fashion
Why Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima swapped her wings for the ring
Updated 8th August 2016
Why Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima swapped her wings for the ring
The video is a segment from the latest CNN Style show. As the sporting world descends on Rio de Janeiro, Derek Blasberg explores the cultural identity of this vibrant city.
For model Adriana Lima making the journey home to Rio is a pilgrimage.
"I have to go to the Corcovado and look at the Christ and just thank him for everything I have," says the Brazilian supermodel.
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Below the Corcovado the city nestles into Mother Nature. Beach houses kiss the Atlantic while favelas rise up into forest-topped mountains, their peaks dwarfing the high-rises beneath. It's a far cry from Manhattan or Paris, but it's a happy hunting ground for the fashion world in the global south.
Bahia-born Lima has walked for Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy -- as well as becoming a Victoria's Secret angel -- and when she's back in the motherland she walks on to the pages of Vogue Brazil.
"We wait for her every year," says editorial director Daniela Falcão. "She's a girl that has grown into this superpower-woman, that I think translates very much [into] the stereotype of the Brazilian woman."
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Adriana Lima is one of the most successful and prominent supermodels in fashion, having walked for the likes of Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy. Credit: Greg Kadel/courtesy conde nast
If any proof was needed, just flick through the pages of Vogue Brazil. You'll find Lima gloved up in Rio's favelas, teaching underprivileged children to box as part of initiative Fight For Peace.
It's hard to believe the publication was once considered a woman's magazine made by men -- essentially a cultural publication with fashion editorials. But eleven years under the former newspaper journalist's influence has seen Vogue Brazil change tact, with a new focus, she explains.
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"It was very elegant but it missed what makes a women's magazine for women," she argues, "which is service and knowledge and the power to explain all the trends around the world [and] why this is relevant to Brazilian women."
The editorial director admits that while trends may start in the country's business hub of São Paulo, they have to pass through Rio to gain true relevance.
"You need to know what the girls from Ipanema are wearing or what they have absorbed from the trends that were launched in São Paulo, "she says. "What they absorbed is what we are going to tell the country it's cool to be in the summer. [..] Rio does this translation for the whole country."
Find out more about Rio's cultural scene by watching this month's Style show.
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