TIME WARP: Watch Adriana Lima’s 1999 Victoria’s Secret Debut

Before she was busy intimidating talk show hosts, guzzling protein shakes, and popping out babies, an 18-year-old Adriana Lima walked her first show for Victoria’s Secret. Apparently she even told the president of the company that the occasion marked “her first day as a woman.”

Well, we guess that’s one interpretation of the rite of passage.

Lima won Ford‘s “Supermodel of Brazil” model search at the age of 15 and placed second in their “Supermodel of the World” competition the following year. She started working with Victoria’s Secret in 1999 and, as the video explains, the powers that be found her performance in their cotton commercial so showstopping that they cast her in the subsequent swimwear catalogue.

The young supermodel is actually pretty adorable in the video, talking about how excited she is to finally be working with the company and (you know the drill) how she never thought she – a little old 5’10 Brazilian goddess – could possibly be a model. The guy doing the voiceover for the segment is, however, kind of creepy. He takes a very pointed pause in the middle of this sentence while the camera pans over a bikini-clad Fernanda Tavares.

“President of [Limited Brands] Ed Razek cast the two Brazilian beauties because of each woman’s distinct….look.”


Check out the vintage vid below:

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