When it comes to the fantasy world that Victoria’s Secret has dreamed up, “angels” do indeed walk among us. The lingerie brand’s elite models are as otherworldly as they come: lithe, disarmingly beautiful and just plain ol’ sweet.
Jasmine Tookes, a 2015 inductee, demonstrates all those traits – and more. The 27-year-old has a commanding presence on the runway, and is loved for her gorgeous brown skin.
“It meant everything to me,” she says, on being made a Victoria’s Secret Angel. “It’s something I wanted my entire life since I can remember as a kid watching Giselle (Bundchen), Adriana (Lima) and Tyra (Banks) walk the runway.”
In an email interview with Star2, Tookes explains that those supermodels are indeed a big role model. As much as they have inspired her, she wants to now inspire other young girls.
“It felt surreal to follow in such an iconic supermodel’s footsteps,” Tookes enthuses about Banks. “She was the model I loved, and I can’t believe I’m in the same position she was.”
When asked about her message to her fans, she states: “Always remember to always work hard for what you want. Never give up and keep pushing yourself to reach your goals.”
Tookes (seen in this year’s show) started walking for Victoria’s Secret in 2012, but only gained her wings three years later. Her modelling portfolio includes known designers such as Tom Ford, Versace, Balmain and Calvin Klein.
She has also worked with renown photographers the likes of Steven Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier and Peter Lindbergh, with fashion spreads in American, French, German and Italian Vogue.
“From walking runways to becoming an ‘angel’, it took many steps to be where I am today. I couldn’t be more grateful. I never take anything for granted,” she points out.
Keeping It Real
California-born Tookes was first discovered at age 16 while with her mother, a stylist and image consultant. Her nine-year-old sister is an aspiring model too – they have appeared together in a fashion catalogue before.
So it comes as no surprise that Tookes places great importance in having her family close to her. She says that they keep her “grounded and happy”.
“Never take anything for granted as life is very short and anything can be taken away in a heartbeat. That is something my mother has told me that I’ll never forget,” she adds.
Tookes lets on that walking the Victoria’s Secret runway is nothing short of a surreal experience. But that is not the only highlight. She also looks forward to the big party that follows.
“It’s like you’re walking on a dream and not to mention in some of the most amazing outfits ever. The after-party is all about letting loose and just celebrating – and having fun with the girls. So there is tonnes of dancing going on.”
She also says that the T-shirt bra is one of her favourite collections. This is because it comes with accent logo straps, which she thinks are really fun in dressing up her wardrobe.
But Victoria’s Secret is not just a lingerie brand to Tookes. Understandable, as the annual runway show is a globally publicised spectacle and has the potential to make a statement.
“Why do I think that Victoria’s Secret is so universal? Because it is a brand that empowers women and there are women all around the world,” she concludes.