Lorena Rae’s life forever changed at age 18 when she drove off to Hamburg, in her native Germany, with her best friend for a shopping spree.
“I was approached by a model scout,” the now-24-year-old recalled to Fox News. “He was like, ‘Oh, you’re very tall.’ I was like, ‘Yep.’ He’s like, ‘Have you ever considered becoming a model?’ I said, ‘Nope.’ Because I was very shy back then. I was like, ‘No, not really.’ And then somehow I ended up going to my first agency… Signed a contract two weeks later.”
The German beauty, now a sought-after model for The Lions agency, said that when she did decide to pursue modeling, she hoped to spread her wings with Victoria’s Secret. And sure enough, Rae was later selected to walk the runway for the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. According to Rae, growing up in her native Germany, she vividly recalled admiring the stunning supermodels rocking skimpy lingerie and swimsuits for the brand. Now, it was her turn to shine.
“I started crying,” said Rae when she got the offer of a lifetime to appear in the televised show. “I got a phone call, and then my agent was like, ‘I have a little surprise for you. You booked the Victoria’s Secret Show,’” recalled Rae. “I was at a restaurant having dinner with my friends and I just couldn’t believe it. I had to go outside… I remember calling my mom... She started crying with me. I think it took a couple of days to process that. I really had to call my agent back and be like, ‘Are you sure? Are you really sure?’"
Despite the news, Rae admitted she was a nervous wreck when it came time to strut her stuff on the catwalk.
“… I was one of the first people there,” explained Rae. “The whole hair and makeup process, all these people behind the scenes, and actually seeing all the Angels and the girls you’re going to walk with, seeing your outfit handing there — it was super nerve-racking. … I just wanted to remember everything. … When I came back from the runway, I really didn’t remember anything.”
Despite the jitters, Rae said she was grateful to be welcomed by veteran Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima. In late 2018, the 37-year-old announced she was leaving Victoria’s Secret after almost 20 years.
“… When we arrived at the venue, she came into the bus and said hi to all of us,” said Rae. “It didn’t matter if you were doing the show for the first time or the fifth time. She would come up to everyone and be like, ‘Hi, my name’s Adriana.’ I’m like, ‘I know, I know!’ She’d say, ‘Have fun at the show’’ and would give you tips if you asked her. I just wanted to talk to her for 20 minutes but obviously, we didn’t have the time. But she was amazing.”
“When I booked [the gig] I was just as shocked as when I got the show,” said Rae. “For me, [Victoria’s Secret] is what I grew up with and what I would order online, living in Germany… You wanted to have that bikini… It didn’t really feel like work, it felt like a [casual] trip to Miami [where you] shoot a bikini and just have fun.”
Still, Rae admitted she has a no-nonsense approach to staying in bikini-ready shape all year long to slip into a skimpy swimsuit for cameras.
“That’s the thing we always have to do,” Rae explained. “For us, it’s not, ‘Now it’s summer, now it’s bikini season.’ It can happen that in December, you’re going to Colombia to shoot a bikini campaign. You always have to be ready. I like to have a routine and train every other day so I never feel out of shape. I always feel like if there is a bikini shoot coming up, I could go and I would be ready. I think it’s just something that’s part of our job.”
“… I personally love SoulCycle for cardio because I feel like the music gets me going,” Rae continued. “I like to go to Dogpound, which is a gym here in [New York]… All the girls always go there, so it’s fun to work out together. For me, I always need somebody to stand behind me and be like, ‘One more squat,’ because otherwise, I’d probably just do five.”
Rae also credited a no-nonsense workout routine not just to turn heads, but to feel just as confident about herself.
“I think we, as models, we always have days where we feel great,” said Rae. “We wake up, we go to work. But we’re also human. Sometimes I wake up and I feel bloated and I go, ‘I have to [do] a bikini shoot today.’ We all have these days, we’re just like normal girls. But it’s our job so we grow into it, [especially] doing it for years and knowing exactly our angles in front of the camera.”
But despite breaking a sweat nearly every day to stay in shape, Rae said she does allow cheat days where she can indulge in her favorite treats.
“I love pastries, so anything that is a chocolate croissant or a Nutella toast or just anything that’s been baked and has a little chocolate in there,” said Rae about her guilty pleasures. “I’m a chocolate person so any dessert that says chocolate, I’ll order.”
As Rae’s fame continues to grow, she hasn’t forgotten about her past. In fact, Rae insisted remaining close to her family has been essential to her life.
“… I think it’s important not to take yourself too seriously or start to think that you are better than anyone else, just because you have one or two more followers than someone else [on social media],” Rae explained. “I still like to be connected with my old friends. I like to catch up with them when I’m home and do the same things that we’ve been doing for years when I wasn’t traveling that much.”
“I always say that staying connected with my family is something that I would always take before any big job,” added Rae. “My grandma only turns 80 once and the next bikini shoot might come next week.”