KZN born Candice Swanepoel grew up with the nickname ‘Flamingo’ in her home town, Mooi River. The 23 year old stunner was discovered by a model scout in Durban in 2003 and has climbed the modelling success ladder ever since. She went from being an unknown small-town girl, to becoming a highly ranked supermodel earning over 5000 Euros for a day’s work.
It wasn’t long after moving to New York that Victoria’s Secret discovered her beauty and took her under their great big feathery wings. Joining the faces amongst the Victoria Secret Angels and gracing the very sought after covers of Vogue magazine, the girl has done it all! Candice’s résumé includes covers for Vogue (Greece and Italy), ELLE (Germany), advertisements for Nike, Diesel, Guess? and Versus Eyewear. She has also strutted those long legs of hers down international runways for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce and Gabbana, Sass and Bide, Betsey Johnson and Diane Von Furstenberg.
In 2010 Candice officially opened the first Victoria’s Secret retail store in Canada. Being born and bred in Durbs myself, hearing about her achievements in the media has brought a sense of inspiration to me. It really goes to show that you can come from a (really) small town and achieve your wildest dreams. The international modelling industry is one of the toughest to break into, and Candice has conquered it, establishing her face with internationally acclaimed brands. Getting paid thousands of dollars a day to look gorgeous and see the world? I’d say this girl is living the dream!
words by Gabriella Chelini
photos shot by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia