A former Worksop schoolgirl has landed one of the world’s most glamorous modelling jobs.
Alexina Graham, 29, was named as the newest Angel for lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret last month, fulfilling a long-held ambition.
From her home in New York, she said: “It’s still sinking in. When I first heard the news I was really excited and couldn’t believe it was happening.
“It’s a huge honour to be named an Angel and it is something that I have always dreamed of. I have watched the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show every year since I was 18. It is a tradition that I always looked forward to.”
The former Valley Comprehensive School student is only the second British model to land the coveted role, and the first ever redhead, which will now make her a familiar face worldwide.
She follows in the footsteps of household names like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Gisele Bundchen.
Alexina said: “I looked up to Angels like Candice Swanepoel and Adriana Lima. Their professionalism, kindness, and modelling career is inspiring.”
By no means an overnight success, this is a natural next step for Alexina who has built an enviable reputation in the industry and is already a brand ambassador for L’Oréal Paris.
Her career sprang from unlikely beginnings however, when she entered a newspaper competition in 2008 using the email address ‘ginger geek’, later describing herself as “this skinny little thing with no boobs” who was bullied for her looks.
Although she studied ballet since childhood, and later appeared in local theatre productions, modelling was initially supposed to be a way of earning money before she went to university to train as a midwife.
Today she travels all over the world for photo shoots and catwalk shows, wearing some of the best known names in fashion such as Balmain, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Giorgio Armani.
Alexina has not forgotten her roots however, popping back to Worksop whenever she can for a cup of tea with mum Sarah Dolby, stepdad Paul, sister Elle, and cuddles with her niece and nephew, Mia and Oscar.
Her mum was the first person Alexina called when she got the news.
Now she hopes her story will show a new generation of Nottinghamshire youngsters that their dreams can take them wherever they wish.
She said: “I looked up to the Victoria’s Secret Angels growing up and I hope to inspire others.”