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Victoria’s Secret Has A Billion-Dollar Strategy For Casting Models

victoria's secret fashion show 2013

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Victoria’s Secret will tape its annual fashion show in London next month. 

The brand’s famous models fuel the retailer’s production and usually become celebrities in their own right. 

Earning a spot walking in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, which airs December 9 on CBS, is a highly complicated and political process. 

Victoria’s Secret executives rely on one specific quality to sell $6.6 billion a year in underwear, Richard Habberley at DNA Model Management told Women’s Wear Daily last year: 

“The merchants drive the decisions on the Angels. They [Victoria’s Secret] try the girls out, and certain girls sell product. They’re women that appeal to other women. And they’re special because they never appear in men’s magazines. Once you start to do that, they become threatening [to potential female customers],” said Habberley.

In other words, it’s imperative that Victoria’s Secret customers like the models it features. 

It also sheds insight into why the retailer famously rejected Kate Upton. Her constant sexy pictorials and commercials are threatening to other women and would turn off potential customers. 

The lingerie giant’s picky strategy has led to some drama in the past. 

The brand parted ways with former Angel Miranda Kerr last year. Insiders speculated that her hot career made female customers feel threatened by her. 

Erin Heatherton, who has been prominently featured in the show, was also ousted. Heatherton is known for her famous boyfriends — she’s dated actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Browns player Jordan Cameron. 

Meanwhile, the top Victoria’s Secret Angels are wives and mothers who are often photographed with their families. 

Being a Victoria’s Secret Angel pays off. Eight of the top 10 highest-paid models in the world have worked for the retailer. 

“Becoming an Angel significantly increases a model’s earning potential due to their visibility around the world,” Habberly told WWD. “It changes the girls’ careers completely.”