Lingerie lovers, meet Katsia Zingarevich, aka Katia D, aka Katsiya Damankova, once a superhot supermodel who turned her back on the profession — until Victoria’s Secret tracked her down.
The U.S. retailing giant today revealed Katsia Z (or “Kate”) has joined the world’s most prestigious modeling pool just in time to make a spectacular splash in the new Christmas Dreams & Fantasies catalogue (due next week).
Katsia is a 20-year-old native of Minsk, Belarus, and the willowy 5’10” blonde will fit right in with other leggy VS models such as Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima.
Katsia can also be seen (don’t blink or you’ll miss her!) in the label’s latest “What Is Sexy” TV commercial, a frenetic bit of eye candy meant to promote the new VS Starlet halter bra (see the full video below).
The introduction of Katsia answers one the biggest questions facing the retail giant: how would it bolster its much-depleted ranks of “Angels” following the recent departure of Heidi Klum and maternity leaves for both Miranda Kerr and Doutzen Kroes?
And the fact that they landed Katsia at all will come as a huge surprise to the international modelling community, since the Belarussian beauty quit modeling a couple of years ago to return to school.
Her career before then, though, had all the hallmarks of an international supermodel-in-the-making. At 15, Katsia was discovered by a modeling agent while she was doing her homework in a Minsk café. Initially disinterested, she agreed to sign with the Select agency of London after her mother encouraged her to try modeling.
In early 2006, Katsia won the annual Ford Supermodel of the Year contest — the industry’s most prestigious competition for young models — which earned her a lavish contract with the agency that led to magazine spreads and runway shows.
After a brief spin in the modeling spotlight, however, Katsia married, moved to Paris and enrolled in a university journalism program to study public relations.
Earlier this year, her U.S. agent sent some unsolicited photos of Katsia to Victoria’s Secret — a move she calls “fate”.
“It turned out that they have long been trying to find me,” she told an interviewer in Belarus.
Classes will now have to wait, as Katsia faces a huge workload for VS. She is expected to become the new “face” of Victoria’s Secret cosmetics, and has already shot the VS Christmas TV commercial directed by Michael (Transformers) Bay.
And will Victoria’s Secret bestow upon her the prestigious “Angel” designation? Only time will tell, but the photo above might be a hint!
Here’s a few more shots below from the 2010 Christmas Dreams & Fantasies catalogue, along with some earlier shots from Katsia’s modeling career.