Imagine being a Victoria’s Secret Angel. You’re gorgeous, travel the world and get to dress up in oversized fairy wings on a regular basis. Yep, it’s a lifestyle we’d definitely sign up for if we could. And (we’re not getting carried away here at all) if we were to choose which Angel to be, we’d definitely choose Candice Swanepoel. Why? Well, putting aside the blonde locks and mega-watt smile, the 26-year-old is seriously cool. Fluent in three languages, when she’s not in Rio with her Brazilian model boyfriend Hermann Nicoli, she’s in New York hanging out with BFFs Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Behati Prinsloo. Plus, she has amazing style. Whether it’s a floor-length lace dress or ripped jeans, we pretty much want her whole wardrobe. And, luckily for us, now we can get it. Candice, who has been an Angel since 2010, has now collaborated with denim brand MOTHER to design her own charitable collection. We caught up with the South African born model to talk jeans, juices, and how she still loves a good old fry-up…
Candice, we’re loving your gorgeous MOTHER collection. What inspired you to do it?
MOTHER approached me with this project and after I met them I realized it was a perfect partnership in which not only would I be able try my hand at designing my own line but I would also be able to help an amazing charity – mothers2mothers.
So proceeds from the collection go towards the charity? Give us the lowdown on this great cause…
They’re an organization based out of South Africa that works to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies. They train, employ and empower mothers living with HIV, who then become Mentor Mothers. Those incredible women work alongside doctors and nurses in understaffed health centers to provide lifesaving education and support to other HIV-positive pregnant women. Since 2001, the organization has reached more than 1.2 million HIV-positive mothers and their babies in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
It’s great that you’re using fashion to drive the campaign. What’s your mum’s style like?
I love her style. In the 80s she was an aerobics teacher and she permed her hair and wore these huge earrings and high-cut thong leotards. A lot of my style inspiration comes from the 70s and 80s.
Are the two of you close?
Very. In the beginning [my parents] were the ones who encouraged me to keep modelling because there weren’t many opportunities in South Africa for young people. If I was ever homesick and wanted to come home, my mom was always strong and said I should stick it out.
Back to the collection – what inspired the designs?
I was very excited about being able to recreate and perfect some of my favorite pieces – I’ve got jeans in my closet I’ve had for years. The denim in the collection reminds me of 90’s model off duty street style. Supermodels from that time inspired me, including Cindy Crawford in that iconic Pepsi Commercial.
Denim is such a key part of team LOOK’s wardrobe. What staples could you not live without?
I love denim and have an emotional attachment to some of the jeans that have been in my closet for years. It’s definitely my go to outfit. I always feel good in jeans that fit me just right. In my personal time, I keep it pretty simple with denim cut offs and a white tank, it just makes my life easier because it always looks good.
Tell us how you’d style up your favourite piece from the range…
One of my favorites is ‘The Stunner’ in Hijacking the Runway, a high-rise rigid denim that molds to your body over time. The wash is a light blue with distressing and holes on the knees. I love this style with a simple white button down.
We all know jean shopping can be tricky! What do you think makes the perfect pair?
One that enhances the body comfortably and not only looks great, but also feels great
You’re part of an iconic modeling movement, what’s it like being an Angel?
It comes with a different kind of responsibility. It’s not just about posing for shoots. People know your name and your personality. We’ve become like a family.
Of course, everyone wants your bodies…how hard do you really work for them?
Everyone’s different and everyone’s body is different. I eat really healthily in general, I just feel better that way. I try to train as much as I can. Sometimes I’m too tired after work, so I try to work out in the morning. Usually three or four times a week, or even if I do 15 minutes of running on the treadmill or yoga at home. It’s just about making the workouts fun and then it doesn’t really feel that bad.
Do you ever let go and treat yourself?
My victory meal (after a show) is usually a burger and a beer. I do love a full English breakfast as well – eggs, bacon, the whole thing, which actually, I don’t cut out during the show because breakfast you can eat whatever!
How about beauty? Any top tips?
It comes down to eating healthily for my skin to looks its best. Good skin comes from within and I make sure I eat nutrient-rich foods like fish, lots of veggies, nuts and foods that contain omega that are rich in oils.
What are your favourite beauty products?
I use mostly natural products. Less is more in my opinion. I use coconut oil for my body and green tea face wash. But I do love make-up. If I go to a festival or something, I really go for it and create a really dramatic eye. Maxfactor mascara is the best for that. I’ll apply it really thick so it looks like I’m wearing false eyelashes. I swear by that stuff.
You’ve been with your model boyfriend, Hermann Nicoli, since you were 17. How do you balance your career and relationship?
A relationship is like another job, you know, you have to work at it all the time. You have to freshen things up and try new things. Travelling a lot makes it exciting too, because I go away for a week and we miss each other, so that’s helped our relationship a lot. You make sacrifices, but we’ve grown up together.
And how about children? Do you think you’d like to be a mother yourself?
At a certain point you do long for your own family, something more than just work. So yeah, I do think about it. But I still have a lot more to do.
By Catriona Innes and Hollie Brotherton