On a glitter-clad runway, 19-year-old Devon Windsor of Ladue walked—or rather, strutted—into the homes of 10 million or so television viewers.
During the theatrical, televised Victoria’s Secret (VS) Fashion Show, alternative band Fall Out Boy performed its fervent track, My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up), alongside pop star Taylor Swift as models marched up and down the runway. And when the music entered an audibly-intense moment, Windsor made her entrance. Complete with an electric guitar casually slung across her shoulder and her hand into the air—forming a rebellious devil—she wore practically painted-on embellished red pants, which framed the leopard bra perfectly and accented the spiked dog collar she wore. Her look was nothing short of a statement.
“Since I started modeling, being the VS show was a dream,” Windsor says. “It was really fun to dress up and show more of my personality and femininity.”
Windsor is having a moment. She has walked for high-fashion mainstays, such as Chanel and Dior; has starred in a Love Moschino advertising campaign; modeled for a Jason Wu lookbook; and was named a top newcomer by Models.com, just to name a few.
Despite signing with a modeling agency as a young teen, Windsor decided to finish high school before modeling full-time. “I enjoyed high school, and was not sure if I wanted to go to college or model full-time,” says the MICDS alum. “I enjoyed playing sports and even applied to colleges. It was not until the summer I graduated that I really decided I was going to take a gap year to try modeling full-time.”
Had she started modeling full-time during high school, Windsor says she "would have never been mature enough. Even now, I have trouble living the lifestyle that full-time models are living.” So after graduating, Windsor went to Milan “to learn the ropes of travelling and modeling full-time." She then returned to St. Louis "to find out that my measurements were not up to the standards of what they should be to work in New York.” So she switched her focus switched to losing the inches needed for the high-fashion career path. After achieving her goal, she headed to the Big Apple, where she currently resides.
If modeling had not panned out, Windsor says she would have gone to college, noting an interest in marine biology and cooking; “I still do have some interests in that, and try to cook in my free time when I'm not too busy.”
But she is busy. How busy? “A couple weeks back, I flew to London for a job on a Tuesday and got in Wednesday morning. Then I worked all day, and all day on Thursday,” Windsor recalls. “I flew back that night to New York for a job Friday, and flew on Sunday to London, and then to Tenerife for a job, where I worked two full days. My workdays usually are anywhere from 10 to 13 hours, seven days a week.”
After a description like that, any mental image of a relaxed model lounging in a luxurious suite waiting to be photographed seems absurd. “That’s a big misconception that people have who are outside of the modeling world: People think that models live some crazy, glammed-up lifestyle,” Windsor says. “That doesn’t happen. Maybe if you are a supermodel, then yes, that is your life; but I pay my own airfare in economy and my own rent.”
But Windsor keeps going. “Coming up, I am headed to Paris for Couture and then back to New York for Fashion Week,” she says. Her dedication is clearly paying off, and the recent VS show is just one of her many marquee accomplishments.
As the VS show transitioned from theme to theme, interviews and behind-the-scenes features were aired. And after Windsor’s segment came a piece featuring now-supermodels who discussed previous dreams of walking that Angel-filled runway. The women even noted that doing so dramatically advanced their careers. How fitting for this rising star.