When Cameron Saul and Oliver Wayman, founders of Bottletop, were looking for a face to front their new collaboration with Narciso Rodriguez, never in their “wildest dreams” did they imagine that they’d find someone with which they had so much in common as Candice Swanepoel. Working with the blue-eyed blonde-haired model, best known for her work with Victoria’s Secret, is “a match made in heaven,” explained the boys when we met the trio in a Harrods restaurant.
The Bottletop Foundation was launched in 2002 to raise funds and awareness for education projects based in Africa and South America, and was followed by the Bottletop Fashion Company a decade later – which creates handbags made from recycled bottletops and aluminium ring pulls
“I had been looking for a charity to work with for a little while, but there was nothing that really spoke to me – if I do something, I really want to be involved and feel passionate about it,” Swanepoel told us. “And my agent heard about Ollie and Cam, she told me about what they do and the fact that they’re based between Brazil and Africa, two places that I really care about. Then I met them, was inspired by their energy and their drive to make it work.”
The model fronts their latest trio of spring/summer 14 handbags, designed by Narciso Rodriguez – one of which was named in her honour. But, as Saul and Wayman soon discovered, Swanepoel isn’t your average spokesmodel.
“I like to see everything first hand – I don’t just want to do an event in New York and London, I want to go to South Africa and Brazil and really be a part of it. To see where and how the bags are made and how they are helping people,” she said. “Luckily they are letting me be quite involved!”
Earnest and compassionate, Swanepoel explained how a decade of working in the industry has taught her to be more selective about the jobs that she accepts and the people that she works with.
“For many years as a young girl I was just trying to make it for myself, earn money and have a great future. But now, I’ve earned money and I got to a point where I thought, ‘Do I really need to do this job, is it really going to change me or help me?’ So that’s why I was looking for something that would really feed me in a different way. I feel like a lot of celebrities feel a responsibility to do that – they feel like they have to – whereas I didn’t, it just organically became something that I needed in my life,” she explained. “Sometimes in my world you have to do things that are not really you and sell things that are not really you – but I don’t do anything that I’m not going to talk sincerely about. So it’s a real pleasure for me to do this.”
So how does she prevent herself from feeling overworked and underappreciated?
“It’s a business so people will try and get you to do everything that you possibly can – particularly when you’re younger, it’s much harder. But I take a lot of inspiration from travelling and different cultures and seeing real life, so that’s what I like to do – I go and travel somewhere and purposefully don’t stay in a nice hotel because that feels like work,” she said. “I try and do things that inspire me, and give me energy to go back to work and be a happy person. You need that to be able to work as much as we do. I took a month off for Christmas and New Year, and I know it sounds like a long time, but I come back better and stronger than ever and happy to work. You can see it in the eyes, your attitude – it’s a very personal job that we do. People are in your face all the time, and if you’re not right or you’re not happy, then it’s very difficult. So that’s how I continue! It’s good, now my projects are feeding my business as well.”
The Narciso Rodriguez for Bottletop collection is available to buy exclusively at Harrods in the UK.
‘I’m pleased that people like my work,’ says Candice Swanepoel of her popularity amongst the press and public. The South African-born model is of course professionally beautiful – and it just so happens that her day job is very much appreciated by the gawping everyman. In addition to her career on the catwalk circuit, you’ll recognize her as the girl who wowed the world in the $10 million Fantasy Bra at the Victoria’s Secret show last November. With or without the pricey lingerie, Candice looks a million dollars, but what else would she try on?
Valentine’s Day is coming up. Do you love or loathe it?
I’m pretty cynical about it usually. But as I’m getting older I’m getting into a bit more. I like things that are a little more spontaneous and natural. But I’m realising that it is a good excuse to celebrate.
What do you normally get up to?
I like to stay at home and cook a nice meal or just be surprised by my boyfriend [giggles].
Who makes a bigger effort?
The men on Valentine’s Day have to make a bigger effort. It’s on both sides but initially the guy has to make the effort.
I’ve got a friend who went on a date with a man who played with lint from his belly button. What’s the oddest first date nervous tic that you’ve encountered?
[Laughs] It’s not that odd but profuse sweating or like wandering hands.
You’ve been dating Brazilian model Hermann Nicoli for a few years now. Was it love at first sight?
Since 17. Yeah, it was kind of love or desire at first sight [laughs]. I was living between Milan, London and Paris and I met him at a party in Milan very briefly. Then I was in Paris a year later during men’s fashion week, when I was staying in a little apartment hotel in Paris, and we met in the lobby, and that’s where we hit it off.
