Come Closer with Candice Swanepoel

A former 2014 Maxim Hot 100 #1, the South African supermodel still has a secret or two to share.
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A former 2014 Maxim Hot 100 #1, the South African supermodel still has a secret or two to share.

I meet Candice Swanepoel on a dreary almost-winter evening in Manhattan, at the downtown studio where she’s wrapping up a shoot for a spring issue of the Victoria’s Secret catalog. I watch the last “look,” for which she perches on a prop bed in the middle of a concrete studio filled with various fluffy-looking items (furry pillows, pastel ottomans, etc.) and models an electric-yellow bra-and-panty set. She rolls into dozens of bed-appropriate poses, one after the next, camera flashing. In action, she’s extraordinary—professional and focused, all business, killing each shot. A dozen people right out of fashion-shoot central casting, all wearing shades of black or gray, stand by watching every move. 

When the shoot ends, Swanepoel changes into civilian clothes (a loose, long-sleeve white-cotton T-shirt, tight blue jeans with gaping holes in the knees, black Nikes) and we chat for a while on a couch nearby. Later that night she is meeting up with other Angels to watch the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show prime-time broadcast on CBS: “We all watch it together and scream,” she says, conjuring an image out of a million male fantasies. “We eat popcorn and laugh at ourselves.”

Read the rest of Maxim's exclusive interview with Candice in the March 2015 issue, on newsstands later this month.

Photos by Gilles Bensimon