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For nearly two decades, there’s always been one thing you can count on at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: Alessandra Ambrosio killing it on the catwalk. But after reports surfaced that the iconic Angel might be retiring from the runway, PEOPLE asked the supermodel backstage about her future with the lingerie giant that she’s worked with for close to half her life.
“I don’t know,” Ambrosio, 36, told PEOPLE when asked if she was retiring. “I can’t even believe that I’m here still. Never in my life would I dream of doing 17 shows, but I’m very happy to be here in China because it’s definitely the biggest show we’ve ever done. We’re on the other side of the world. The venue is so incredible and culturally it’s so different and to be here I feel so fortunate.”
Tuesday, however, she model confirmed via Instagram that this year would be her last walking the runway for the brand.
Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have been working for this amazing brand that inspires me and women all over the world. In my wildest dreams I would have never imagined doing 17 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows. Thank you Ed, and all my Victoria’s Secret family for making these memories unforgettable. Last night was so emotional to say goodbye to my #angel sisters but we put on the biggest and best show ever. I could not have done this without all the love and support from my fans. It gives me great pride to be part the Victoria’s Secret movement! I will always be cheering for you! Love you forever ??
A post shared by Alessandra Ambrosio (@alessandraambrosio) on Nov 21, 2017 at 3:20am PST
The model hit the catwalk in two head-turning looks, one of which was very special to her because it marked a collaboration with her close friend Olivier Rousteing of Balmain.
“I have this amazing Balmain look. And I love Olivier. I’m good friends with him. I was very happy when I heard Balmain and Victoria’s Secret were doing a collaboration,” she shared. “I’m wearing this amazing punk rock lingerie look. Then I have a gorgeous outfit, very colorful for my second look.”
Alongside Ambrosio, 22 models hit the catwalk in the Punk Angel section of the show, marking the biggest section in VS fashion show history.
Ambrosio made her Victoria’s Secret Runway debut in 2001 at the age of 20. In 2010, she wore the $2.5 million fantasy bra in 2012 and then again in 2014 alongside Adriana Lima. She also wore 30-pound wings (while pregnant!) in 2011.
“Being on the Victoria’s Secret Runway makes me feel like a real Angel,” she shared.
So how will the Brazilian Bombshell be celebrating after the end of what could be her last show? Spending time with family (she brought along her 9-year-old daughter — who she called her “favorite angel” on Instagram — to Shanghai!) and eating a big meal, of course.
A post shared by Alessandra Ambrosio (@alessandraambrosio) on Nov 16, 2017 at 9:35am PST
“I’m dying to eat everything. Everything. Whatever comes to me,” she quipped. “And I’m so excited for Thanksgiving this week!”