‘I begged God for a place on the catwalk’: Model devoutly prayed to get a coveted spot in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show – and now she will be the FIRST Filipino to walk the runway
- Kelsey Merritt, 21, moved to New York City from the Philippines in 2017
- She had a dream to one day walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show
- In September, Kelsey announced she would be the first Filipino to walk the Victoria’s Secret runway and it would be her debut catwalk
- After her tryout, she said she left it up to praying and God to get the coveted job
- Kelsey will join models including Adriana Lima and Gigi Hadid for the show taping on Nov. 8 and airing for the public on Dec. 2
One model used her faith to guide her as she worked to earn a coveted spot in the upcoming Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
When Kelsey Merritt, 21, first moved to New York City from the Philippines in 2017 to model, she had a dream of one day walking the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show along with some of her icons.
Now, in a dream come true, she will make her runway debut on the lingerie-brands catwalk in NYC on Nov. 8 with other prominent faces — including Adriana Lima, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Behati Prinsloo.
Stunning: Kelsey Merritt, 21, moved from the Philippines to New York City in 2017 to test her career in the modeling world after she was first discovered on Instagram
Gorgeous: Her dream was to one day walk the runway for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with other iconic models
Dream come true: In September, she was told she would be the first Filipino to walk the runway for the iconic fashion show
‘I can’t believe I’m making my runway debut there,’ Kelsey told the New York Post during a photo shoot. ‘I feel like I won a beauty pageant.’
Kelsey first announced her spot in the fashion show on Instagram at the beginning of September when she was told the news.
‘WE DID IT PHILIPPINES!’ Kelsey wrote at the time. ‘What an honor it is to be the first Filipino to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2018!’
In her interview with the Post, she admitted to the tryout process being nerve-wracking for a rookie model. But Kelsey decided to leave the decision up to God after doing all she could during the audition process.
‘I went to church and prayed,’ she told the Post. ‘I said, “This is all in your hands now.”‘
Kelsey’s journey to modelling first started while she was in the Philippines studying at Ateneo University de Manila University, which was near her home province of Pampanga.
The prestigious university was at first intimidating to Kelsey because her first language was Filipino and she was afraid to speak English in front of her classmates.
‘I was insecure because [my classmates] were so posh,’ Kelsey said. ‘I was never comfortable. Whenever I spoke Filipino, they’d talk back to me in English…I was a little embarrassed about my English because of my accent, but [now I know] there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.’
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Gorgeous: In an interview, Kelsey revealed how she resorted to prayer after her tryout to snag the role among an all-star cast of models
Sultry: Kelsey cut out sugar from her diet two months ahead of the fashion show to prepare
Beautiful: She will be joined on the runway Nov. 8 (the show will air Dec. 2) with Adriana Lima, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner
She was discovered in 2015 on Instagram by Wilhelmina modeling agency and was asked to fly out to NYC for four months.
The star power of the rookie model became apparent as she booked prominent campaigns — including Vera Wang — while also juggling her studies back at home.
In 2017, she officially moved to NYC after graduating and gained attention from Victoria’s Secret where she participated in two campaign shoots for the lingerie brand. But her main goal was to snag a coveted spot on the runway.
‘Every single model will tell you it’s their dream job,’ she said.
‘The roster of girls is just the best of the best, and to be part of that is just — you feel like you made it.’
Since the announcement of being one of the girls on the roster, Kelsey has kicked her training into high gear ahead of the show.
Kelsey cut out sugar from her diet two months ago and works out ever day of the week, sometimes even twice a day.
With just two days until the show, the model is focused on who she wants to represent on the runway.
‘Victoria’s Secret is such a big deal in the Philippines,’ she said. ‘So I feel like this was something I could give back to [Filipinos].’
The show will air for the public on Dec. 2 at 10pm EST.
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