Sure, her job involves parading in lacy underwear and her husband is a rock star. But Lily Aldridge says she does the same things on a given day as millions of other women: She fed her baby daughter, talked to her mom on the phone, kissed her husband before she left for work.
Aldridge says her work on the Victoria's Secret runway is a job — a good, fun one that she loves and that introduces her to stars like Rihanna, Justin Bieber and the Black Eyed Peas — and she's realistic that it won't last forever.
More important than enjoying the moment with a jet-set lifestyle is putting down roots, and Aldridge says she works hard at doing that, spending as much time as possible with her family in their homes in Nashville and New York. (Her husband is Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill, so that's not totally normal, but Aldridge rolls with it.)
The California native has been a Victoria's Secret model since 2009, and she also has walked the runway for Rag & Bone and Giles Deacon and appeared in ads for Coach, Clinque and Anthropologie. She was first spotted by a scout at a school carnival, and two of her sisters are also models.
Before this interview, she was pondering which sweet potato recipe to make for the holidays, and she made a dash for Starbucks coffee. She even skipped her workout; it was just one of those busy days where something had to go.
She can do that now — and, on occasion, for the next few months — because the Victoria's Secret show for 2012 is behind her. The show was taped last month to be shown on CBS on Tuesday.
"It will go so fast. It seems we're months in preparation for the next one. ... It takes two months to be 'show ready,'" she explains. "And show ready means knowing there is no Photoshop."
No problem. Aldridge, 27, came to this year's catwalk primed — and pumped — to wear outfits including a tiny blue bra, itty bitty gold bikini bottoms, flag-inspired wings and a jetpack that shot silver sparkles. There's always a big viewing party for the models, Aldridge says, and she looks forward to it. There isn't the competitive vibe you might expect, she adds.
"The first Victoria's Secret model I ever met was Adriana Lima, and she was so nice to me. She was very generous and very nurturing. She made sure people talked to me!" Aldridge says.
Aldridge answered a few more questions for The Associated Press before going out to meet and greet holiday shoppers at Victoria's Secret new Manhattan flagship at Herald Square.
—Best perk: Professional hair and makeup artists, hands down.
—Must-have item: Comfy sweatpants.
—Kitchen essentials: Olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Le Creuset pots.
—Describe your first Victoria's Secret show: "Jell-O legs."
—Most popular questions from fans: Workout routine (ballet and pilates, which she can do at home between Dixie's naps), beauty routine (as little makeup as possible) and what it's like to be on the runway in underwear (she's fine as long as she looks at the camera, not the audience).
—Tip for anyone who might — just might — get a modeling gig: "Walk slowly so you get your moment."
Samantha Critchell tweets fashion at http://www.twitter.com/AP_Fashion and can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/Sam_Critchell