For Bella Hadid, nothing competes with the Victoria’s Secret experience. “I’ve done a hundred different runways this year, but I think this one is truly special,” the star shared backstage at the lingerie giant’s Shanghai show. As one of the world’s busiest models, Hadid is used to crossing the globe for fashion, regularly jetting to Milan for Versace or heading to the Palais-Royal each season for Chanel. Though work provides her with plenty of excitement, getting the chance to do VS is always meaningful. Hadid grew up watching the show and looking up to Angels like Gisele Bündchen, then made her debut for the brand last year. Though she made headlines for strutting with her sister Gigi and past her ex The Weeknd, Hadid simply enjoyed getting to fulfill a lifelong dream. “Getting out on that runway is probably one of the best feelings in the world—just to walk and feel the energy of the crowd,” she said.
With two looks scheduled for this year, Hadid is set to make an onstage impact yet again, but the wild costumes and wings aren’t what keep her interested. At the end of the day it’s all about teamwork. “Obviously our outfits are amazing, but to even go backstage and see all the time, effort, sweat, and tears that every person puts into this show is incredible,” she said, name-checking VS creative officer Ed Razek and the hundreds who come together each year to bring the event to life. “It is great seeing them watch the show and see their final product. Plus, all the girls have worked really hard to be here—I’m energized and ready to go!”
Having things in Shanghai has helped to keep Hadid’s energy level up. While she admits there hasn’t been time or much sightseeing, she’s been inspired by the location and its people. “I was just in China a few months ago, so I’m excited to be able to see another part of it,” said Hadid. “The fans here have so much energy, the smiles on their faces and their sweetness kind of makes us want to get up on that stage and work it.” Speaking of which, Hadid will have a very special admirer in the audience—her father, Mohammed. “My dad’s here this year—I didn’t even know he was coming and all of a sudden he’s in China!” said Hadid of her pre-show surprise. “I’m so happy that he’s here, I can’t even believe it.”