LAIS RIBEIRO – VOGUE – Your First Look at Victoria’s Secret’s Sapphire-Studded Fantasy Bra

Your First Look at Victoria’s Secret’s Sapphire-Studded Fantasy Bra

When Lais Ribeiro puts on the Fantasy Bra she can’t help but get a little emotional. “You just feel so powerful wearing it—like all the hard work has paid off,” shared the Brazilian beauty on set at Pier 59 Studios. Clad in layers of Mouawad jewels, Ribeiro looks every inch the Victoria’s Secret Angel, but her journey from unknown to modeling superstar has been unique.

Working with the mega-brand since 2010, she’s gone from being a rookie to becoming a regular presence in the company’s sultry imagery. Strutting down the glittery pink runway, starring in those Michael Bay–helmed Super Bowl ads, and posing alongside the supermodels she once looked up to, she’s now earned the honor of wearing what may be the world’s most valuable piece of lingerie.

Getting picked for the Fantasy Bra, Victoria’s Secret’s annual custom merger of lingerie and jewelry that serves as a focal point within its televised shows, came as a surprise. She found out during fittings for the upcoming Shanghai show on November 20 and Ribeiro admits that the news overwhelmed her. “I had no idea that [the fitting] was for the bra,” she said. “I came in and when I tried it I cried, it was unbelievable.”

Though VS’s Angel brigade is filled with model moms, Ribeiro began her career after the birth of her son, Alexandre. Growing up in a small town, she didn’t dream of Angel wings or making it on the catwalk. Instead, she wanted a career in which she could help people. “I was going to school to be a nurse and then everything happened very fast.” On the advice of friends, she entered a local modeling contest and found herself whisked off to New York City before she had learned a word of English.

She credits fellow Angel Adriana Lima for taking her under her wing. “Adriana knows herself. She’s very strong, powerful, and sexy. It’s inspiring—she helped me a lot in the beginning of my career,” says Ribeiro, who upon experiencing her first Victoria’s Secret shoot knew she wanted to be a part of things for the long haul. “I remember Russell James was shooting me for that first catalog and Miranda Kerr was there. She had been in this business a long time and everything was completely new for me. I didn’t speak the language. She was just jumping up and down, throwing her hair and flipping. All I could think was, ‘How am I going to be like that?’ ”

Thankfully, Ribeiro is a quick study. Learning from the best in the business, she is now the standard that newcomers look to. Following in the footsteps of fellow Brazilians like Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Gisele Bündchen, her career has come full circle. “I believe everything happens at the right time,” says Riberio.

This year’s Fantasy Bra is done up in gold leaf and sapphires and comes with its own bejeweled belt. Although Ribeiro may need a bodyguard to make her way to the stage, she says she loves the design. “Personally, I love the colors on my skin tone and the big stones!” Though odds are she won’t be engaging in any heavy lifting à la her Vogue video, Ribeiro is expecting plenty of excitement in Shanghai. She’s looking forward not just to bringing the VS spectacle to a new city, but also having her family front and center to cheer her on. “I have my brother and my dad there so it’s going to be very special for me and I can’t wait to see their faces when I’m walking down the runway and just see their reaction!”

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