With Victoria's Secret annual runway show now a thing of the past, one of the major stars to come from the annual holiday season lingerie extravaganza was Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima. In fact, as a catwalk staple for VS from 1999 until 2018 when she hung up her wings from the brand, a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was unthinkable without her.
But there's so much more to the Brazilian supermodel who was a catwalk icon for nearly 20 years and also made "no makeup" a thing. (Yes, she woke up like this!) From her status as a dedicated mom to her powerful reasons for quitting lingerie modeling – we'll get to that later – Adriana is a fearless fashion figure who is as fascinating as she is drop-dead gorgeous. Keep scrolling to find out why...
Supermodel of the World
Adriana, who is Brazilian with roots in Switzerland, Africa, Japan, and the Antilles, was a finalist at the Ford Supermodel of the World pageant in 1996, before traveling to NYC where she debuted in a campaign for the Guess? brand. She became the face of other labels like Mossimo and Keds, working her way up to the Victoria's Secret runway.
On the Forbes rich list
Adriana Lima was long considered "the world's sexiest model", according to models.com. Until 2018, she was the fourth-best-paid model in the world according to Forbes. She stood out for her charm and beauty and was selected five times to open the Victoria's Secret show.
Keeping it real
Adriana is one of the few models to spill the secrets of her profession: long working hours, tiring trips, and even the pressure to look impeccable for the cameras even if you're sick.
The no-makeup look
Adriana was a pioneer in showing off natural beauty, free of makeup and photoshop. She was one of the first models to be seen on social media without any makeup or professional photo editing, to make a stand for natural beauty.
A model mom
If Adriana hadn't become a model, she would've loved to be a pediatrician as she has always loved children, especially her own kids Sienna and Valentina.
Adriana has kept her private life private after divorcing Serbian ex-basketball player Marko Jaric in 2014. She has dated Turkish writer Metin Hara (above), who she split from in early 2019, and businessman Emin Uyar, who she was first linked to during the summer of that year.
A new path
In 2018, Adriana wrote a powerful post on social media saying she was taking her life in a different direction. After refusing to shoot a provocative video for social media, she declared: "I will never again take off my clothes for an empty cause."
Changed stars and priorities
In January 2018, she gave her reasons for "hanging up her wings." She declared: "I am tired of being pushed to do things. We, as women, should not continue living in a world that has such superficial moral values. I want to change it all, in the name of my grandmother, my mother, and all my ancestors who have been labeled, pressured, and misunderstood", she wrote on social media.
A grand send-off
At her 18th and final show, she was honored and named "the greatest angel of all time." Resplendent in white peacock feathers, Lima gave thanks with palms joined.