Candice Swanepoel remains grounded

Candice Swanepoel makes sure she sees “real life” because modeling “is not reality”.

The Victoria’s Secret model is the face of Bottletop, an accessories brand which makes bags out of spray painted ring pulls in Brazil. The pieces are made by local women who train each other and are given benefits such as health insurance.

“It feeds my soul to work with Bottletop,” Candice told British newspaper The Telegraph. “It’s important for me to see real life, because our fashion world is not reality.”

The model was particularly keen to get involved with the project as Brazil is a special place for her.

“[It] is one of my favorite places in the world, and growing up in South Africa I have seen at first hand the problems caused when women don’t have the opportunity for education,” she explained. “The women who work here get to feel a part of something, to learn a new craft and to feel like a professional, which is fantastic.”

Candice was discovered when she was 15 while shopping in a flea market in her native South Africa with her mother. Initially she didn’t take the offer seriously, but once she was signed with an agency she realized how much the opportunity could change her life.

“I had no fear of anything, I didn’t think twice,” she recalled. “I felt so natural in front of the camera. As soon as it hits me I become a character.”

She went on to model for luxury lingerie company Victoria’s Secret, which she loves. Candice takes part in the company’s lavish annual fashion shows and is good friends with her fellow Angels, such as Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio.

“Victoria’s Secret is like a family,” she gushed. “Travelling as a young model can be tiring and lonely, so thank God they brought me into their family.”

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