We all dream of becoming someone. For most of us, it is to be an engineer, a doctor, a journalist, or a designer. But for Filipino-American model Kelsey Merritt, the dream is to become a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
Kelsey started modeling at the age of 15 when her friends invited her to walk with them at Philippine Fashion Week. Since then, she has been doing fashion editorials and has appeared in numerous TV commercials.
When she turned 18, she received an email from Wilhelmina International—a modeling agency based in New York—inviting her to sign up and join their team. Little did she know, this was the moment that would change her life forever. She even posted on Instagram how she was “so happy to be part of the @wilhelminamodels family.”
While she was booking shoots, she was also attending classes. For four years, Kelsey juggled writing school papers and jetting off to different countries for work.
The effort she put into her academics and work did not go unnoticed. In 2017, she graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Communications, while managing to work with Maybelline, Kashieca, Vera Wang, and more Filipino and international brands. "People often ask me how I managed to do it, and all I say is that as long as you have your priorities straight and manage your time well, then it really can be done," Kelsey once said on Instagram.
Although she was already so successful, the young model didn’t stop hustling. In September 2017, she tweeted how it was her dream to work with top lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret.
And just last month, her wish came true. Victoria’s Secret contacted her to shoot for their sportswear collection. Kelsey was ecstatic, and the photos are stunning!
The dream doesn’t end there. Shortly after, she tweeted that she will be working with the brand again, but this time for their lingerie line.
Her followers were as excited about the news and they couldn't help but wonder if she would be walking for the VS Fashion Show anytime soon. “That is definitely another dream of mine! The competition is really tough here. There are so many gorgeous girls. But a girl can dream,” she revealed during an interview with Preview.ph.
Last August 26, 2018, Kelsey surprised us all, tweeting:
"Ahh going to the VSFS casting in a few days... Been preparing for the past months. Wish me luck!!!"
When the day finally arrived, Kelsey arrived already looking like an Angel. Sporting wavy, tousled locks (a VS signature!) and a pristine white ensemble, she arrived at the casting looking confident and ready to impress.
Just three days after the initial casting day, Kelsey confirmed she was called in for a second time posting a workout video with the caption, "All about that balance! Thank you @kirkmyersfitness for getting me ready for VS callbacks tom."
For the callbacks, Kelsey came in wearing a white, backless halter top and black mini. She again enlisted New York-based hairstylist Martin-Christopher Harper to recreate those signature VS waves and was even featured on the brand's Instagram Stories.
As we waited for history to be made, she finally broke the good news with an Instagram post saying, "WE DID IT PHILIPPINES!!!!!! What an honor it is to be the first Filipino to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2018!!! Ahhhhhh I can’t believe this!!"
Congratulations, Kelsey! We'll be rooting for you all the way!