Victoria’s Secret models in Hong Kong on dressing sexy, being angels and their favourite New York hang-outs
Here to celebrate the opening of the new Victoria’s Secret store in Hong Kong, Josephine Skriver and Martha Hunt spill the beans on what it’s like to be an angel, where they love to eat and hang out in New York, and some travel tips
Earlier this week, Victoria’s Secrets “angels” Josephine Skriver and Martha Hunt made a trip out to Hong Kong to celebrate the opening of the lingerie giant’s first store in the city to offer the brand’s full assortment of products.
While it wasn’t their first visit to the territory, the New York-based pair still squeezed in several tourist activities such as going up The Peak and eating at a cha chaan teng (local-style restaurant) while meeting with press and customers.
Being an official Victoria’s Secret angel is a covetable position for many reasons. Unlike the models who walk the brand’s annual fashion show, angels are under contract and have a set of responsibilities that include everything from personal appearances to starring in ad campaigns.
Being in the spotlight, however, has also meant that angels have become role models for millions of young women around the world – a responsibility they don’t take lightly.
“At first it was scary but now it makes me want to be my best self and work that much harder,” Skriver says. “Even though we might look perfect in pictures, we are still real women, and we always try to show that. Social media has helped tell our stories and show who we really are.”
“I definitely feel a responsibility to inspire women out there,” Hunt says, “so I always talk about my insecurities, and personal issues that I’ve struggled with such as scoliosis. Nothing in this industry happened easily for me, I wasn’t an overnight success. I had to work very hard to get to this spot, so I am very honest about that.”
Although both models have been working in the industry for several years, they say that working with Victoria’s Secret is empowering for many reasons. Hunt praises the diversity of the models used by the brand, so much so that she refers to her fellow angels as an “international sisterhood”.
“I think all types of women are beautiful and just because I represent a certain standard of beauty it doesn’t mean that that’s the only type of beauty,” she says. “Models to me have always been aspirational, but there are so many women in popular culture and media that represent all different types of bodies and looks.”
For Skriver, being an angel has encouraged her to show off her sexy side, even amid the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment that has surrounded various industries since last year.
“I’m amazed and proud of all the women that stood up and forced the conversation because it was imminent – we had to have it,” she says. “We are part of the industry and company that embraces women so what it’s taught me is that we have to take hold of our sexuality and be proud of it. You should be able to dress sexy and not be scared. There’s a power in us supporting each other as women.”
Here the pair reveal their favourite spots in New York, travel tips and more.
Where’s your favourite place to work out?
Hunt: Right now I am at Performance Lab where I work out with a former MMA fighter. We’ve been doing a lot of strength training with weights.
Skriver: The Dogpound, a gym many models frequent. I like boxing and heavy lifting. I’ve tried to get into yoga and keep a calm mind, but I still love sweating it out.
What’s one thing all first-time visitors to New York should experience?
Hunt: Central Park. It’s amazing that something that big and beautiful is in the middle of the city.
Skriver: Hit all the tourist spots including Times Square at night. After that, explore the dive bars in the Lower East Side and Williamsburg.
Where do you go if you want a healthy meal?
Hunt: There’s a few but I like Sweet Greens. Their salads are so hearty and made from locally sourced ingredients.
Where’s your favourite dinner spot?
Hunt: I love Lavagna, a low-key Italian spot in the East Village. I go there every time I am craving a nice evening with friends.
Skriver: I’m a creature of habit, because I always travel so much. Westville has a great menu with a little bit of everything, plus it’s around the corner from the gym.
Where’s the best hotel to hang out?
Skriver: I just discovered The Americano. It has a really cool rooftop, and cosy small rooms. It’s tucked away from everything but still close to the High Line so you’re still near the action if you want it.
What do you always travel with?
Hunt: I always bring skincare by 111 Skin, especially since travelling dehydrates my skin; probiotics to help boost the immune system; and Victoria’s Secret’s T-shirt bra collection, which is super comfortable.
Skriver: Bralettes. I can use them as outerwear, or as a crop top in the summer. I always take my gym gear with me too because I love to hike.
What’s your favourite travel destination?
Hunt: Harbour Island in the Caribbean. It’s so tiny that you have to drive around in golf carts. It’s so fun, it makes me feel like I’m a kid again.
Where do you go to escape the city?
Hunt: Upstate New York or to the beach.
Skriver: I recently bought a place in Nashville in the middle of the forest. I love to go out there, sit in my sweatpants, chill out and read books.
How do you keep fit while on the road?
Hunt: Women underestimate the importance of weights. I always try to bring ankle weights, sliders or resistant bands to remind me to get to the gym when I have time.
Skriver: I always take the stairs! Otherwise I jump on the treadmill – all hotels have one and it’s fast and easy.