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Portuguese Isilda Moreira debuts Thursday at Victoria’s Secret

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The Portuguese manikin Isilda Moreira will debut on Thursday at the annual fashion show of the North American lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, which will take place in New York, in which also another Portuguese woman, Sara Sampaio.

At the age of 20, Isilda Moreira, the daughter of a Cape Verdean mother and Guinean father, becomes the second Portuguese to participate in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which has televised coverage guaranteed in more than 190 countries, the 2nd of December.

The entrance to the group of 60 manikins chosen for this year’s parade was something that Isilda Moreira dreamed about but did not plan, as she told in October, behind the scenes of the 51st edition of ModaLisboa.

After having stepped on the ‘passerelles’ of fashion weeks in Paris, Milan and London, Isilda was in August of this year “for the first time in New York.”

“I did not think I’d even do the ‘casting’ [the lingerie brand parade], the more I went in. I went there just to do the fashion week,” he shared.

Since she was there, the agency that represents her challenged her to try out the casting for the parade she “loved to do”, and she has followed since she was 14 when she started working in fashion.

“I did and I went on to the second [casting]. In the second I thought that [getting there] was already a victory and I was not going to go through.” She had not been preparing for a year like the other girls.

When I heard she was one of the 60 chosen, “I did not want to believe it.”

Isilda Moreira was born in Lisbon but was ‘discovered’ in a shopping center in London, where she was on vacation in the summer of 2012.

“A man came up against me and asked me if I was a mannequin. He gave me the agency card and I went there,” he recalled.

As “you can only start an international career with 16 years”, the agency told him to return to Portugal, to “do work” and “prepare.”

And so it was. “I got in touch and in October [of this year] and I made FashionLisboa soon,” he said.

By the end of her 12th year, she had reconciled fashion with her studies. Then he stopped, “to be able to travel” and focus on work as a mannequin.

“One day later I would like to take a Management course so that I can manage my own company, but I do not know, let’s see how things will go now, I do not know tomorrow.”

Isilda Moreira is one of the newcomers of the parade, who share the ‘passerelle’ with the so-called ‘angels’, a group that includes Sara Sampaio, who in 2013 became the first Portuguese to participate in the annual parade of the North American brand.

A year earlier, in 2012, Luso-Angolan Sharam Diniz had been one of 30 models chosen for the parade.

The Victoria’s Secret Parade has been held annually since 1995, and since then there have been only four parades outside the United States: in Cannes (France), London, Paris and Shanghai (China). This will be the 16th time the parade takes place in New York.

Live music is one of the features of the ‘secret show’. In previous years already have appeared, in parades, musicians and bands like The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, Rhianna, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.

This year the chosen ones were Halsey, The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes, Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha, Kelsea Ballerini and The Struts.

Every year, a ‘bra’ made with precious stones is shown in the parade. This year, the Swedish model Elsa Hosk is responsible for wearing the piece, made with precious stones, valued at around 900 thousand euros.

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