looked like our mami, our tias, and our best friends represented in the fashion industry. In recent years, a crop of brave Latina models have been making waves in the fashion world, making it their mission to demand representation and spread the message that fashion is not only for one body.

Clothing and modeling campaigns should be as diverse and rich as the women that wear them. While the road to complete inclusion is still long, these inspiring, brave and beautiful Latina women are proving that beauty is found in all shapes, shades, and sizes, no matter what anyone says. So, go ‘head, girls!

Diana Veras

@refinery29

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Diana Veras was born in Santiago, Dominican Republic and moved to NYC when she was a child. While her career is still on the rise, she has already nabbed some incredible campaigns for Opening Ceremony to Calvin Klein and has appeared on the cover of Bazaar! Diana once told i-D magazine about her early insecurities,

“All I wanted to be was an American, as did everyone else in the Dominican Republic. I wanted to grow up to be one of the girls in the magazines. I quickly got over that once I moved to Washington Heights and realized nothing was like it was on TV and in the magazines. My mom was beautiful to me, her friends were beautiful to me. They weren’t stick thin, they didn’t have blue eyes, and they didn’t speak English either.”

She is now determined to be the face that young Latina women see in print; the girl that she never saw.

Paloma Elsesser

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Paloma Elsesser is a multiracial model, who has described herself in Allure; “My prescribed identity to people is always going to be Latina. My mom is black, and my dad is Chilean and Swiss…I look really Latina, but my ascribed identity is mixed. I’m not one thing.” Paloma gained a strong following on her Instagram for her distinct style and looks, which eventually led her to meeting makeup legend Pat McGrath, who made her one of her main muses. Paloma wants to expand beyond modeling and makeup and told Allure, “…Ultimately I want to have some kind of voice in this movement in a way that’s big or tangible…ideally I’d like to be Oprah [she laughs] and write more.” Expect big things from her!

Alessandra Garcia

Don't mess with a D&G woman #DGpalermo #DGfamily

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Alessandra Garcia-Larido might have been born for the camera. Her father is Cuban actor Andy Garcia, but she has been hard at work in her career for many years, and it is paying off. She’s walked the runway for Christian Siriano, starred in campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana and Lane Bryant, and has been photographed for Vogue Italia and Vanity Fair Mexico. Alessandra has said of her own struggles with confidence, “Full self-acceptance didn’t come to me until I looked at my body as a fact, rather then a negative or positive. Step one for me was saying to myself, ‘I’m a big girl and there is nothing wrong with that.'”

Denise Mercedes

Denise Mercedes is Dominican model, born and raised in New Jersey. She began her career as a fashion blogger, and became a signed model with MSA Models in NYC. She’s since worked with Forever 21, Target and JC Penney and has launched her own body positive social media campaign with #becauseitsmybodyto further spread the message of embracing the body you’re in.

Barbie Ferreira

@missguided ❣

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Barbie Ferreira is a Brazilian model who first became known from her Instagram photos and posts. She told Glamour, “Social media opened up basically every opportunity for me because, traditionally, I wouldn’t be thought of as a model.” Her first gigs included posing for American Apparel and she gained national attention with her body positive Aerie campaign, showing her body totally un-retouched. Barbie is also now stepping into new territories by hosting a new show, How To Behave, on go90 (presented by Vice’s Broadly,) in which she hilariously explores the modern definitions of proper etiquette. With her charm and looks, she might be hitting the big screen next!

Denise Bidot

Denise Bidot is a Puerto Rican-Kuwaiti model born in Miami who originally had dreams of being an actor. By a chance encounter while doing a plus-size model’s makeup, she was asked to pose in some photos and her career took off. Denise has starred in campaigns for Forever 21, Levi’s and Target and became a runway muse for fashion brand, Chromat. Denise was also inspired to start her passion project to eventually grow beyond fashion, the No Wrong Way Movement, meant to inspire self love and acceptance for all.

Roxy Reyes

Paradise City featuring Me!! Where edgy ? meets tropical ? Now available @ftfsnaps!!

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Roxy Reyes is a Guatemalan beauty whose career got a huge kickstart when a certain famous Kardashian slid into her DMs. Before she modeled, Roxy was a fashion blogger who eventually started posting outfits on Instagram. On a fateful day, Khloe Kardashian was scouting models for her new denim line, Good American, and reached out to her, and the rest is history! Roxy became a part of Khloe’s #GoodSquad and has since been signed to LA Models and told Galore of her career goals, “I want to put plus-sized Latina women on the map.”

READ: These 13 Latina Body Positive Influencers On The ‘Gram Are Reminding Us To Love Every Lonja, Every (Im)Perfection

Did we miss any of your favorite Latina models? Let us know!

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