As a Victoria’s Secret Angel and model, Candice Swanepoel is accustomed to being bikini-ready at a moment’s notice – rather unlike the scramble to book pedicure appointments, apply fake tan and regret not doing more exercise experienced by the British as soon as the sun shows its face. For that very reason, we asked the long-limbed, glowing-skinned South African to share her advice for being prepared for summer sunshine – and making the most of it while it’s here.
1. Sun protection is really important for me. My face really burns and it’s not cute! My facialist gives me a really strong sunscreen, and I wear that every day, whether it’s sunny or not.
2. I leave a vanity bag always packed with my favourite stuff so it’s ready to go when I travel. I have my products that I always need: my face wash, toner, moisturiser, sunscreen and body oil – I love Bio Oil.
3. Because I’m in the ocean all the time, I use a lot of different oils and conditioning creams on my hair. In Brazil it’s very normal to take products and your brush to the beach, people dye their hair… so I take all of my conditioning treatments to the beach when I’m there.
4. When I’m on holiday, I try to take a break from make-up. If we have a night out, or go and see a band or something, I’ll do some blush and mascara – but I try to keep it really minimal.
5. Squats are the key! It’s definitely squats! They work for me if I’ve been on holiday and I feel like I haven’t done enough exercise. Even 10 make me feel better. You know what’s good – if you squat and when you come back up, you squeeze really hard. That works.
ON HOLIDAY WITH AN ANGEL – Candice Swanepoel is taking us all to Brazil… sort of. The South African model has always been vocal about her love for the country that she considers her second home – her long-term boyfriend hails from there and she speaks fluent Portuguese – and on her last trip she kept a photo diary for us. The Victoria’s Secret Angel was in the country to shoot the campaign for the new Bottletop collection – which, like her, is inspired by Brazil.
“The shoot was wonderful,” Swanepoel told us. “The location was a stunning contemporary beach house designed by one of Bahia’s leading architects, with lots of glass walls and light which is perfect for shooting. We were lucky that the sun shone! We had a DJ playing electronic dance music all afternoon to keep our energy and spirits high, and I think you can tell we had a great time by the quality of the images.”
While in Brazil, Swanepoel was also able to spend some time at the brand’s atelier – where local women have been taught to construct Bottletop’s innovative bags.
“Getting to see firsthand how the handbags are made and having the ladies talk me through each skill they have learnt was incredible,” she added. “It’s important to me to be more hands on when it comes to these projects: to hear with my own ears how it’s changing their lives. Brazil is a very spiritual place for me, especially the north, so it was a great place to shoot.”
Miscellaneous > Behind The Scenes > Campaigns > 2014 – Bottletop Handbags Summer
The Victoria’s Secret Show will take place in London this year, two of the Angels revealed at the brand’s Bond Street store this morning. Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel joined marketing director Ed Razek to announce the move, as well as the venue and date: Earls Court on December 2.
The show has been held in various cities across the world – including Cannes, Miami and LA. The brand has hoped to bring it here since 1998, Razek revealed, but he said: “Candidly, we weren’t well known enough here until we opened the stores. We have six stores in the UK now.”
“It’s amazing,” Swanepoel told us. “It’s really exciting. We’ve done the show in New York for the last three years, and it’s always fun – but when we travel, everyone travels together, and it really feels like more of an event for us. Plus, the British crowd is so different; it’s going to be a great show. It will be a bigger audience, and this year the dress code is going to be black tie – so they will all be really dressed up as well.”
Prince Harry has a “front-row seat” should he want one, the Angels said, for the show which will be the brand’s biggest ever – in front of an audience of almost 3,000 as opposed to the usual 1,000. As for whether British model Cara Delevingne will take a third turn on the catwalk – this time in her native city – and maybe even earn her Angel wings this year?
“I’ll let you into a secret,” Razek said. “I told Cara a few days ago and asked her to save the date, so hopefully she will walk. She was excited. And she kept the secret for a whole week!”
Public Appearances > 2014 > Apr 15 – Victoria’s Secret Press Conference in London
Candids > 2014 > Apr 15 – Candice Leaves Victoria’s Secret Bond St. in London
Model visited a project in Brooklyn, neighborhood of the city, with her boyfriend.
Candice Swanepoel came to Brazil for Sao Paulo Fashion Week and also decided to make some investments in the state capital. Early in the morning of Saturday (5), she visited the headquarters of an apartment being built in Brooklyn, neighborhood of the southern city.
Accompanied by boyfriend Hermnn Nicoli, the two asked questions about the construction of the Habitart brokers, responsible for buildings and Yuny Stan, who drew the attention of Victoria’s Secret Angel.
Candice attended the amfAR gala on the evening of Friday (4) and straightway coming up out of the event, commented: “It was a pleasure to be part of the amfAR Sao Paulo.” The South African top dressed in a long green tone signed by Valentino.
