The “world’s sexist show”, the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, made its China debut at Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena on Monday evening.

The fashion show featured 55 models displaying the American lingerie brand’s latest collection, including a US$2 million Fantasy Bra worn by Brazilian model Lais Ribeiro.

The event – filmed for television and to be broadcast in the United States on CBS on November 28 – is considered one of the most prestigious gigs for a model.

There are very few special things you can achieve as a model. Getting your Angel wings is the ultimate
Jan Planit, Planit Model Management

Gaining your “Angel wings” – intricately designed pairs of wings given to the most highly regarded models in the show – is a whole other privilege.

Jan Planit, who used to head up top modelling agency IMG and now runs Planit Model Management, once told The New York Post: “There are very few special things you can achieve as a model.

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“Getting your Angel wings is the ultimate.”

The iconic shows are famed for their dramatic, colourful, and skimpy outfits, as well as their impressive line-up of entertainment. This year’s musical guests included Harry Styles, Miguel, and Leslie Odom Jnr.

Last year, 51 top models made the final cut for the show, just 14 of whom were designated “Victoria’s Secret Angels” – brand ambassadors who travel the world promoting VS throughout the year.

Best friends Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner were among the models to earn their wings on stage at the 2016 show.

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While being in the show, or getting their wings are honours in themselves, the money doesn’t hurt either. Nine of the models who appeared in last year’s show appeared on Forbes’ list of the world’s 20 highest-paid models in 2016.

Here we take a look at the highest-paid Victoria’s Secret models who took part in last year’s show, with them ranked in ascending order by their estimated 2016 earnings – based on their income from all modelling contracts, both from Victoria Secret as well as other companies – according to Forbes.

9. Taylor Hill – US$4 million

American Taylor Hill, the 21-year-old “girl next door from Colorado”, and Vogue magazine cover star, became the face of Topshop’s autumn-winter 2016 campaign in July 2016.

Since then number of followers of her Instagram account, @taylor_hill, has doubled to 9.2 million.

Hill took part in her first VS show in 2014 and became an Angel a year later.

8. Jasmines Tookes – US$4 million

Californian Jasmine Tookes is one of three women of colour – out of all the VS models – to make Forbes’ highest-earning list in 2016.

The 26-year-old model gained her wings in 2015, after first taking part in a Victoria’s Secret show in 2012.

7. Lily Aldridge – US$4 million

Los Angeles-born Lily Aldridge took part in her first Victoria’s Secret show in 2009 and became an Angel the following year.

The 32-year-old model’s favourite place in the world is her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, according to her VS profile. Her Instagram account has 5.1 million followers.

6. Joan Smalls – US$4.5 million

Puerto Rican Joan Smalls is an Estée Lauder spokesmodel, and was the first Latina signed to the brand for a worldwide campaign.

The 29-year-old model first took part in a VS show in 2011 and has since appeared on five other occasions.

She has a net worth of US$16 million according to the Daily Mail, and 2.5 million Instagram followers.

5. Alessandra Ambrosio – US$5 million

Brazilian Alessandra Ambrosio, who hung up her Angel wings following the Shanghai show – her 17th appearance – first took to the Victoria’s Secret runway in 2004.

The 36-year-old model had been one of the show’s veterans.

According to the Daily Mail, her net worth is in the region of US$60 million.

Her Instagram account has 8.7 million followers.

Ambrosio’s favourite places to visit are Bali, in Indonesia, and the Brazilian party city of Florianopolis.

4. Liu Wen – US$7 million

Chinese-born Liu Wen has a net worth of US$35 million, according to the Daily Mail.

The 29-year-old model became the first Asian model to take to the Angels runway in 2009.

She is also one of the three women of colour – all of whom walked in the 2016 VS show – to make Forbes’ list. Liu has 3.4 million Instagram followers.

3. Gigi Hadid – US$9 million

The eldest of the supermodel Hadid sisters, 22-year-old Gigi has more than 36.7 million Instagram followers.

She took part in her first Victoria’s Secret show in 2015 and was voted runner-up as Model of the Year 2016 by readers.

2. Kendall Jenner – US$10 million

Twenty-two-year-old Kendall Jenner is the third highest-paid model in the world overall, according to Forbes’ 2016 ranking, and the second-highest earning VS model, having made her debut on the list in 2015.

She has 84.7 million Instagram followers, and first took to the Victoria’s Secret runway in 2015. She is also a brand ambassador for Estée Lauder.

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1. Adriana Lima – US$10.5 million

Brazilian-born Adriana Lima is the longest-serving Victoria’s Secret Angel ever. She was also the highest-earning VS model in 2016, according to Forbes.

Lima took part in her first Angel show in 1999 and is worth an estimated US$75 million, according to the Daily Mail. The 36-year-old model has 11.3 million followers on her Instagram account.

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