After officially clipping their angel wings earlier this summer, including ridding their infamous annual runway show, lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret is making strides to bring their name back to the spotlight. VS angels, including Candice Swanepoel, Gigi Hadid, Heidi Klum, and Alessandra Ambrosio have been swapped with a new clan called the VS Collective, featuring ambassadors known for their career achievements and influential voices in the community.
In the latest leap to rebranding, Victoria’s Secret launched an empowering new podcast entitled, VS Voices. The podcast, hosted by inaugural VS Collective member Amanda de Cadenet explores real-life topics facing modern women. For its latest installment launching at noon on October 14th, de Cadenet sits down with top model and fellow VS Collective member Paloma Elsesser for an unfiltered conversation. Known for advocating authenticity and self-love, Paloma gives an inside look at her meteoric rise — including how her journey of healing from addiction required her to reconnect to her authentic self at an early age to now where she has recently decided to choose her mental health first and take two months off from modeling to rediscover parts of herself.
In the segment, she gets vulnerable, diving into the details of how digging deep into her authentic self got her out of addiction. “Recovery itself has offered a rule book for life.” says the model in a heartfelt tone. Elsesser, who, if you’ve been keeping up with the Spring-Summer 2022 collections, owned the runway of Fendace (the Fendi x Versace mashup in Milan) to french maison Lanvin and many more. However, she unveils that her connection to her authentic self is the most important thing to her. So much so that after ten years working nonstop, a two-month break away from the demands and pressures of a high-profile career to unearth parts of her authentic self that had gotten buried was more than necessary.
In 2017, the plus-sized model posed nude for Glossier “Body Hero” ad campaign, which featured models of all shapes, sizes, and skin colors in the nude. Opening up to de Cadenet about the bare life-size ad, Elsesser explained why she felt it was something she had to do. “Doing that nude campaign was the touchstone for trusting my intuition; despite my fear — I knew in the back of my head that it needed to be done,” Elsesser reveals. “There’s nothing to hide about my body and what this will do; we’ve seen tons of nude images. Seeing the archetypal body, we’ve seen nude, what would it mean for my body to be seen that way? Despite my fears, I knew the ultimate goal was to not even cause controversy but force people, the observer, to cause people to think about how we see bodies in media and beauty and what is rendered beautiful and what isn’t.”
As the segment wraps, together with host Amanda de Cadenet, Elsesser explores a new paradigm in modeling, revealing that the traditional stereotype of models as subjects is no longer in the future of the industry and empathy and compassion can lead to new heights of collaboration. “I am also my own muse, I am also my own subject,” Elsseser concludes.