Victoria’s Secret may be having some struggles—53 of its stores are closing and Pink is “without fans and rudderless” (ouch!)—but, in a big silver lining, it’s added an absolutely stunning new Angel to its line-up. Model Leomie Anderson, who’s walked the runway for Savage x Fenty and Tommy x Zendaya, just announced on Instagram that she’s officially a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
“Mate I am still in shock,” she posted on Instagram. “This is something I was even scared to dream about because I never thought it would come true but I am insanely excited to announce that I am Victoria’s Secret’s newest ANGEL!! I can’t even believe it… Thank you to God, My fusion family, Ed, Monica, John, Sophie, Michelle and everyone else who made this once far fetched dream a reality ❤️”
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Mate I am still in shock… this is something I was even scared to dream about because I never thought it would come true but I am insanely excited to announce that I am Victoria’s Secret’s newest ANGEL!! I can’t even believe it… Thank you to God, My fusion family, Ed, Monica, John, Sophie, Michelle and everyone else who made this once far fetched dream a reality ❤️
Everyone from Gabrielle Union to Jordan Dunn has congratulated Anderson, with Union writing, “🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 so proud!” and Dunn, a fellow Victoria’s Secret model, posting, “SCREAMING!!!!!!!!! So proud of you lil sis your time is NOW!!”
Here’s what you need to do about the 26-year-old model.
1. She grew up in South London and was scouted at age 14. “Somebody from Premier came up to me and said ‘Have you ever considered modeling?’” she told Grazia Daily. “I thought he was a pervert! I just got on the bus like, ‘No, thanks’…Then a few months later, somebody else from Premier came up to me and I was like, ‘Okay, cool, two people from the same agency, maybe this is legit.’ I went in, and the rest is history.”
2. At 17, she walked her first runway for Marc Jacobs. Since then, she’s walked for Yeezy, Moschino, Chloé, Fenty Puma by Rihanna, and many more.
3. She walked for Victoria’s Secret four times before becoming an Angel. Her first time walking for Victoria’s Secret was in 2015, but she was rejected twice before that. When she received the news, she told Arcadia magazine that her mom was less than impressed. “I called my mum but she was on a yoga retreat and didn’t answer for six hours! When I finally got through to her, she was like ‘What’s that again?’” Anderson said. “I told her and she said, ‘Wait, which one is that?’ I was just like, ‘Seriously mum, just forget it.'”
Image via Getty
4. Rihanna personally selected her to walk for Savage x Fenty. Anderson talked about their friendship in an interview with Dazed saying, “I’ve actually worked with her nearly every year for the past four or five years, whether it was her River Island collection or her Stance socks collection. I walked for Fenty in Paris last season and now with the [Fenty Beauty] campaign. She’s very loyal and if she likes you she will always support you in some way shape or form.”
5. On top of modeling, she’s a businesswoman and activist. In addition to being a runway favorite, Anderson is also a passionate advocate for women’s issues and inclusion and diversity in modeling. In 2016, she founded a media startup called LAPP—Leomie Anderson the Project the Purpose—where young women can write about topics that matter to them.
She’s given a TEDx talk where she took people behind the scenes of the modeling industry, and in 2017, she spoke out when she was cut from a show allegedly on the basis of race after Anderson said she was told “the designer doesn’t feel like using more than one black girl.”
6. She loves vintage Chanel. In an interview with Heroine, she described her “crazy vintage Chanel collection ranging from holographic logo bags to runway denim looks from 1996” and called vintage Chanel a “real weakness.”