SINGAPORE- It has been 18 years, but Victoria's Secret's longest running model Adriana Lima, 35, still gets the jitters before each fashion show.
Speaking to The Straits Times on Friday (March 10) morning during a press event at the Victoria's Secret flagship store at Mandarin Gallery, the 1.78m-tall Brazilian model says: "I get cold sweat, my hands shake, I feel butterflies in my stomach and about 30 minutes before the show, I start yawning. Don't ask me why because I don't know why. My body reacts this way, but every single fashion show, it happens."
But once the lithe beauty sets foot on the runway, all her nerves disappear.
"Once I walk out on to the stage, it all stops. All the nerves are gone and I just have fun," says the mother-of-two girls, Valentina, eight, and Sienna, five.
The model is in Singapore to meet fans and sign autographs, her first visit to the sunny island.
"I want to go to Gardens By The Bay and if you have food recommendations, please tell me."
Lima began her career at Victoria's Secret in 1999 and has opened the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on multiple occasions. She has donned the million-dollar Fantasy Bra three times.
Typically, only one model is chosen to wear the bejewelled bra each year. Big names such as Gisele Bundchen, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum and Miranda Kerr have all donned Fantasy Bras.
Though she has been with the famous label for close to two decades, she says she never expected to last so long.
"I never thought about it. But the years have just flown by. I love my job and I am living the dream."
Asked what she would say to her younger self, the influential Instagram star who has over 10 million followers, says: "I would say, 'You will do a great job. I am very proud of you'."
The modelling world can be one filled with pressure and body expectations, but Lima says she does not see it that way.
"Everyone has different body types. I just like being myself," the divorcee says, adding that she is obsessed with the gym and works out at least five times a week. "I am passionate about boxing but if I don't have access to a gym I will just do burpees or squats in my room. I just try to keep moving."
"I don't do it for the job, it is part of my lifestyle."
As to whether or not she wears fancy underwear all the time, the slim and tan model says with a deep laugh that she loves wearing sexy lingerie.
"You have to understand. I have a process when I go to sleep. I shower, put on lotion, put on perfume and I choose the sexiest lingerie or pyjamas. All the time."
Asked why she does this, she says: "Why not? I do it for myself, I'm not going to put on something sexy just for a man. This is all about me feeling good. So I choose whatever I feel like wearing and I put in on and I go to bed feeling great."
Adriana Lima fans can get a signed photograph of the model between 6pm and 8pm on Friday (March 10) at the Mandarin Gallery outlet. Those who have spent $129 and above in a single receipt at the store between Wednesday (March 8) and Friday (March 10), will be granted VIP access in a priority queue. Photographs with the model will not be allowed.
Victoria's Secret is located at 01-01 Mandarin Gallery and opens daily from 10am to 10pm.