Did he approach you?
[Giggles] We both have different stories but I kind of approached him, that’s the funny thing. I had just come out of a relationship in South Africa that wasn’t working and pretty soon after that I met him… and the rest is history.
After a few drinks on a first date, like countless other men I’ve been guilty of asking a girl back home. How do you feel about these kinds of requests?
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – it depends on how the date went. It’s about gauging where the other person is at. That’s the thing, if I were single, I would be terrible. When you’re younger it’s so much more innocent and easy – it’s more organic. As adults it’s more of a tricky thing, you kind of want to respect the girl.
Adults have different intentions…
Yeah, but women are just as bad as men. There’s no harm in asking, she’ll say no if she doesn’t want to.
Over the years, you’ve spent a lot of time being photographed in lingerie for magazines. Am I right in thinking that this is how you hang out in your home?
[Laughs] Um no, I must admit that I have a great collection of lingerie. At home I try to find the most comfortable thing to wear.
Do you go for Bridget Jones-style bloomers?
No, no, no, definitely not. I have access to all this beautiful lingerie. You can find comfy lingerie like boy shorts, briefs – and commando always works [giggles].
Always nice to be naked. You’re a ballet dancer, so do you like expressing your sexuality through dance?
Yeah, I mean growing up doing ballet makes you a lot more aware of how to move your body. Dance is a big part of the way we communicate with people, the way we feel about ourselves. When you’re out and dancing you’re showing people a part of yourself.
Are you normally one of the first to get dancing on a night out?
I’m that person who won’t talk and will be dancing the entire time. It’s a release for me, I love to dance. And I like expressing myself through Brazilian samba.
Are you competent at doing the samba?
[Giggles] Not 100 percent but I can take it pretty well.
Do you go dancing with your boyfriend?
In Brazil, there are parties everywhere, so we kind of go wild.
You said in a past interview that blondes have more fun. What do you mean by that?
The difference between brunettes and blondes is that you notice a blonde first when she walks into a room. I was more serious as a brunette. It’s easier to have that cute, naughty, playful attitude as a blonde.
So going blonde has changed your attitude?
I’m used to playing a different role for work. Hair colour is like fragrance or lingerie: it brings something different out of you.
Should lingerie create a fantasy?
Yeah. There are so many different styles that all play a different role: Body by Victoria’s Secret is very relaxed and there’s a sexy line that’s playful with colour, garter belts and babydolls. Then there’s the more cutesy stuff with lace and frills.
Which is your favourite style and why?
I do tend to stick to the more sultry black lace, garter belts and subtle styles.
Men often buy the generic gifts of chocolates, jewellery, flowers or lingerie. What do girls actually want?
Everything. [Laughs]. I enjoy getting flowers and it’s always interesting seeing what lingerie a partner will pick out for you.
Do you trust a man’s choice?
Yeah, for Valentine’s Day because it’s kind of their fantasy and it’s fun to play that out. I wouldn’t trust him with my everyday stuff – it wouldn’t be comfortable but one day of the year is fine.
Passionate about Brazil , the angel of Victoria ‘s Secret chose in Salvador the first to support social causes in your life – and , Vogue , revealed why the gesture is much more important for her than for women of Bahia poor community
Candice Swanepoel speaks Portuguese , has a house in Brazil , like your acarajé with little pepper and plans to meet a yard of Candomblé sometime. There was , however , none of these reasons that led to South Africa to Bahia in the middle of last year. In August , she chose Trancoso ( place your favorite ” in the world ” ) as the location for the cover of this editorial in the January issue of Vogue . The next month , arrived in Salvador on a journey lightning which went unnoticed by the paparazzi . Wearing cotton shirt , plaid shirt tied at the waist , jeans and Converse sneakers , the angel of Victoria ‘s Secret and fourth sexiest model in the world ranking Models.com followed up the neighborhood Itapuã to meet women of a community needy responsible for plots that give grace to the British brand Bottletop accessories .’
Under the command of Cameron Saul and Oliver Wayman , designer makes an intensive social work through his foundation, promoting the inclusion of young people exposed to risks such as HIV virus pregnancy , drug abuse and adolescence through educational programs funded with sale of clothing accessories . In Brazil , based in Sao Paulo with Womanhood Project , which provides assistance to pregnant teenagers and Salvador , which enables the artisans that enchanted Candice – there, under the eye of coordinator Luciano dos Santos , they received lessons from a designer brought from the studios of prêt – à-porter Paris to create colorful bags , clutches and belts from recycled tin rings . Interested in Bahia as anywhere else – the top says that there is a unique corner of the world where he feels at home – she posed for the brand campaign without charge and was keen to go there know closely a piece of first social project supported in your life .
