Sunday 24 June 2018

Meet Sara Sampaio - the criminally underappreciated model who should be a household name

Portuguese model Sara Sampaio poses as she arrives on May 17, 2017 for the screening of the film 'Ismael's Ghosts' (Les Fantomes d'Ismael) during the opening ceremony of the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. / AFP PHOTO / Alberto PIZZOLIALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images
Portuguese model Sara Sampaio poses as she arrives on May 17, 2017 for the screening of the film 'Ismael's Ghosts' (Les Fantomes d'Ismael) during the opening ceremony of the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. / AFP PHOTO / Alberto PIZZOLIALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images
Sara Sampaio seen wearing a oversized red sweater in the streets of Paris during the Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 on January 24, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Timur Emek/GC Images)
Model Sara Sampaio poses backstage prior the Zuhair Murad Spring Summer 2018 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 24, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Victoria's Secret Angel Sara Sampaio attends as Victoria's Secret Angels gather for an intimate viewing party of the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Spring Studios on November 28, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
Portuguese model Sara Sampaio presents a creation during the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai on November 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Fred Dufour
Sara Sampaio attends the Giorgio Armani Prive Haute Couture Spring Summer 2018 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 23, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Sara Sampaio attends the Irving Penn Exhibition Private Viewing Hosted by Vogue as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2018 on October 1, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Model Sara Sampaio presents a creation for fashion house Bottega Veneta during the Women's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion shows in Milan, on September 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Andreas SOLAROANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images
Sara Sampaio backstage ahead of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China. Aurore Marechal/PA Wire
Model and New Victoria's Secret Angel Sara Sampaio from Portugal walks the runway during the 2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
Sara Sampaio attends the Elie Saab Haute Couture Spring Summer 2018 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 24, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Model Sara Sampaio attends the "The Killing Of A Sacred Deer" screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 22, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Model Sara Sampaio and her partner Oliver Ripley pose. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
Model Sara Sampaio attends the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on June 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Model Sara Sampaio poses. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
Model Sara Sampaio walks the runway at the TommyLand Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2017 Fashion Show on February 8, 2017 in Venice, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Tommy Hilfiger)
Sara Sampaio walks the runway at the Alberta Ferretti show during Milan Men's Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017/18 on January 13, 2017 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Model Sara Sampaio wearing a brown wool coat, beige knut, white flared pants outside Balmain on March 2, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
Portuguese model Sara Sampaio presents a creation during the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Grand Palais in Paris
Model Sara Sampaio walks the runway during the Alberta Ferretti Fall/Winter 2016-2017 show as part of Paris Fashion Week
Model and New Victoria's Secret Angel Sara Sampaio from Portugal walks the runway during the 2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Sara Sampaio walks the runway at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Swarovski)
Model and New Victoria's Secret Angel Sara Sampaio from Portugal walks the runway during the 2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
Model Sara Sampaio attends the Marc Jacobs Fall 2017 Show at Park Avenue Armory on February 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Without a famous last name, it's nearly impossible to get a leg-up in the already impossibly competitive modelling industry.

For every Hadid, Jenner and Gerber, there are thousands of aspiring hopefuls just waiting for their big break, which makes Portugese model Sara Sampaio's rise to fame all the more inspiring. And still, you probably haven't heard her name before.

The 26-year-old made her way into the industry the old-fashioned way: winning a competition when she was a teenager which catapulted her to fashion success. And there's nothing moderate about her success, she is a rare find which can do swimsuit and lingerie modelling, while also landing high fashion campaigns.

She's a Victoria's Secret Angel, featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, the face of MoroccanOil and she just walked the runway for Zuhair Murad earlier this week at Paris Haute Couture Week.

Her street style is second to none: during any Fashion Week, you'll more than likely find her looking runway ready at all times - see below, in a pair of leather bootcut trousers and a hooded red cropped knit during PFW, making the grandest of entrances at a show.

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Sara Sampaio seen wearing a oversized red sweater in the streets of Paris during the Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2018 on January 24, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Timur Emek/GC Images)

But still she isn't a household name yet.

Even among diehard VS worshippers, their core obsessions remain on more high profile models like Romee Strijd, Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver, brands remain laser focused on Insta-famous superstars (although she has a six million strong following on the social network).

And she's got her head screwed on: she's not immune to criticism, but is wise about who she listens to, filtering out certain words on Instagram.

"I've banned words like anorexic, fat, skinny”and some curse words. They are hurtful and I don’t need to be reading that," she proudly declared.

She's already worked 10 years in the industry after getting her big break at 16 when she won the aforementioned mention modelling competition and starred in a commercial for Cabelos Pantene.

She's been a prominent force in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show since 2013, after being rejected during her first audition, like most of today's top brand ambassadors.

"The first thing I did when I got into that audition is say to the casting director, 'I’m not going to give you any reason not to book me this year'. And then I got it. I’d recommend it to everyone," she told LOVE magazine last year.

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Model Sara Sampaio attends the Marc Jacobs Fall 2017 Show at Park Avenue Armory on February 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs)

Sara is the most successful model to emerge from Portugal and has landed a number of Vogue covers in her home country, where she's considered a fashion queen, but few other international titles, which are being snapped up by the likes of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner.

She has that same effortless attitude that comes to only the truly genetically blessed, those who can eat junk food at any age without it going straight to their waistline, telling Vogue in 2015 that she only works out twice a week; which is nothing in comparison to Adriana Lima's daily workouts.

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Model and New Victoria's Secret Angel Sara Sampaio from Portugal walks the runway during the 2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory on November 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)

"I don’t restrict myself from any food in my diet; I think it’s all about balance. I’m also very lucky with my genetics and metabolism," she said.

"When it comes to beauty, I feel that hanging with people you love, laughing, and doing silly things gets your spirits up. We are always prettier when we are happier."

In another time, Sara's beauty and portfolio of work would have automatically elevated to the upper echelons of supermodeldom, but without the support of mainstream media, excluding her regular appearances of pap shots on the Mail Online, there just isn't the same excitement at seeing her on the runway as there is for Cindy Crawford's 16-year-old daughter Kaia Gerber.

Nowadays, it's nearly impossible to elevate yourself to that next level in your modelling career without a gimmick, being otherworldly beautiful isn't enough anymore, which is just a shame.

Online Editors

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