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As she prepares for this month's red-hot Victoria's Secret runway show, supermodel Chanel Iman talks about high fashion, new projects and what it takes to earn her wings.

FROM TOMBOY TO BOMBSHELL

Like so many supermodels before her, Chanel Iman was a bit of a tomboy—sort of. “I wouldn’t say I was a tomboy, but I had tomboy intentions,” she says with a laugh. “I played a lot of basketball when I was younger. I went to a summer basketball camp once at UCLA with 500 boys, and I was the only girl. And I won Most Valuable Player.”

There’s a good chance those same 500 boys would now bestow on the 19-year-old beauty any title she desires, given her latest gig: Victoria’s Secret Angel.

20TH BIRTHDAY WISH

Iman (her real last name is Robinson—Iman is her middle name) will walk in the Victoria's Secret runway show for the second time when the 2010 edition debuts this month in New York. The event airs on CBS at 10 pm on November 30, which also happens to be the eve of Iman’s 20th birthday. When we spoke in late August, she did indeed have a birthday wish: “I haven’t worn the wings yet,” Iman said of the show’s signature model props. “But I’m sure it will happen this season.”

OWNING HER APPEAL

Walking a Victoria’s Secret show is a decidedly different experience from other fashion runways, a fact to which Iman can easily attest, as she’s a favorite of everyone from Gucci to Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent to Phillip Lim. “I love walking a show like John Galliano, or a haute-couture show like Dior, when you really can get into a character,” she says. “With Victoria’s Secret, it’s all about being glamorous and sexy. You feel like you’re on top of the world wearing lingerie in front of all those people; you have to be very confident. But I don’t mind—I’m at that age when I want to get naked in front of people anyway.”

 

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