What’s better than a bunch of beautiful models walking a runway in lingerie? One of them completely covered in Swarovski crystals. Josephine Skriver, who was anointed an Angel by Victoria’s Secret just this year, was selected to wear the Swarovski Look at the annual fashion show, which will be held at the Grand Palais in Paris on Nov. 30.
The blinged-out outfit is adorned with 450,000 Swarovski crystals, including baguette diamonds, emeralds, and fancy stones, among others. The matching Brian Atwood thigh-high boots, featuring 1,630 of the crystals, are a focal point of the look. Alexander Wellhoefer, Swarovski’s senior vice president, notes: “For over 120 years, Swarovski has been the global leader in cut crystal, and we are proud to be a part of one of the most extraordinary runway shows in the world. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show allows us to reimagine our use of crystal and continues to inspire, year after year.”
Yahoo Style recently caught up with Skriver to discuss her reaction to finding out that she would be wearing the Swarovski this year, how her unique upbringing influenced her take on modeling, and what it means to be one of the most outspoken advocates for the LGBTQ community in the modeling industry.
Yahoo Style: Can you tell me a little bit about this year’s Swarovski Look, and how it felt to be selected to wear it?
Josephine Skriver: When they called me and said I would be the Swarovski girl this year, I couldn’t believe it. It’s my first year as an Angel. I’m wearing wings for the first time, and I’m getting the Swarovski outfit. So everything on top — it’s just a dream come true.
How much does each sleeve weigh?
Each sleeve is about 8-10 pounds. It’s a little hand-weight workout here. Yeah, there’s almost 450,000 crystals on this entire outfit, total. There’s 3,000 strands [of fringe] attached to the sleeves. And can you believe that each of them takes 12 minutes to make? How many hours is that to make an entire outfit? That’s so many man-hours! [Editor’s note: That’s 600 hours!] So I’m just really, really honored to wear this handmade piece.
It looks great! So you’ve walked in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show every year since 2013. Do you have a favorite look that you’ve worn? Do any years stand out in your mind?
I think every year stands out for its own unique reasons. The first because it’s the first. Last year stood out because it was the first time I wore two outfits in a row. That was fun and special, because I got to wear this cop outfit, and I just had so much fun with it. I got to walk a section with my really good friend Selena Gomez, so it was really fun to walk on stage with friends at the same time.
What are your thoughts on the show being in Paris this year?
I think the show being in Paris couldn’t be a better mix. It’s the best of two worlds meeting. It’s the capital of fashion and couture, and VS is the biggest underwear brand in the world, so the fact that they haven’t met before blows my mind.
Do you have any strange preshow rituals?
I have this weird thing I do that the things I wish for, I write down on a note, put it in my back pocket, and walk around with it. And then, by the time it somehow falls out or gets away, hopefully, it comes true.
You’re an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community and an ambassador for the Family Equality Council and its Outspoken Generation Program. Has being a world-famous model helped you to use your voice to speak on issues and causes you’re passionate about?
Oh, definitely, I think being in the eye of the world and just having a platform, it’s really elevated the voice I have. It’s given me a megaphone to talk about what I really care about, and I think it’s a privilege to be able to be a spokesperson and a role model for people out there — that, hopefully, will listen to my story.
You also recently collaborated with the sunglasses brand Illesteva. Why did you want to work with the brand to benefit the organization Keep a Child Alive. Why is this nonprofit important to you?
Well, Keep a Child Alive is super-, superimportant to me. It’s a close cause, because growing up in the LGBTQ community, it’s hit that community a lot. Just being stigmatized as a kid, I know what those kind of kids go through. So I wanted to make sure that everywhere in the world, kids are feeling safe, and if I can do just a little bit to help and to benefit that — I just really connected with this cause. It became really, really important to me. So we were trying to figure out what would be fun for me to do and how we could connect it, doing a personal thing, and I’m such an accessory girl. I don’t think I ever walk a day without sunglasses, pretty much. So it was very easy for me, we reached out to Illesteva, and they were 100% on board. We did this 100% for charity for KCA.
Is your family attending the show in Paris this year?
This is going to be the first time I’m going to bring my mom and my brother to see the show this year. So I’m very, very excited to see them!
That’s so exciting! What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Something surprising to learn about me? I don’t know — I feel like I’m a pretty open book right now!
That’s a great way to be. And if you weren’t a Victoria’s Secret model, what would you be, and why?
I was on the way to being in Doctors Without Borders. I always wanted to study medicine. I always wanted to travel and help people.