Don’t let Daniela Braga’s pretty face fool you — the Brazilian model-turned-Victoria’s Secret Angel means business.
In 2011, Braga was working as a cashier at a pharmacy in her hometown of São Paulo and using her $300 monthly salary to pay for a college degree in business administration.
“I came from a poor family,” Braga, now 26, said at her Post photo shoot. Her dad is a construction worker, and her mom worked in an office (Braga is one of three children). “I never wanted to be a model — I always wanted to be a businesswoman.”
But her life took a turn when she was scouted at her job by a model agent. Since then, she’s gone on to grace the covers of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue UK, landed a campaign with Givenchy and walked in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.
And now the catwalk beauty, who’s based in Midtown East, is poised to take over TV as one of the stars of the new docuseries “Model Squad,” premiering Monday on E! The show follows the New York City lives of working models including fellow VS babes Shanina Shaik and Devon Windsor, as well as Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo.
“It shows the real side of a model’s life,” Braga said. “People only see the glamorous side of modeling, but [there are] a lot of struggles.”
When Braga was starting her career in NYC in 2011, she knew only two English words — “hello” and “goodbye” — and had a hard time communicating with clients. “People assumed I was just a stupid model because I couldn’t express myself [in English],” she recalled.
Now she speaks four languages: her native Portuguese, as well as Spanish, English and French. And on top of financially supporting her family, she’s also using her earnings to invest in a smartphone startup company and property in Brazil and New York.
“The women I look up to the most are outside of the fashion industry,” Braga said. “Like Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie.”
Her busy schedule leaves little time to date.
“People [in New York] are so focused — they don’t have time for dating, and I’m very busy and I’m always traveling,” she said.
But Braga still knows how to have fun. At her shoot at Miss Favela, a Brazilian cafe in Williamsburg, she even showed off a few samba moves.
And she swears there’s no manufactured “Real Housewives-style theatrics among the “Model Squad” cast, adding that her co-stars are real friends who hang out when not filming.
That said, there will be some drama on the show.
“Nobody’s perfect — you’re never gonna 100 percent agree with people,” she said. “We have some disagreements. But it’s not crazy fights.”
The show has taught Braga how to be vulnerable.
“I have trust issues,” she said. “But [because of filming] I’ve learned how to open my life a little bit more and share it with other people. I learned how to trust.”