words + picture / MEGAN SIBLEY
The DTS brings you an exclusive interview with Herieth Paul, the first ever Victoria Secret model to boast humble beginnings from Angie’s Modelling Talent International (Angie’s AMTI) in Ottawa.
Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls, Gigi Hadid; just a few of the 51 supermodels that walked the Paris runway on December 5th for the 21st annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. We know them for their luscious locks and flawless figures, but few remember that there are stories behind the lipstick and lingerie. This, is the story of Herieth Paul.
The chocolate-skinned beauty is 5’11’’ with black hair, and brown eyes. She has what every aspiring model longs for; long, lean legs and a killer strut. But her appearance isn’t the only thing perfectly suited for the big screen; her evolution to supermodel status could be a script for a feature film.
Paul was born and raised in Tanzania, making her way to Ottawa at age 14 as the daughter of a diplomat. With no previous modelling experience, she attended an open casting call at Angie’s AMTI. The rest, as they say, is history.
According to Paul, starting at Angie’s AMTI played a crucial role in shaping her modelling career. “I had a lot to learn about myself and the modelling industry, and Angie’s was the place that allowed me to do both.”
Paul has jumped leaps and bounds from that pivotal casting call as a young teen. She has appeared in Vogue Italia, Teen Vogue, and Elle Canada. She has walked countless runway shows, and has been named a brand ambassador for Maybelline New York. but as she found out earlier this year, her success wouldn’t stop there.
Paul says that finding out she was casted for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was a surreal experience. “I was in a taxi on my way home from work and my agent called me and told me that I would be walking the Victoria’s Secret fashion show,” says Paul. “I couldn’t believe it, I had to get out of the taxi and walk home!”
Angie’s AMTI threw a viewing party on the night of the December catwalk show, hosting models, industry socialites, and press for a night of celebration for one of their own.
Paul stresses that any young girl, with a little effort and a lot of patience, can fulfill their modelling dreams. “Believe in yourself,” she says. “If I can do it, so can you!”