In 2016, the 25-year-old Dutch model Josephine Skriver made her debut as a Victoria’s Secret Angel by seemingly effortlessly strutting the runway in stilettos while carrying 20-plus pounds of no fewer than 450,000 Swarovski crystals. In 2017, Skriver walked the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show once again, managing yet more wings while (for example) laced up in a pair of thigh-high heels. And in 2018, on a recent morning at the Victoria’s Secret New York flagship, she was at long last doing her job while barefoot. She even spent part of the new Body by Victoria collection launch cozied up on a couch, where she reminisced on almost accidentally taking flight on the runway, and filled W in on everything she’s learned from the fitting experts who, just the other day, very politely told her she’d actually been wearing a cup size to small for the past three years. Read on for her tips, here.
What’s your favorite piece in this collection?
This bra I’m wearing right now—because I love to wear my bras as outerwear, to really incorporate them into my style, you know?—this one has enough of a bralette feel to wear as a top, or with a blazer. But I’m obsessed with this collection because this time Body by Victoria went for really bold and fun colors, instead of black, red, and nudes. Some of them even shimmer, which is really fun to wear out at night. I almost feel like I don’t have to wear jewelry because it’s like a little sparkle in there.
Is it safe to assume you have a rainbow at this point?
I definitely have 10 different colors at home. I really have so many—let’s just say I’m lucky being a part of this company.
You spend so much of your time traveling. Do you really wear a bra the whole time when you’re, say, traveling from Bangkok, where you just flew in from this morning?
It all comes down to wearing the right size. Eighty percent of us don’t know what we’re wearing [according to Victoria’s Secret], and even while working for this brand I didn’t know what my size was. You always think you can figure it out in a store by yourself, but then you learn so many things about where it’s important to fit—especially when you try on a white T-shirt. That’s actually what I love about Victoria’s Secret—they have these bra-fit experts who really get to know you. I had my first actual bra fitting three years ago, but it actually wasn’t until a few days ago, when I got measured and realized I’m a whole cup size bigger than I thought I was, that it really hit me that you really have to come in every six months. We do so much for ourselves, but we forget something as basic as what we wear every day. You want to actually be able to go about your day, which means being comfortable and not having to keep doing that chicken dance because your bra’s crawling up or sitting weirdly.
What other tips have you learned from the experts?
They taught me that it’s really good to buy three different versions of the same bra—you want one to rest, one to wash, and one to wear. If you wear the same one every day, which I used to do, you’ll wear it out too quickly. It’s like wearing your running shoes every day—you’re gonna f--k them up so much quicker if you don’t have some rest days in between.
Jumping ahead, have you start thinking about the show later this year?
Oh, yeah, of course. I mean, just being an Angel and staying healthy and in shape is a year-round thing, so the show is, too. We’re actually starting to film a lot for it, and girls are all talking, like, “Where’s it going to be? Who’s going to perform?” We’re always asking them so many questions, but they don’t tell us anything—I feel like we’re the last people they tell. It’s so frustrating, because it’s like Christmas for us. It’s such an exciting time of the year. It’s likely slowly setting into beast mode, working out.
How far ahead of time do you really start doubling down on that?
I would say you start going to the gym a lot in September. I had my first really heavy wings on last year, and it surprised me how much it took to wear them. So this year, I know I’m going to have to work on my wings a lot more, just in case I get put in one of those again, because it did demand a lot more strength than I thought it would.
So how does one go about working on her wings?
I love working out with weights. That’s changed my body more than anything, whether just with feeling strong, having to hold a plank during shoots, or, you know, looking effortless while walking down a runway in stilettos with 50 pounds on your back. And nowadays, I want to feel like a strong, empowered woman. I want to be able to do everything myself, because I hate asking for help, for any reason. [Laughs] For me, working out is really important for feeling like your own little superhero.
How heavy were your wings from last year’s show that are on display here?
Those weren’t too bad because they have feathers. It was just actually harder because there’s a wind machine at the end of the runway, so they kept sort of taking off. They were almost too light, whereas the other ones were like a heavy backpack. Those are the ones that made me know I had to work out this year, because I’m like, I’m not feeling weak again.
I know you were really into Harry Styles last year. Do you have any hopes for this year’s performer?
I’d love to see Dua Lipa; I think she’d be really fun. It really is one of my biggest pet peeves that they don’t tell me. I think I bug them every other day about it. I want to start my playlist already!
Have you all been speculating?
Yes! Actually, all of us Angels are in town shooting the holiday campaign right now, which is so nice because it’s almost a job to get us all together, since we’re always in different cities. We’re all also in this massive group text we have going on all year, which is like a little support system of sisters on hold for whatever, really, from specific workouts to “hey, I need food recommendations for this city.” It's definitely helpful to have a panel of opinions when you want to know if your outfit’s cute for that night. Usually, if 50 percent of them say yes, I’ll go out in it. [Laughs.]