Blonde, brunette, shy, quirky, American, Brazilian. The iconic Victoria’s Secret Angels are all extremely different women. There’s just one thing that they all have in common: they’re all unbelievably, insanely, drop dead gorgeous.
What is it about them that transforms them from mere models to icons? Part of it is the reason they appeal to both men and women – they’re not the ultra-slim, androgynous models that typically walk the catwalk. Yes, they have incredible physiques and they’re all slim, but they definitely have curves – something that men love and that women can relate to. Sure, we know that they spend the weeks leading up to the Fashion Show training extra hard, and we know that they spend hours in hair and make-up before the show, but somehow we forget all of that when it comes time for them to strut down the catwalk. All we see is flowing waves, a sassy strut, and some over-the-the top lingerie – wings included. Simply put, we love the Angels!
Though the show has been running for nearly two decades, and many models have graced the catwalk, only a select few have attained Angel status. Of those carefully selected Angels, here are the 10 hottest of all time.
10 Tyra Banks
If you’ve been a Tyra fan for the past decade or so, you may know her better from her hit reality series America’s Next Top Model. However, before she was telling young, aspiring models how to "smize" and strike the best poses, she was strutting her stuff on the catwalk as an Angel.
While she worked the high fashion circuit as a young, teenaged model on the rise, her curves soon started to size her out of haute couture. Undeterred, she went back to the United States to model lingerie and swimwear. The rest, as they say, is history – she remains one of the most popular Angels of all time, and donned her wings for nearly a decade before retiring from the catwalk.
9 Laetitia Casta
In a sea of American models, gorgeous French beauty Laetitia Casta definitely had a certain je ne sais quoi – and she’s definitely remembered for her Angel years. Sure, she didn’t quite have the decade-long tenure that some of the other Angels had, only appearing for about three years, but that was enough to cement her status as one of the hottest Angels of all time.
Lately, she’s been trying to transition from a model to an actress, and has gotten roles in several French films. Regardless of where her career takes her, she absolutely rocked it on the Victoria’s Secret runway during her time as an Angel.
8 Miranda Kerr
When Miranda Kerr announced that she would be retiring from the Angel game, the entire world mourned. Okay, that might be a bit hyperbolic, but fans around the world were definitely bummed that they wouldn’t be able to see the bombshell from down under rocking lacy looks anymore.
While there are plenty of gorgeous Aussie models working in the industry, Kerr became the first Australian Angel ever. Kerr is known for having a passion for healthy eating and the environment, two things that simply add to her girl-next-door image. While she hung up her wings, her body is still in incredible shape – who knows, maybe she’ll make a special re-appearance on one of the runways in the future as an Angel alumni.
7 Marisa Miller
6 Chanel Iman
With a name like Chanel Iman, you practically know from birth that you’re destined to be a supermodel – and that certainly holds true for this American beauty. Iman is part of the most recent generation of Angels, as she earned her wings in 2010. She had a reputation for being a bit of a firecracker with strong beliefs, and has done everything from speak out about racism in the fashion industry to dropping out of one year’s Fashion Show in order to campaign for President Obama.
A mere three years after she became an Angel, the brand decided not to renew her contract – something that countless fans felt was a huge mistake. She’s gorgeous! Well, regardless, Iman got the last laugh, as she’s gone on to have tons of success outside the world of Victoria’s Secret.
5 Candice Swanepoel
While South America seems to produce Angels on a regular basis, blonde mega-babe Candice Swanepoel is one of the few from another southern nation - South Africa. While she has been featured in countless magazines, and has walked the catwalk for numerous high fashion brands, Swanepoel only earned her Angel wings in 2010.
Since then, she’s been one of the most popular Angels of all time – and definitely one of the sexiest. She even had the distinction of wearing the ultra-expensive Fantasy Bra in 2013. While countless other Angels have retired in the past several years, Swanepoel is still going strong, strutting her stuff on that runway – and we thank her for it.
4 Gisele Bundchen
Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen was an Angel for about seven years, after signing a record-breaking $25 million contract with the company in 2000. Anyone who has seen her stomp down the runway during one of her numerous Fashion Show appearances know that she’s worth every penny.
While the Angels around her seemed to be getting younger and younger, Bundchen just got better with age. She decided to retire in 2007 to pursue other projects, including acting roles. She could have had any man she wanted, and decided to walk down the aisle with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, making her one half of one of the biggest power couples in the world today.
3 Adriana Lima
While Adriana Lima has snagged acting roles and beauty contracts throughout her long career as a model, she’s best known for her work as a Victoria’s Secret Angel – and it’s easy to see why. The length of her time as an Angel is also astounding – while even reaching five years is a huge accomplishment, Lima first stepped onto the catwalk as an Angel in 2000 and is still on their roster. That’s right – 15 years, and she looks every bit as gorgeous as the first year.
She has opened the show several times, and even stunned audiences by strutting down the runway – to open the show, no less! – less than two months after giving birth. If you manage to get your contract renewed over and over again for more than a decade, especially in a time-sensitive industry like modelling, you know you’re doing something right.
2 Doutzen Kroes
While many Angels come from hot weather locales such as Brazil or Australia, former Angel Doutzen Kroes proves that the Dutch can do sexy just as well. Kroes, known for her big blue eyes and unbelievable curves, rocked the runway in eight separate Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows – although she only achieved Angel status in her third show in 2008.
She’s undergone countless milestones during her time as an Angel, including becoming a mother, but has managed to maintain her killer curves throughout the years. Kroes eventually left the company to pursue other projects, but her incredible looks will always earn her a spot on any list of the hottest Angels.
1 Heidi Klum
Ah, Heidi Klum – Germany’s blonde gift to the world. Klum might be better known to modern audiences for her role on reality series Project Runway, where she critiques and challenges aspiring fashion designers. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, however, she was strutting her stuff on the Fashion Show catwalk.
Klum was part of the original generation of Angels, but she held her own for an unbelievably long time, only retiring at 37 – and she still had the body of a 20 year old! Klum wore her wings for 13 years, constantly stunning audiences by looking crazy hot despite giving birth to several children in between shows. It was definitely a sad day when Victoria’s Secret audiences had to say auf wiedersehen to this gorgeous German.