Last night, model Gizele Oliveira made her Victoria's Secret Fashion Show debut in Shanghai-and made headlines for helping model Ming Xi after she fell on the runway.
In that moment, the 24-year-old Brazilian told ELLE, "you just act without thinking. I was walking slower for her to get up but when you fall you always act in different ways. I saw she wasn't getting up, and the first thing I thought was to help her up since she had wings and a long dress plus high knee boots was hard to get up herself. I literally just did what I would love someone to do it for me!"
Oliveira, who has worked on campaigns with H&M, Ralph Lauren and ASOS, had prepared long and hard for the VS show. Below, she talked with ELLE about booking her dream show, the challenges of modeling, and how the night went.
ELLE: Describe your feelings in three words when you found out you booked the show.
Oliveira: Nervous, excited and in shock. I basically couldn't stop saying, "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god."
How did you prepare for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show?
I worked out a lot, every day. I've been eating healthy and preparing mentally not to be too nervous. At the castings, I was super relaxed and 100 percent myself. Now these last weeks I've been working out harder for sure.
How did it feel to walk in your first show?
It was just what I thought it would be, I felt also like I was dreaming the whole day! It was just an indescribable moment.
What was the energy like backstage?
It was super fun! My favorite moment was before we dressed up for the show and we were just all dancing together. But also everyone is so busy doing their own thing, answering interviews from media all over the world.
What model did you get the chance to meet that you've always wanted to?
I've met all the girls previously, but I definitely got closer to some of them.
What has been the most rewarding part of this whole experience?
That people got to know me better as who I am and not just how I look-that's the most amazing thing to me.
With modeling generally, what is the most challenging part of the job? The best?
The most challenging thing is to always to stay strong with all the "no's" we hear every day, all the time. Also to always look good even though we are always tired with the constant traveling and also be okay with being away from our family and childhood friends.
The best part is that I'm able to go to all these cities, meet the coolest people and my own idols, stuff that would never happen if I wasn't a model.
What would be your dream brand to work with?
My favorite brands are Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton, but there are a few brands it would be crazy to work with like Balmain, Chanel, Versace, Dior.
When you're not modeling, what do you like to do with your time?
When I'm not working I usually just hang out with my friends, take my dog for a walk and watch Netflix. I also take some photos for my Instagram! If I wasn't a model, I would still work with fashion, which is my biggest passion!
What's something someone might be surprised to know about you?
I'm actually a really funny person. I like to make everyone laugh around me. It makes me happy to see people smiling.
Can you tell me a little about your hometown in Brazil?
I'm from Vila Velha on the state of Espírito Santo, which is between Bahia and Rio de Janeiro, also on the beach. My hometown has amazing beaches, mountains, waterfalls, everything. It's also really small, not much going on and we don't have subway trains. I feel like is completely opposite from NYC, where I can have anything I want at any time. I moved to NYC about 3 years ago. Before that I've lived in Miami, LA and London.
You love to blog! You used to run a teen blog called "Things of Teens" and now you run "Gizele On the Go!" Can you tell me a little bit more about it?
When I was 16/17 years old I started blogging, and I loved writing about fashion trends and how to use them. I would teach girls some DIY and that was my most famous thing there. It was a time that brands wouldn't sell cool stuff in Brazil, and I was always aware of what was cool around the world. Then with time I started modeling and I couldn't keep up with all that work because writing blog posts takes a while. So I decided to create something more about my modeling career and places I went and make basically a diary of my life. Also with time I couldn't keep up with posting so much as well so I stopped a little bit but the blog still survives!
Some of Gizele's Favorite Things:
Movie: "All horror movies! Especially Insidious!"
TV Show: "Supernatural and Stranger Things."
Musical Artist: "Rihanna, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd."
Workout Routine: "I love doing fun stuff, so whatever my friends invite me to do I'm in!"
Food: "Brazilian food."
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