Filipino-American model Kelsey Merritt took to Instagram to express her excitement on her first runway walk at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Merritt, touted as the first Filipino to grace the prestigious show, walked alongside big names in the industry such as Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid.
She posted behind-the-scenes photos and video clips of the exclusive show as it was going on.
“The energy here is crazy!” Merritt said in one post.
Backstage, she got to bond with long-time models Behati Prinsloo, Candice Swanepoel and Josephine Skriver.
She also introduced another Filipino on the set, John David Pfeiffer, who was a casting director there.
The person who discovered her, casting agent Roman Young, was also included on her snaps.
Days prior to the fashion event, Merritt teased her followers with her workout clips and rehearsals to prepare herself for the big day.
Filipinos cheered her on the day itself as she strut the runway with the brand’s pieces.
She was my student at ADMU for one semester. Very unassuming, simple girl. I had no idea who she was.
Good luck Kelsey Merritt. Follow your dreams! https://t.co/lKViyiIMmI
— Jim (@Jimparedes) November 7, 2018
— Khesh Santos (@kheshisantos) November 9, 2018
The Ateneo De Manila University-Manila graduate first made known her ambition to join the Victoria’s Secret fashion show on Twitter in November 2017.
While she started working with the luxury brand in May 2018, it was only in September when she made the cut to walk in the runway event.
Brazilian model-actress Adriana Lima had been her inspiration, Merritt revealed online, as she shared a moment with the retiring model one last time.
Lima was one of the longest-serving “angels,” having worked with Victoria’s Secret since 1999.
Merritt’s national identity had previously been criticized and questioned on social media due to her “mestiza” features.
Victoria’s Secret 2018
The Victoria’s Secret fashion show took place in New York City. In 2017 it was held in Shanghai, China to tap the growing Chinese market.
As with every Victoria’s Secret program, popular artists of the season were tapped to perform.
For 2018, the performers were Bebe Rexha, Halsey, Rita Ora, Shawn Mendes and the groups The Chainsmokers and The Struts.