UPDATE 5PM ET: Adriana Lima has just announced this will be her last Victoria’s Secret show. The model posted a message on her Instagram: “Dear Victoria, Thank you for showing me the world, sharing your secrets, and most importantly not just giving me wings but teaching me to fly. And all the love to the best fans in the world! Love, Adriana.”
ORIGINAL STORY 2PM ET: NEW YORK CITY: To start, a little context; In the name of journalism, I trained with Adriana Lima’s personal trainer Kirk Myers at the Dogpound in Soho a couple of weeks ago. The 37-year-old Brazilian model who is tonight walking her 18th runway for the brand personally commented on my Instagram post yesterday to say a job well done. “Good job!” she posted. “And great form.” After dying a million deaths – and most certainly going to heaven – I headed backstage today at the Victoria’s Secret show at Pier 94 on the Upper West Side and made a beeline for Lima. Telling her I was indeed the girl who braved her trainer and could barely laugh, sneeze or stretch after the ab attack, she smiled and laughed, “Oh yes, I commented on the picture! How was it?” she says, her demeanour sparkly and warm (Lima is one of only a couple of models who is happy to be photographed barefaced.) When I say the workout felt do-able at the time but my stomach muscles were in a lot of pain for the days following, she laughs. “Well that’s the point of a workout,” she jokes. “I don’t even feel sore anymore.”
The Victoria’s Secret models train like athletes, that’s not just a saying, it’s fact. But surely they have hard days. “Sports and training is part of my lifestyle,” Lima says. “In my every day life, I’m at the gym. It’s something that’s part of my life, it’s not just because I’m doing the Victoria’s Secret show.”
Since the brands inception in 1995 at The Plaza Hotel just up the road in Manhattan, Lima has been lighting up the lingerie-clad runway with her electrifying energy since 1999 and admits since the days of Gisele Bündchen, Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell, it has evolved a lot. “Victoria’s Secret has grown as a brand and as a fashion show since the first one that I did,” she says. “My first show was in 1999 and it was just a simple show. There was no change of stage or musical performances. All of this has changed. I miss a few of the angels here – Gisele, Heidi, Stephanie – I came from the Karen Mulder tribe, it was so long ago. I miss them but every one of the angels that are here and not here helped build the brand and helped build the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show as the biggest entertainment show on television in the world.”
Earlier this week, we interviewed Kiwi/Australian angel Georgia Fowler who seemingly accidentally let slip this was indeed Lima’s last VS walk. “I always looked up to Adriana Lima,” Fowler said. “It will be her last year this year I think, but she’s done it for so many years and continues to look amazing on the catwalk and up against the younger girls.”
“Are you going for the 20-year runway milestone?” I ask Lima in her makeup chair.
“It’s my 18th Victoria’s Secret Show,” Lima politely responds.
“But will you go for the twenty?” I press. Lima looks away. “I like to do fashion shows. That’s where my heart is.”
She’s staying tight-lipped for now. In the interim, here is a message just for you.