On the Forbes 2012 list of highest paid models, six out of ten slots belong to past or current Victoria's Secret Angels.
For the eighth year in a row, the top earning slot went to Gisele Bundchen, who'd made $45 million between May 2011 and May 2012. The Brazilian model first walked in the nationally televised Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 2000, so one could say she's been grandfathered in.
In an attempt to figure out what makes the Angels such success stories (one of life's biggest mysteries, definitely) WWD spoke with Richard Habberley at DNA Model Management which represents a number of the Victoria's Secret girls, including two of Bundchen's fellow top tenners, Alessandra Ambrosio and Doutzen Kroes.
Habberly explains how it all works:
"They try the girls out, and certain girls sell product. They’re women that appeal to other women. And they’re special because they never appear in men’s magazines. Once you start to do that, they become threatening [to potential female customers].”
Ahh, yes: you can't have these Brazilian goddesses being all threatening when you're trying to sell panties to women. Is that why the Getty Image database has so many pictures of Gisele backstage before the 2002 Victoria's Secret show, fake-eating pizza? To make it seem like, if she weren't about to strut around national television in a diamond-encrusted bra and G-string, Gisele would be vegging out with us on the couch? Hang on, let me get my wallet out. I just got the inexplicable urge to order a pair of hot pink boy shorts.
Image via Getty Images