A Victoria’s Secret Angel contract is something countless models dream of but few ever achieve. The latest to receive the honor is Dutch face Romee Strijd. The 19-year-old model comes to Victoria’s Secret with jaw-dropping beauty and a wealth of high-fashion experience. A regular on the runway for houses like Chanel, Isabel Marant, and Alexander McQueen and in work by legendary editor Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Strijd brought her catwalk expertise to 2014’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and quickly became one of the brand’s favored faces. Though her Angel wings are brand new, Strijd tells Style.com that she’s proud to represent a brand known for its sexy, confident women.
The start of your fashion career was very high fashion—how were you discovered?
I was discovered in Amsterdam when I was, like, 14 years old. I started slowly in Europe doing some test shoots. I began my first fashion week season in Paris, and it was really exciting because at that age everything was really new. Russell Marsh was there, and he helped me do a lot of great shows like Burberry and Christopher Kane. I did Prada and Jil Sander, and started doing a lot of editorials with really nice photographers like Paolo Roversi, Patrick Demarchelier, and Dan Jackson. It was a wonderful start. I even worked in London for a couple of things with Katie Grand for Love magazine. It was an exciting way to start. I was still in school, so I had to be in school while doing all this modeling. It’s always hard to do two things. I decided that I really wanted to take the time to finish high school, and after that I was prepared to be full-time here in New York.
Before working with the brand, were there any Angels that you admired in particular?
Of course! Adriana Lima, Alessandra [Ambrosio], Doutzen [Kroes] because Doutzen is Dutch as well. For us in Holland, she’s the biggest model. I watched every single show, and it was always inspiring to see her.
What does being a Victoria’s Secret Angel mean to you?
It’s so great to stand for a brand that is about confident women. It’s really important to me.
Now that your career has kicked into high gear, how do you remain grounded?
Working out and fitness are really important for me—not only physically but also mentally. It gives me the good energy to start my day, and it’s also good to know that everything else at home is fine with my friends and family. It’s also important to have fun, as well as being focused on work.
What makes this new generation of VS Angels special from the rest?
We’re all pretty young, so it’s all a little fresher. It’s nice to come into a big brand like this at this age.
—Janelle Okwodu, Style.com