Candice Swanepoel now finds it “like a fairy tale or a dream I had a long time ago.” Her current life as a supermodel and businesswoman has little to do with the peace that growing up on a farm in Zulu-land instilled in her.
Life seemed so simple and pure! I know I am very lucky to have those memories, ”she tells Harper’s Bazaar with some nostalgia. It was there, in a flea market, where they discovered her at 15 years old. She was still not very clear about what she wanted in life until, after her first photo session, something clicked her. «I had done ballet since I was little and moving in front of the camera came naturally to me. When I finished, I said to my mother: ‘Mom, I want to dedicate myself to this.’ Since then, countless shows, covers and advertisements have led her to rank among the models best paid of the world. Fifteen years of career that he sums up in one word, “resilience”, and that have been marked, especially, by his fjchage by Victoria’s Secret in 2007. “To be honest, at that time I didn’t know the impact that the brand was going to have. in my life. But from the first moment they made me feel like a family with the other models and the team, and that was very comforting after two years traveling alone, so young ”, she confesses.
A few days before this talk, Swanepoel gave her all for this photoshoot. Literally: not only did she pose on the rooftops of Manhattan, but she also had the infinite generosity of doing it with her two children to celebrate this great family number. Don’t think it was easy to get them to stay still and look at the camera …
They posed only when they wanted and, if I asked, they did the opposite! “, She recalls amused. “But I think we managed to get some very sweet moments, didn’t we?” Anacan, 4, and Ariel, 2, are the result of their relationship with their ex-partner, the Brazilian model Hermann Nicoli. From them, she says, she learns daily things about herself that she did not know. And although being a supermodel and a supermother at the same time requires a dose of extra juggling, Candice gets along: “It’s not always easy, but the key lies in priorities and personal time management. You have to do the best you can always within your circumstances, “she says convinced.
It is due to the countless amount of trips and the crazy work schedules, that many times it has been questioned if both concepts are compatible. Also, in the aspect physical, there are still those who consider it a scandal that a top cannot change her body. Fortunately, women like Swanepoel struggle with such archaic thoughts as this: after Ariel was born, paparazzi photographed her on the beach, in a bikini, and received numerous derogatory comments. So many, that he did not hesitate to put the points on The i’s in an Instagram post: “This is me 12 days after giving birth. If you have something bad to say, make yourself look at it. Beauty standards are impossible for women today and I am not ashamed of my postpartum body. What’s more, I’m proud. I’ve had my son in there for nine months, so I think it’s my right to have a little belly, “she defended. Having worked in fashion for so many years, she says, has taught her to be stronger: “Not everyone will like you, and nothing happens either. If someone shows me hate, that does not speak of me; it’s something they have to deal with themselves. Her motherhood also awakened her desire to help other mothers with a different fate than her own.
For years, Candice has collaborated as an ambassador with the Mothers2Mothers association, from which they help African women and children by providing them with better health and futures and fighting
Against AIDS. “I am from Africa, so I have grown up seeing a lot of suffering from this disease and have always wanted to help in some way. When I became a mother, this organization touched me deeply, ”she explains. One more facet of this unstoppable woman who, since 2017, has also been joined by the entrepreneur of her own sustainable brand of swimsuits, Tropic of C, which she started with the memory she had of making her own bikinis as a child from the remains of her mother’s lycra clothing. With it she has reinvented her career without stopping what captivated her almost two decades ago: modeling. Of course, in 10 years from now, she imagines herself reuniting with that calm with which she idealizes her childhood today. «On a beach or in the field, watching my wonderful children grow into adults and keeping my creative side in some way.
Photoshoots > David Roemer