Tell me about your Victoria’s Secret casting this year? And how did it compare to your very first VS casting?
“I had landed in New York City four days before my first casting. It was a very hectic experience. It was my first international casting experience here ever. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I bought an amazing outfit from Alice McCall, I got my hair done by a stylist in New York and I turned up and there was hundreds and hundreds of beautiful girls. I walked into the room with five other girls and basically I just walked up and down, said hello, told them a little bit about myself and then waited to see if I made it to the next round. My agent called me and told me I got a second call back and then this was the big time: there were the big names in the room with me. I was so nervous I could not believe what I was doing. I walked in with five girls – we all got dressed in a little room together – and I walked out and introduced myself to everyone. They were all so nice! I walked for them twice and that was it.”
Who was the first person you called when you got cast in this year’s show?
I was out for dinner when I found out and my parents were in Greece travelling at the time. They were with all my little cousins and aunties and I FaceTimed my dad. It was about 4am in Greece and I remember he answered within the first ring. All I could say was, ‘Dad, I booked the show’ and they started crying. It was such a nice experience. I called my best friend from home and she started screaming.”
“I have screenshots of my parent’s reactions to me getting cast in Victoria’s Secret. It’s my screensaver! I’ll never get over that moment.”
Coming from Australia, what was the most challenging thing about moving to New York? It’s a hard city…
“Yes, it’s a very hard city. I think the most challenging thing was knowing that I’m leaving my family. I know it’s just a flight away but its so far from Australia to New York. This is my first big international move to pursue modelling on my own so moving to the biggest city for this is definitely very daunting and I think I’m a bit nervous about how I’m going to survive here. Booking the Victoria’s Secret show has definitely boosted my confidence.”
What did your weekly exercise regime look like in the lead up to show?
“I have been working out so much! I have a trainer here in New York called Michael Olajide who owns a gym called Aerospace in midtown. He’s worked with Adriana Lima for ten years and I’ve been following him ever since I found out who she was and what the show was all about. I knew I wanted to work with him as soon as I landed so I texted him from Australia. The day that I arrived in New York – which was the day before the VS castings – I did a session with him and we clicked. We get on like a house on fire. I spend about two hours with him every day and his form of training is boxing and jump rope. I’ve also been also taking some reformer Pilates classes four-fives times a week to make sure I’m stretching and toning at the same time.”
That is so much training. How do you repair your muscles at night time to ensure you’re ready to get up the next morning and do it all again?
“I think I’m running on a bit of adrenaline at the moment.”
“Because I’m so excited, it hasn’t really been affecting me. I’m definitely getting tired now as I’m doing so much. I’ve started cryotherapy and infrared saunas over the last two weeks in the lead up to the show. Cryo has been a big part of my recovery.”
What do you eat during the day?
“I wasn’t really doing this intentionally in the beginning but my body has gone into ketosis. I’m basically eating fats and proteins and not many carbs. In the morning, I’ll have fruit and yoghurt or I’ll have eggs. Lunch and dinners are either chicken or fish and veggies. I’ve also been eating heaps of nuts during gym workouts.”
Beauty-wise, what does your nightly routine look like?
“Every night I cleanse my face with Bioderm and micellar water which is great for a deep cleanse. I’ve also got something from Ultraceuticals which I’ve never told anybody about: it’s an even skintone serum. I put that on two-three times a week and you wake up in the morning and there is no blemishes, it’s absolutely amazing. I also moisturise a lot as New York is very dry.”
Who will be coming to watch you walk in the show?
“My parents are here with me now. It’s so great to be able to have them here. I can’t wait to show them how hard I’ve been working and what I’ve been working for.”
How do you think your friends are going to receive you when you go home to Australia?
“My true friends are so proud and so excited for me so nothing will change with them. I have noticed a few people are sort of putting me on a pedestal but I really think that once they see me, they’ll realise it’s all the same. I’m still the fun, 18-year-old from Australia.”
How would your friends describe you?
“I’m very outgoing, I’m an extrovert. I’m the crazy one in the group that generally does the things that no one else would want to do. I’m fun, I’m loud but I’m also a very supportive friend.
“If anyone ever needs anything, I’ll drop whatever I have to do to help them. Even if it meant giving up Victoria’s Secret, if they needed me, I’d put them first.”
You were scouted through IMG’s social media scouting initiative @WeLoveYourGenes. Can you tell me a little bit more about how this came about?
“Yes! Jeni Rose is the head of development at IMG and is based in Paris. I started liking a couple of her photos on Instagram and we began direct-messaging over Instagram. I didn’t really think anything of it at the time. I’d just turned 15-years-old and Jeni sent me a really lovely message saying IMG was quite interested in me and they’d like to set up a meeting in Australia. IMG lined up a contract the same day.”
In your opinion, is there any truth to the saying, ‘If you can make it here [in NY], you can make it anywhere?’
“Absolutely. I’ve been here for two months now and I feel like it’s definitely the hardest and most cut-throat city to make it in but I’ve been trying very hard stay true to what I believe in. Everyone here is at an elite level so if you can make it here, oh wow, you can make it anywhere.”
Where is your favourite spot in New York for a healthy lunch and why?
“I’ve obsessed with Matcha Cha. I’ve literally gone there every day with my friends. It’s become a routine. I’ve always seen people posting photos about it so it was my first stop.”
Last year, 1.4 billion people tuned into the show. When you think about that figure, and you think about your first ever modelling job, what feelings are conjured up?
“Wow. Definitely a lot of nerves. I would never thought I would be a on platform that 14 billion people would ever see me. It also makes me want to try very hard to do the best that I can. Victoria’s Secret makes people household names so the it’s super exciting.”
What’s the first thing you will do when you get off the runway? Are you beelining for a burger joint?
“Oh my gosh, I’ve been planning this with my parents. I’m not sure what cuisine I want yet, it’s probably Italian or a burger but I’m going to see them, celebrate with them and go out for a nice family dinner.”
Do you have a message for home?
“I know this is a bit cheesy. I would like to say thank you to everyone for supporting someone from Australia making it so young. I’m so grateful for that. When I was in Australia I felt very far away from New York and where it’s all happening, but I have just realised it is possible to achieve your dreams, even coming from somewhere so far away. If you have dreams at an elite level, you can achieve them.”