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Lindsay Ellingson Teaches Richard Branson How to Model

While we’re suffering in the bitter cold of winter, Victoria’s Secret is looking forward to summertime and beach escapes. And for their new Swim 2010 catalog, the brand chose Lindsay Ellingson to show off the iconic topless bikini on the beaches of Necker Island. Modelinia talked to Lindsay about her experience at the photo shoot with Russell James, meeting Richard Branson, and her latest shoe purchase.

What was your favorite part of the shoot?
Richard Branson was really involved in the shoot, so it was really cool meeting him because he’s such a successful guy. He was involved in the videos as well. I got to teach him how to model. We were cracking up the whole time, it was hard to get through the video without laughing! I had to teach him how to model in water, and had to show him six different expressions—happy, excited, sexy—and he had to do the same thing back to me. He was really into it. He did a pretty good job. I also had to drive around in his electric golf cart and ended up crashing into his stone steps. But he wasn’t mad.

How did you relax afterward?
We had a break in the middle of the day and I was able to hang out on the beach. It was just really amazing—the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. The water was warm, white sand, after shooting we all had dinner together… At night it’s so dark on the island—there’s no light, no shopping, no restaurants—so you can see the stars in the sky really well. It was just really special.

How did you find out you got the cover?
At the Victoria’s Secret show casting this year, I walked in and had no idea, I was only focused on the show. Ed [Razek] was like, ‘We think you might have the cover for swim.’ But someone else said, ‘Don’t tell her that yet, it’s not for sure.’ So I was like, okay, don’t get excited. I forgot about it, but then a few weeks later my agent called me and told me I got it! It’s something that’s really unique to happen in my career. This means so much to me because it’s going to be all over. I’m going to definitely keep a copy that’ll last forever. I don’t think I’ll put it on my wall, but I’ll keep it to show my kids.

How did your family and friends react?
My mom and dad are especially excited because the people they work with all know about it. For me it came out of nowhere, and now everyone’s noticing. People from high school and college are all congratulating me and they’re saying how I deserve it. My parents especially are saying how proud they are of me.

How did you prepare for the shoot to wear the iconic topless bikini?
Before every swimwear shoot I get a spray tan at Brazil Bronze on Broadway and Price in Manhattan and get a facial at Acqua Beauty Bar. Plus I take dance classes to keep toned.

What has been your favorite moment with Victoria’s Secret?
My favorite moment was the first show I ever did with VS three years ago in L.A. I was really excited because I’m from California so I got to bring my mom and dad to the show. It was the craziest thing ever because I never realized how big of a production it is. I got to see the Angels for the first time and it was such a rush. I want to do it every year!

What’s the look for this year’s swimsuit styles from Victoria’s Secret?
The swimwear this season is over-the-top sexy. They have lots of neon and animal prints. I think there’s a lot of mix-and-match style, so everyone can find something.

How do you describe your style?
My style… I love to be comfortable, but I love to look cool at the same time. Tight leggings, stretch jeans with a big top and cool boots…I actually just got a pair of flat Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots.

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