You might know Elsa Hosk as the Victoria's Secret model who smacked Ariana Grande with her wings during the 2014 runway show in London. But there's more to the model than that.
“My dad is such a goof. He sent pictures of me to modeling agencies in Sweden,” says Hosk backstage in the Victoria’s Secret show hair and make-up area in London. “It’s a little frustrating because my dad takes so much credit for my success. I’m just, like, ‘Dad!’ But I’m totally happy about it.”
The 26-year-old Swede, with tousled golden blonde locks and impossibly blue eyes, has walked for VS since 2011.
She attributes her modeling ability to her time pursuing a professional career in Sweden’s women basketball league. “You have to be aware and know your body for when you’re posing and have muscle memory and things like that," she says. It’s a sport she still misses, regretfully adding: “Every time I pass a basketball court, my hands are like, 'Ahhh!' [excitedly twitching her fingers].”
Now based in New York, the Stockholm native dedicates her time away from modeling to working with FAIR Girls, a worldwide nonprofit organization helping victims of female exploitation such as sexual abuse and trafficking. It’s a group she discovered after watching the hard-hitting movie “The Whistleblower,” which is centered around sex trafficking in Bosnia.
“After seeing this I was like, ‘Oh my god this is what I want to do.’ It was so heartbreaking that I broke down in tears,” she says.