We are graced with their beauty in magazines, on TV and in fashion festivals where they strut their stuff on the runway for all to see. If we take a look at all of the Victoria’s Secret models though, almost 40% of them hail from either the U.S. or Brazil, and on an international stage that doesn’t leave too much room for other nationalities.
Since the international industry is dominated by American and Brazilian models, we thought it would be a good idea to find some of these smoking hot women who actually come from down under. Australia has some of the most beautiful women you have seen, yet is underrated for the amount of modeling talent it possesses. This list is not only meant to represent Australian models, but to also surprise you. Some of these faces have been seen on runways and magazine covers all over the world, from Vogue to Elle, and even on the movie screen.
10) Gemma Ward
Born in Perth into a relatively average family (her dad was a physician and her mom a nurse), Gemma Ward was the tomboy daughter with dreams of becoming a movie star, not a model. When she was 15 years old however, her friends pressured her into entering a local modeling competition. It’s alleged that she forged her mother’s signature to enter, and while she didn’t win, she was spotted by an IMG agent who instantly flew her to New York to begin her career.
She built her multi-million dollar fortune before she even turned 20 and was the youngest model on the cover of Vogue Magazine, as well as working with fashion designer shows like Prada, Gucci, Christian Dior and many more. With her fame she was able to transition into acting, with main roles in The Black Balloon and The Strangers.
9) Shanina Shaik
Born in 1991 and a native of Melbourne, Shanina Shaik began her modeling career very young as an 8 year old child model, breaking to attend school and resuming at the age of 15. Named runner up on the Australian TV show Make Me A Supermodel, her runway debut came in 2008 during the New York Fashion Week.
Moving to New York when she was just 17, in 2011 she made her first appearance with the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and has also worked with brands such as Chanel and appeared on the cover of Lurve Magazine.
Most notable is her relationship with Justin Bieber, with the two being caught getting touchy-feely backstage of the Victoria’s Secret show and also while attending the 2015 UFC fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
8) Jessica Hart
Well known for her slightly gap-toothed smile, Jessica never even aspired to become a model until her aunt, in 2000, entered her into a Dolly Magazine Model Search competition which she one. Born in Sydney in 1986, she was faced with the tough decision to continue with school or take up modeling as a career and it seems like she has never looked back.
Moving first to Tokyo, then Paris and London before settling in New York, her career only continued to escalate. She received the offer to become a Victoria’s Secret angel in 2009 and also featured in ad campaigns for brands such as Bobby Brown cosmetics, Cue and Esprit. In 2010 she developed her own label, Neon Hart, and to this day continues to be one of Australia’s best.
7) Elyse Taylor
Born in New South Wales in 1986, Taylor didn’t have aspirations to become a model either and wasn’t discovered until she was 18. She says that before modeling, she worked in a bakery and only wanted to chase boys at the beach, but a lot has changed now.
Since being discovered by the agent of a friend, she has not only been featured on the cover of Vogue magazine but has also modeled for Victoria’s secret, Dolce & Gabana, Bottega Veneta and many more high level brands. Now based in New York, Taylor gave birth to her first child named Lila in 2014, and while she took the first five months off from her career to nurture her child, she got back in shape and is now once again doing what she does best.
6) Abbey Lee Kershaw
Kershaw should be a familiar face to anyone who has seen the newest Mad Max: Fury Road film, as she had a major role as one of the “harem girls” and has since received many offers to appear on the screen again, so watch out!
Born in 1987 and raised in North Melbourne, she first entered the modeling industry at 17 years old after winning the Girlfriend Covergirl Model Search. She began doing local work in Sydney and it wasn’t long before she rocketed to the international stage.
Like our other girls on this list, she has not only modeled for Victoria’s Secret, but also for Diesel, Fendi, Versace and more. One unforgettable moment in her career was during Paris Fashion Week, when an overly tight corset coupled with difficult heels made her collapse on the runway. But with talent like hers it didn’t damage her career in the slightest.
5) Miranda Kerr
Kerr was not only the very first Australian to be named a Victoria’s Secret Angel back in 2007, but was also the very first pregnant model to make the cover of Vogue Australia. Ex-wife of famous actor Orlando Bloom (whom she married in June 2010), Kerr was born in Sydney in 1983, and was raised in a small town in New South Wales.
Transitioning from a childhood of racing motorbikes and riding horses to the life of a model doesn’t sound easy, however Kerr pulled it off. At 13, some friends of hers sent her pictures to a modeling contest for Dolly Magazine, winning the competition. Once finishing her school studies, Kerr began modeling for Billabong swimwear.
After gaining popularity for her amazing look, she moved to Japan to continue her career before settling in New York and is today one of the most recognized Australian models around.
4) Bambi Northwood-Blyth
Now here is a woman who is recognizable everywhere she appears. With her thick eyebrows and salty look, she can stand out from a crowd which is probably how she became one of the rising stars of the fashion world.
Born in Melbourne in 1991, she says that she entered modeling after missing out on her university orientation meaning that she couldn’t attend, and I think the world is grateful for the way that turned out.
In 2009 she began modeling for local brands during Australian Fashion Week, and the following year she hit the international stage, walking for brands including Chanel & Balenciaga, Topshop Unique and Rag & Bone at the spring/summer shows. By the end of 2011 she had become the face of Calvin Klein One Fragrance, appeared on the April cover of Vogue Magazine, and also modeled for some amazing brands in New York, London and Paris. Not a bad start for an increasingly brighter future.
3) Bridget Malcolm
Only just turning 23 years old this year, the stunning Bridget Malcolm has already been able to cross off walking for the 2015 Victoria’s Secret show from her bucket list. Born in Western Australia in 1992, she was discovered when she was 15 when she came third place in the Forest Place crowd at Vivien’s Annual Model Search Parade, the then 11th grader was whisked off of her feet into the limelight. What is interesting is that she never considered being a model, referring to it as an accidental career and she is right. The manager who helped get her name out, Meares, only had a position open up when a young model from France canceled.
We sure are happy that this accidental career panned out, because Bridget Malcolm is a stunner to behold.
2) Sarah Stephens
Brought to us from Sydney, the now 25 year old first began to go big at the age of 16 when in 2006, she won Australia’s Girlfriend Model Search and went on to sign with Chic Management. She continued to work locally in Australia for two years, where she starred in the May edition of Russian Vogue.
After that she was named by Models.com as “the next cool girl” and before you would know, was flown to New York to continue her grooming to become and international star. She received her runway debut in the spring Jason Wu Show in New York during September, and the following November was walking in the Victoria’s Secret show. But that was still just the beginning. Since then she has appeared in the Italian, Australian and Japanese Vogue magazines, and is currently casting to be a part of the SI 2016 swimsuit collection.
1) Nicole Trunfio
Out of all of the names mentioned on this list, Trunfio is the one to probably have turned the most heads. Born in 1986 in Merredin, near Perth, she was simply seen shopping in a mall by an agent who went on to invite her to enter the Australian Search For A Supermodel competition in 2002, at 16 years of age. Of course she won, and went on to place third in the international version of the show. From then on she was in the spotlight.
Since moving to New York to grow her modeling career in 2005, she has been featured in some of the highest profile magazines in the world such as Italian and German Vogue and Italian and French Elle, with many more in the collection. Her recent exploits include a career change into acting, featuring in five films from 2008-2010, as well as making TV appearances on the American Make Me A Supermodel and releasing her own collection of jewelry.