Victoria’s Secret Model Frida Aasen on That Time She Almost Joined the Army

by Taylor Harris
Daily Front Row

Most Victoria’s Secret models integrate some Barry’s Bootcamp into their fitness routine before the big fall fashion shows, but Frida Aasen has been in actual bootcamp — like, the military kind. Between takes, we discuss the model’s career trajectory, from active duty to model citizen.

(Giorgio Niro)

DSQUARED jacket; YOU AM I top; ERES swimsuit bottom; FRYE boots; BEN AMUN earring; LADY GREY necklace; JENNIFER FISHER rings

What are you eating?
Falafel. I don’t eat meat, just fish. I don’t like meat, though; I never did. Growing up, I would sort of push the chicken around when we had dinner and just eat the rice or potatoes.

(Giorgio Niro)

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO jacket; NORMA KAMALI swimsuit and belt; EYE M BY ILEANA MAKRI cuff; JENNIFER FISHER ring (left hand) and earrings; BOND HARDWARE ring (right)

What was it like growing up in Norway?
I’m from a place called Kristiansand. It’s a seaside city with, like, 100,000 people. It’s calm, and everyone knows everyone. I had a really good childhood, growing up by the beach. We used to go on the boat all the time. It’s a quiet little town. I had a horse and a cat growing up; that’s why I thought I was going to be a veterinarian.

(Girogio Niro)

ERMANNO SCERVINO coat; RALPH LAUREN swimsuit; PLANET I sunglasses; LADY GREY necklace; JENNIFER FISHER ring

You never thought you’d become a model?
I don’t think I even knew what modeling was. I was also pretty shy. I didn’t like being the center of attention. I thought about going into the military, so I was a little all over the place!

(Giorgio Niro)

CHANEL rain poncho; CALZEDONIA swimsuit; FRYE boots; CHANEL sunglasses; JENNIFER FISHER earrings; BOND HARDWARE belt

The military!?
Yeah. So in Norway, everyone has to apply to be active in the military, but you can opt out as a girl. I didn’t opt out, so I had to go to the next round and everything, and do all the tests. I was so skinny at the time, they were all joking about me carrying the heavy backpacks. But then modeling happened, so no military for me!

(Giorgio Niro)

DSQUARED jacket; ARE YOU AM I top; ERES swimsuit bottom; FRYE boots; AREA sunglasses; BEN AMUN earring; LADY GREY necklace; JENNIFER FISHER rings; stylist’s own fanny pack

How were you discovered?
It was super random. I was in a mall one day with my sister shopping for Christmas presents and I was approached by my now agent. She was like, “How tall are you?”

(Giorgio Niro)

RALPH AND RUSSO jacket; MADE BY DAWN bikini; EYE M BY ILeana MAKRI earrings

How old — and tall! — were you at the time?
I was 5-foot-9 and 14 years old. I was a baby! I actually said no in the beginning. I was so shy and the idea of modeling scared me. So I waited two years and then went to Milan with my mom to meet with the agency that scouted me. We met everyone and did some test shoots, and it didn’t feel so scary anymore.

(Giorgio Niro)

3.1 PHILLIP LIM top; VERSACE bikini; FRYE boots; LADY GREY necklace; EYE M BY ILEANA MAKRI cuff; JENNIFER FISHER rings; stylist’s own hat

Do you remember your first shoot? Were you nervous?
I was so awkward. Everyone was really nice about it. I mean, I was 16 and had never done anything like that and I was just like thrown into it, but I think that’s the best way to learn, really. I didn’t know how to wear heels and felt weird in makeup and fancy clothes. I was always riding horses, so I was used to those kind of clothes.

(Giorgio Niro)

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO jacket; NORMA KAMALI swimsuit and belt; EYE M BY ILEANA MAKRI cuff; JENNIFER FISHER ring (left hand) and earrings; BOND HARDWARE ring (right); stylist’s own visor

And now you’re a total pro. This year, you landed the Mecca of all fashion shows — Victoria’s Secret. What was that go-see process like?
So there’s two castings. There’s the first one where you meet the casting director, John Pfeiffer, and his team. Then if you get to the next round, that’s like the callback, and that’s the one where they have the TV team and the Victoria’s Secret people. I had gotten a callback last year, so I knew this time what to expect. It’s still a little nerve-racking, though. You come into the room and there are cameras everywhere, and there are all these people sitting behind a long desk. They’re all really nice people, though, so they make you feel as comfortable as you possibly can be in that situation.

(Giorgio Niro)

ISABEL MARANT jumpsuit; ERES bikini; BOND HARDWARE harness and rings; PLANET I sunglasses; LADY GREY necklace

Is it like a normal go-see? Do you just walk?
It’s different. In a regular go-see, they don’t ask you lots of questions — they’ll maybe ask your age and where you’re from but not much more. For the VS one, they want to get a sense of your personality. On the runway, they want to see that side of you, your energy and personality.

(Giorgio Niro)

VALENTINO jacket; ARAKS bikini; FRYE boots; LADY GREY earring; ROXANNE ASSOULIN bracelets

What sort of questions did they ask?
Nothing weird or anything! [Laughs] They just asked about my workouts and where I’d been traveling to recently, stuff like that.

(Giorgio Niro)

ERES swimsuit; AREA sunglasses; BEN AMUN chain; JENNIFER FISHER ring

Speaking of workouts, what kind do you do?
I do Pilates at SLT. It’s so tough! I like SoulCycle, too. I love the hip-hop-themed rides; they’re my favorite. I just did one that was about the evolution of Rihanna. It was incredible.

(Giorgio Niro)

STELLA McCARTNEY swimsuit; FRYE boots; JENNIFER FISHER earring and ring

Photography by Giorgio Niro
Styling by Anya Ziourova
Makeup by Paola Orlando for Maybelline New York
Hair by Steven Hoeppner for MoroccanOil

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