Candids > 2014 > Apr 05 – Candice and Hermann Apartment Hunting in Sao Paulo
As much as we love a dreamy dress or daring straight-off-the-runway ensemble, there’s just something about a classic, all-American jeans and T-shirt outfit that we can’t resist. And since nobody wears the official model-off-duty uniform better than, well, models, we tapped a few of the best ones in the business—the Victoria’s Secret Angels—to help us celebrate the look.
In honor of the lingerie brand’s launch of its all-new T-shirt Bra, we asked Lucky‘s own editors to dress the lovely ladies of VS in their favorite jeans-and-tee pairings—and had a lot of fun in the process.
For the last Angel/editor pairing in our series, following Behati Prinsloo styled by Noelle Sciacca and Karlie Kloss styled by Elana Fishman, the gorgeous Candice Swanepoel and Lucky market editor Laurel Pantin prove that a denim skirt—yes, that early-aughts staple we all owned in multiples—is back and better than ever.
With her flaxen hair, golden skin and Angelic proportions, it’s not difficult to see why Candice Swanepoel might be described as the perfect woman – but for two young British philanthropists, she’s perfect for entirely different reasons. Cameron Saul and Oliver Wayman, the directors of British brand Bottletop, have launched a bag collection that is as stylish as it is good-hearted, and in Swanepoel they have found a spokesmodel who fits their label’s vision beyond measure.
“We were looking for someone who could really represent what we were doing,” Saul explained. “If we’d sat down and mapped out someone to really symbolise it, we couldn’t in our wildest dreams have created someone like Candice.”
The duo’s latest labour of love is a bag collection created in Bahia, Brazil, by local women who have been trained by leatherwork experts from around the world. Designed by Narciso Rodriguez, the bags are then sold in high-end department stores internationally, with a price tag of more than £1,000 – and the profits go to fund projects in communities where the money can really make a difference, a cause close to Swanepoel’s heart.
“It’s a simple thing that I can do to help, you know? Being a model,” Swanepoel laughed, shrugging – her long, tanned arms swathed in a scarf to fight the London chills on the day we met. “In the long term it can help so many people, because it’s not just for the women in Brazil who have learned a new skill, but it goes in to their education projects in Africa; film, music, theatre, fundraising programmes. You can’t just go in to communities in Africa and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to tell you about AIDS.’ It has to be dealt with properly.”
“We didn’t really think that someone like her was out there,” Saul’s co-director Oliver Wayman smiled. “You couldn’t have planned it. Not only is she South African, and so she’s aware of the country where we do a lot of our work, but she also considers herself half-Brazilian, and can speak Portuguese after spending a lot of time in the country. What we found encouraging – and actually so, so humbling, too – is that she’s so good at just getting stuck in; just sitting down and talking to the women from our atelier, in a pretty challenging environment, and just being on their level.”
“After working for so long, you do crave something else,” Swanepoel nodded. “Yes, I live a fabulous life, and it’s all glamour and everything – but, coming from South Africa, I really felt that I was missing some reality, and being able to help in some way. Not just thinking about my own life and being pretty. I do want to be really involved – go to the places, meet the people – and they are allowing me to be quite a big part of it. To see these women, who have come from difficult situations, being taught by someone who used to work at Louis Vuitton and learning this skill – that is a really great thing.”
Swanepoel is one model about whom negative stories never arise – grounded by her “beautiful” South African upbringing; diva behaviour is not her style. Backstage at the Victoria’s Secret show, several of the youngest models cited her as “an inspiration”, for being so successful and yet remaining down-to-earth enough to wish them luck or check they were OK. As much as the perks of the job must be various and dazzling, to Swanepoel remaining grounded is not so much a badge of honour as a necessity of survival.
“Day to day is difficult; it’s more about getting away,” she admitted. “Every couple of weeks, whenever I get time, I’ll go to Africa, or to Brazil, and find myself again. When I have free time, I like to go somewhere – not to a hotel and feel pampered and luxurious, but to just clean my slate and be in reality. Go stay in a tent somewhere. So it’s beneficial to me as well as to Bottletop for me to go and do this.”
Not fiercely, but still emphatically, private, her relationship with boyfriend of nine years Hermann Nicoli is kept as far from the headlines as possible – and she intends, when the time comes, to grow her family in the same way.
“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I’m looking for, but I know that my days of being in big cities are numbered,” Swanepoel – who currently lives with fellow model Nicoli in New York – said. “When you grow up on a farm like I did, you’re always going to go back to that feeling – and especially with the way the world is going, I’m looking for some fresh air and somewhere that I feel we are not ruining. It’s scary to me to think how my children are going to grow up one day. With social media and everything; kids now don’t even talk to each other. It’s a very different life, so my kids – poor things – are going to be on a farm somewhere with me like, ‘No video games! No TV!'”
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.
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