Alexina Graham has been working her butt off in the modeling business for 11 years, but thanks to her newly-minted Victoria’s Secret Angel status, she’s about to blast off into a whole new stratosphere of fame and success. The Daily caught up with the red-haired Models 1 beauty on her way to Heathrow (she’s English, don’t you know?) to learn more about her and her rise to VS stardom.
How did you find out you were getting the contract with Victoria’s Secret?
My agent sent me a screenshot of an email from VS saying they were pleased to welcome me to the family in 2019. She just sent me the email like that. I called her and was like “What?! Are you joking? Shut up!” I was having a drink with my friend at the time and told her and we went out and celebrated. I had to keep it very hush hush for a long time.
So when exactly did you find out?
Was it hard keeping it a secret for so long?
Yeah, but it was also exciting, knowing it was going to come out. My mum couldn’t believe it was happening. I’ve been modeling for 11 years and it has always been a dream of mine.
Eleven years? That’s a long time. How did you get started?
When I was 17, I entered a modeling competition. My mum said I should do it to earn money to pay for University. I ended up winning the English competition and placing third at the New York finals. Then I went back to school for six months and started modeling full time when I was 18.
What were you planning to study before you made modeling your full-time job?
I actually wanted to be a midwife, which is kind of weird because I don’t really like blood.
That’s hilarious. What made you want to be a midwife then?
I think my dad and I were talking about what kind of job I could do and I really like working with children, but I wouldn’t want to be a school teacher because I’m not very good at English or science. But I only started the first year [of midwife training] before I started modeling full time.
So what would you be doing now if you weren’t a model or a midwife?
I worked with Fabien Baron a lot a few years ago for L’Oreal and I really love how he directs. I would love to shadow him one day and go into art directing, but that’s maybe more of a future future plan.
What was your first experience with Victoria’s Secret? Did you watch the show when you were younger?
I YouTubed the show when I first started modeling, but my first real experience [with the brand] was when I was 22 and I met a girl at a casting in a T-shirt bra. I was like “Oh, that’s a really cool bra. You look really comfortable.” And she was like “Yeah, it’s Victoria’s Secret.” I remember going in [to my first Victoria’s Secret store] and thinking, “I want to be one of those girls on the wall.”
And then you walked in your first Victoria’s Secret Show in 2017 in Shanghai. Was that your first time trying out for the show?
No. I tried for three consecutive years before booking it. After the third time, when my agent told me I had made it through the first round, I didn’t believe her. I came back for the second round and I was just very me. I’m very outgoing and have a lot of personality and I was so nervous that it all just sort of came out. I guess I danced a lot. I don’t really remember what I did, but I remember another girl saying, “Wow, I have to go after you and you just did a whole show!”
View this post on Instagram
Are you especially close with any of the other VS models?
My best friend is Barbara Palvin. We actually met on set for L’Oreal six years ago and became friends, so when she got [her Victoria’s Secret contract] too, just a few weeks ago, it was perfect.
Besides dealing with the usual ups and downs of castings, what has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a model?
Loneliness. I never knew it was such a lonely job, especially when you travel so much. Six years ago it was really hard. We didn’t have the technology we do now. We didn’t have FaceTime. It’s much easier now, but before I remember going to pay phones and trying to call my mum when I was in Greece. It was hard.
What do you do to stay fit?
Boxing! I started four years ago. It’s a big mental thing for me too. I need to do it like four times a week, not just to keep my body in shape, but for my mental health.
View this post on Instagram
🏋🏼♀️ 🥊 ‘Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from Something they have deep inside them; A desire, a dream, a vision’ (Muhammad Ali) 🥊 I started working with @1on1knockout around 3 years ago. I told him In 2016 what my workout goals were and he helped me work towards the body I wanted to achieve. I worked my butt off for this. It is hard, I complain a lot, but it’s also super rewarding. Boxing has become a part of my weekly life, I workout with Kwame 2/3 times a week and it’s not just helped get my body stronger but it’s also a great sport to positively strengthen my mind. ‘There is no shortcut. It takes time to create a better, stronger version of yourself’ 👩🏼🦰👊🏼💪🏼 #workout #workhardplayhard
Do you prefer to work out in the morning or at night.
Morning. I like to get up and go.
Have you always been athletic?
I’ve been dancing since I was really young — every day since I was six — then when I was around 11, I got into theater.
Are you looking to pursue acting now?
I’d love to when I’m not so busy. I love Broadway.
What’s your favorite musical?
The first time I came to New York, I saw Billy Elliot. That was amazing. Then, last year, I saw The Book of Mormon. That was really cool. So funny! And the singing is amazing.
You’re English, so I have to ask, what’s your Hogwarts house?
Have you read the Harry Potter books?
Yes, I love them! And the movies are amazing too.
What beauty products do you swear by?
I have three main ones. At night, I always apply Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I also put that on my face when I’m flying. I also use Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado. When I turned 25, my grandmother was like, “OK, you’re getting a bit older now and you should start looking after your skin. Just get some wrinkle cream.” So since I was 25 I’ve been using wrinkle cream and it has really worked out in my favor, so thanks grandma! I also use a skin recovery cream from Eau Thermale Avene. It’s from Paris, but you can just buy it in the pharmacy.
You’re headed back to New York soon. What’s your favorite restaurant here?
I just tried Totto Ramen for the first time. It’s so small and cute! They have really good pork buns, too. My favorite! And, of course, my go-to once a month is McDonald’s.
Really? What’s your order?
Two McChicken sandwiches, a large fries, and a chocolate milkshake for dipping. I love to dip my fries. It’s the best thing ever.