Candice Swanepoel walks the runway during the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on November 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Timur Emek/FilmMagic)

NEW YORK CITY: Imagine being in a mother’s circle and Candice Swanepoel rocks up on a Thursday afternoon with that body, four months from giving birth. The model, 30, walked the Victoria’s Secret runway last night just 16 weeks since giving birth to her second son Ariel. I’m actually speechless typing this.

Setting up makeup shop at the far-end of the VS backstage room, Swanepoel found herself a quieter spot, away from the complete chaos and hustle surrounding the Hadids in the middle. While it goes without saying VS models train like athletes, the South African-born beauty said she doesn’t go crazy. “In general, I don’t kill myself,” Swanepoel says, appearing a little tired. “That’s not the way I train. My body doesn’t react well to that so I train and I have a day off.

While there’s so much hype on social media about “training like an angel” – the hashtag usually attached to some of the younger models working out and appearing to have a ball while doing so – Swanepoel gets pretty real about it. Admitting there are moments that are extremely hard, she says it was the night before the show that was really challenging. “Last night was a really long day. I had landed in New York at 9am, I was up at 4.30am, and we had rehearsals and I was running around the city. Then I still had to workout when I got home. I knew it was important for me to workout but I was so tired.”

Nothing like a casual 1.6 billion people in 190 countries watching you to motivate a night-time workout.

Swanepoel also reflected on angels past and how the show had evolved since her first show in 2010. “My first time, we didn’t have social media and I didn’t really know enough about VS and didn’t know how it catapults your name out there. So over the years obviously you’re aware how watched the show is and how it gets out there. I guess I’m just smarter with that idea now.”

“Seeing Alessandra [Ambrosio] and how much fun she would have backstage and on the runway was inspiring to see,” Swanepoel continues referencing the angel she took cues from. “She would not seem to have the nerves.”

See GRAZIA’s exclusive backstage images from the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion show here. 

Australia’s first Victoria’s Secret flagship store will open in Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne in late November.