After all—who knows beaches better than a Victoria’s Secret Angel?
Ever since Victoria’s Secret launched their first Swim Special last year, it’s become one of fashion’s most anticipated—and most watched—events (behind the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, of course). Last year’s special gave us a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what the Angels get up to—both on and off the beach—while on location shooting the famous swimsuit catalogue. But what we were most interested in were its locations (this year's special was filmed in St. Bart's, which brought the models back their go-to property on the island, Le Sereno). The iconic lingerie brand is known for bringing its Angel squad to some of the most pristine and beautiful sandy stretches in the world (more on that here), so we caught up with them to find out their favorites, what shooting on a beach is really like, and of course, their top swimwear picks—just in time for summer.
"Costa Rica was really fun; I just love it. It was wilder than other places! There were dense forests and monkeys, and this trip was crazy: It was raining, and it was just me and Candice [Swanepoel]. We just had a really good time hanging out and exploring Costa Rica. There were days we couldn't shoot because of the rain, so we spent a lot of time together. When it comes to bikinis, I love the sporty and boho styles. The high neck tops are really cute."
"My favorite place I’ve shot swim in is Turks & Caicos, because I've never been anywhere with a more beautiful ocean. Turks is really laid back and all about enjoying the beauty of nature. Last time we went to shoot VS Swim, it was right after the hurricane. The beaches were completely gone and destroyed, so we ended up shooting on rocks. It turned out to be one of the most gorgeous shoots I've ever done! My favorite swim style has to be the neon high-neck surf top and bottom. I really love all of the sporty color block suits this season."
"Bora Bora has to be my favorite place I have ever gone with Victoria’s Secret. It was so unique and surreal. I thought I knew blue water and white beaches, but when we pulled up to the hotel on the boat it was like we had pulled up to a watercolor painting. Pictures will never be able to do it justice. The marine life was amazing, too! Swimming with sharks, manta, eagle rays, and octopus all at once was a dream come true. It was like the setting of some insane animated adventure film. I was expecting dinosaurs to pop out of the jungle at any second.
For the shoot we had local fire dancers and had a party. They were used to doing the fire for two minutes, but because we were shooting, they had to do it around ten times in a row. The poor guys must have been ready to pass out. I also drove my first jet ski and told them I totally knew how to do it, but secretly I had no idea. Thankfully, I didn't crash and didn't have to put a big repair bill on the crew's hand, because I don't think I would have heard the end of it. As for bikinis, I love the strappy cutout bandeau style! To me it has kind of an '80s vibe to it, which brings a little rock and roll to the beach style. It’s a bit sporty and extremely comfortable. Perfect mix of Miami and the Sunset Strip."
"My favorite place I’ve ever shot VS Swim is Turks and Caicos. Usually we shot at the Amanyara and it's such a peaceful place. The water is so blue and the hotel is super beautiful and serene. It's really almost untouched. My favorite thing that I’ve done in Turks is the snorkeling and the swimming at night. If you go night swimming, the water illuminates. It's completely breathtaking. As far as bikinis go, I definitely love the itsy tiny, and the triangular tops. For me, the tinier, the better. But Victoria’s Secret also has incredible black one pieces with cut outs that I'm obsessed with."
"My favorite place we’ve ever shot at is definitely St. Bart’s; we just did the Swim Special there. It's a typical French place with amazing restaurants and so many fun things to do. I have a lot of fun memories there; it's a really relaxed island, but everybody is so well dressed. I love being in the city and people watching, or doing some shopping, of course. Shooting the St. Bart’s Swim Special was the most fun because we were filming over the day. But believe me—at night, St. Bart’s wasn't safe with all the angels there! For the beach, my favorite swim style is the teeny triangle top with a cheeky bottom. (For fashion designer Adam Lippe’s official guide to St. Bart’s, click here.)"
The Victoria's Secret Swim Special airs tomorrow, March 9th, on CBS at 8pm CT/9pm ET.