” After so much time working for a daily paycheck , the money shall not make you happier . Accomplish something is much more rewarding than taking a top job and increase my bank account . These ladies need us – but I need them too, ” Candice reflected during the visit . “It’s the first time I get involved with social work. Smaller I supported causes in New York , was in a charitable gala nights and such, but nothing as significant as this. For a long time I looked for a cause, but wanted it to be something I really wanted to do, not something that made me feel at work when I saw how passionate and young – . , therefore , could be doing other things now – were the people behind the project , and saw the places in which they act – there Salvador , but also a core in Mozambique , which brings me back to Africa – it seemed the right thing to do , “he added .
” In South Africa we do not learn much about South America learned English , History – about Brazil , I knew nothing ,” said the top , which influence the capixaba boyfriend met ( and quite ) the country for the last eight years. ” Vitoria, Belo Horizonte , São Paulo , Rio de Janeiro , Fortaleza , Conceição da Barra – . . Up to a reggae festival in Itaúnas I went ‘m gringa , but adopted the Brazil When I came to Bahia , the feelings I had were overwhelming . ‘s a place where I feel alive , I see good people around me and it makes me become a better person . ”
” For models , the life is in fast- forward mode – I can guarantee that I did things that many people 30 years and never made it all about yourself , . . You are your own business after a certain time in the industry , you tired of it . [ Pause ] I think that is why many models have children early , because then their story also involves another person , you know I also need to feel that I am doing things for someone other than me . ”
Owner of a house in the Holy Spirit and a respectable repertoire of words in the national vocabulary – she adores, for example, swearing in Portuguese – Candice is passionate about culture found here . Like eating acarajé (with a little pepper , please) , pot pie , prefer their meat at a barbecue with headlight and says it does a good vinaigrette . Hear a lot of Brazilian music , so on your iPod Jorge Ben Jor ago , Tim Maia , plus a bit of forró bands and reggae ( ” Freedom to Inside the Head ” , the Natiruts , is one of the favorite tracks , she sings head ) .
Also, is very interested in knowing a Candomble yard . I mention that there are people , even Brazilians, who feel frightened by this aspect of our culture . ” Nah ! I grew up in Africa , I’m not afraid of those things . ‘m Very interested in spirituality, in fact . Like to know what people believe , their different religions . Grew up Christian , but now I am in a spiritual way through which I connect with nature and the energy of the people – do not worry about the place to which I will when I die . ” And we thought we were restricted to the angels heaven.
In time, sold in spots like Harrods in London , scholarships of Bottletop landed on the shelves of multi Seas in February . And soon a designer weight of American fashion will support the project too. Keep your eye .
Yesterday Candice also visited FOX & Friends to promote her Royal Fantasy Bra and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show that will be aired on CBS, December 10th at 10/9c. Plus the F&F crew posted a few photos from the studio with her, check them out in our gallery.
Since the release of this I have been trying my hardest to get my little hands on them, just for you guys. Luckily we have an amazing connection to Candice’s motherland through one of her biggest fans, @Lynn_Minnaar who was kind enough to not only buy the magazine but scan it exclusively for us. Also check out the latest RE: Candice Shorts videos, including a little chat about festivals with Woolworths, Behind the Scenes clip & an exclusive interview with Top Billing!
Photo Gallery > Magazines > 2013 > W Magazine by Woolworths
Miscellaneous > Live Coverage > 2013 – PopSugar.Com Fantasy Bra Interview
Screen Captures > Interviews > Websites > 2013 – Candice Talks Wearing The Royal Fantasy Bra with PopSugar.Com
Yesterday during Good Morning America and press event at Victoria’s Secret Harald Square, Candice unveiled her Royal Fantasy Bra. We hope you enjoy this little interview (via our friend, Pink Couture) and 200+ of the most stunning mq/hq photos of Candice to date.
Miscellaneous > Live Coverage > 2013 – Royal Fantasy Bra Unveiling
Public Appearances > 2013 > Nov 06 – Good Morning America
Candids > 2013 > Nov 06 – Leaving Good Morning America
Public Appearances > 2013 > Nov 06 – Victoria’s Secret Royal Fantasy Bra Unveiling