victoria's secret
Photo: Getty

Now this is model behavior. Months after Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid received mixed reviews for their debut as Victoria’s Secret Angels, fellow VS runway star, Shanina Shaik, is coming to their defense.

Shutting down critics who attributed Jenner and Hadid’s casting in the retailer’s fashion show solely to their reality TV and social media fame, Shaik insists they both worked “really hard” to earn their spots.

“I know them personally,” the 24-year-old explained. “Attachment sometimes from the outside in can help, but they do work really hard.”

Shaik notes that she’s witnessed the girls’ determination to work with Victoria’s Secret first-hand—and is especially impressed by Hadid, who auditioned to be an Angel several times before finally landing the gig.

“Gigi’s been modeling since she was a young kid and I think people forget that. Gigi had to try out a few times before she got in,” she said, before adding that G and K were basically born to work with the brand: “They did an amazing job and they looked great and they did amazing for the show. They have amazing bodies and they fit the criteria for Victoria’s Secret.”

It’s an opportunity that neither Jenner or Hadid have taken for granted. “They also have dreams and goals they want to achieve and they’re very humble and they’re very appreciative of everything great that happens to them,” Shaik assured. “I see that myself.”

Shaik, who made her first strut down the lingerie label’s catwalk in 2011, isn’t just a fan of KenGi’s, she’s hoping she can be somewhat of a mentor, too.

“Seeing them being new to Victoria’s Secret, I saw myself four years ago,” she recalled. “I had like Adriana [Lima] and Miranda [Kerr] giving me advice at that time so I just said, ‘You know what, enjoy the moment.'”

And clearly, that’s exactly what they did.

From: Harper’s BAZAAR US