When I catch up with Taylor Hill on a Wednesday morning at 9:30, she has already been up and working for three and a half hours. She’s slipping out of a 120 mm pair of Louboutins (close to the highest they make), which are questionably walkable and into a leopard print pair of flip flops. We exchange greetings because Taylor and I are in fact, old Angel acquaintances.
Last year, I attempted to turn myself into a Victoria’s Secret angel and I interviewed Taylor, who was walking for the first time for Pink, “the kid’s section” as she called it.
And now...the final story on how one earns their wings is live on @elleusa. Find out just how serious angel business is. @taylor_hill and @isabelifontana_official made me werk for it. #vsfashionshow #earnyourwings (ps isn't it so sad I'm going to have to find another aspirational goal...until next year that is)
Months later, Taylor would be anointed with her very own wings and inducted into the very, very elite sorority that is Victoria’s Secret. In so many ways, the enthusiastic 19-year old is exactly the same girl I saw fluttering around backstage last year, but in a lot of ways she’s different. Besides now having her wings, she also rolls with an entourage that is 10 deep, not including me. She has security detail, fans lined up around the block to meet her, and almost a million Instagram followers, but don’t be fooled. Taylor still uses hotel shampoo and refuses to dress up for flights. I spent the next 12 hours with her on a blurry tour of Chicago complete with the ubiquitous deep-dish pizza. Yes, she ate it. No, I didn’t. (OK fine, I ate a little.) Here’s what else happened, minute by minute:
6:02 a.m.: “I hit snooze on my alarm. I was awake in my bed until they knocked on the door and I got up,” says Hill. They, meaning members of the simultaneously metaphorical and literal village it takes to get an angel prepped for the public: 1 hairstylist, 1 makeup artist, 1 wardrobe stylist, 1 wardrobe assistant, 1 publicist (Victoria’s Secret in-house), 2 social media correspondents, 2 additional publicists (agencies), 1 photographer and security.
6:15 a.m.: “They came for me. I was like ‘You’re early!’ and then I showered,” she says.
6:45 a.m.: Hill starts hair and makeup. The whole process takes about an hour and a half. Marty (hairstylist) and Hung (makeup artist) both gush about how east she is to work on. Luckily so, because throughout the day she will have about 6 makeup and hair touch ups.
7:05 a.m.: Hill has breakfast. “I had eggs, bacon and potatoes and some orange juice and a cup of coffee.”
8:00 a.m.: She is dressed and ready for her first morning show appearance. I ask her how she went about choosing today’s outfit and it was a no-brainer because stylist Nick Nelson and Taylor had a fitting two weeks prior, before she even arrived to Chicago. Angels leave nothing to chance.
8:15 a.m.: Hill travels to her first morning show appearance
8:30 a.m.: First makeup touch up of the day
8:45 a.m.: Hill appears on her first morning segment. “That was quick. They were supposed to ask me about being an angel and they didn’t! I don’t remember what the studio even looked like. There was blue, a lot of blue in there and I remember sitting on a stool,” she recalls later in the day.
9:30 a.m.: Hill is transported to the second morning show of the day: Windy City Live.
9:45 a.m.: Second hair and makeup touch up and wardrobe change of the day—and adds a member to her squad: me!
10:30 a.m.: Hill signs the wall in the green room at Windy City Live and as part of her takeover for the Victoria’s Secret snap chat account does about 6 or 7 selfies.
11:20 a.m.: She appears on Windy City Live where they bring her a rack of ribs from her favorite rib joint in Chicago: Twin Anchors.
11:24 a.m.: Nick (wardrobe) and Hung (makeup) rush onto the set during commercial break to check out rib damage. There is none. Taylor is an angel.
11:45 a.m.: Leave Windy City Live studios where there are two (slightly) sketchy older men waiting for Taylor. Security gets her into the car and we are off to US Cellular Filed for the White Sox Game.
12:00 p.m.: Arrive at US Cellular Field and Taylor goes into the third wardrobe and hair and makeup change. This time she gets a ponytail. It is a sporting event after all. She puts on a custom Victoria’s Secret Pink White Sox’s jersey with her name emblazoned in white sequins. This is easily the most comfortable I saw Taylor all day. It was pretty much the only look that had full mobility: meaning, she was not teetering around in stilettos in a pencil skirt that has a 4-inch opening.
12:20 p.m.: Hill throws a practice pitch. She will soon do the real thing on the mound to open up the White Sox game.
12:40 p.m.: Lunch break. “I ate a sandwich and some chips.”
12:58 p.m.: National Anthem at the White Sox Game. Taylor stands in line with all of the White Socks before her big moment. “I was like I’m on the team!”
1:00 p.m.: Hill throws out the first pitch! “We have one rule here: Don’t bounce it”, the elevator operator tells us right before we step out onto the field. She didn’t bounce it but that was the first time all day I had seen her genuinely nervous. “I was a gymnast! I never threw a ball in my life!”
1:05 p.m.: Hill does four interviews with other press outlets, which brings the total up to six for the day. She also signs baseballs and posters for giveaways and announces a contest on the Victoria’s Secret snap chat. I photobomb her.
1:30 p.m.: Hill takes some selfies.
2:00 p.m.: “Now we’re going back to the hotel, motel, Holiday Inn.” Sorry if you’ve never heard this song by Pitbull before, but just in case you haven’t, for reference we were not staying at the Holiday Inn.
2:20 p.m.: Hill packs her bags because she needs to get back on a plane to L.A. as soon as her event wraps at night.
2:35 p.m.: Hill starts hair and makeup for the night. (Fourth hair and makeup change, if you are counting!)
2:40 p.m.: I invade Hill’s room and start going through all her beauty products to find her secret elixirs. There are none. She lectures me about confidence and coconut oil.
2:45 p.m.: Hill has her second lunch. It’s chicken fingers and fries. I know. I would hate her too, but you literally can’t. She is lovely.
3:30 p.m.: Hill finishes packing and dressing and travels to the Victoria’s Secret store.
3:40 p.m.: Another makeup touch up before Hill gets in front of the cameras.
3:45 p.m.: All the photographers swarm Hill to get their shot. It also happens to be National Underwear Day so there’s that. She poses with a photo of herself as the face of the Tease fragrance. “My mom told me I should ask them for it but I was like, ‘Mom!! What am I going to do with a giant photo of myself?’”
4:00 p.m.: Hill and I go shopping in the store. She advises me on what new Body by Victoria bra to get. We have a lengthy discussion about what we need from our bras and we settle on getting me the one she is wearing in the Body by Victoria campaign. Never say she is not a powerful saleswoman. We go to get the matching underwear because last year, Hill told me that that was of the utmost importance. “Come on, don’t you want to feel cute under your clothes?”
4:20 p.m.: I force Hill to take a #tease selfie with me.
4:25 p.m.: Bloggers and more press arrive to interview Hill.
4:45 p.m.: Hill and a I are reunited and continue shopping. “I already have the bra of these, but I really need the bottoms. It really motivates you to work out when your clothes are cute.” It really does.
5:00 p.m.: Hill wants some alone time before the event.
5:07 p.m.: Hill is in a sweatsuit and lounging in the very pink dressing rooms at the store. Security stands guard.
5:10 p.m.: I go get deep dish pizza which we will bring back to her for dinner.
5:15 p.m.: Hill starts checking Instagram. She likes some photos. She liked mine. I know this because I got about 90 comments from strangers exclaiming, “Taylor liked!!”
5:25 p.m.: Hill calls her boyfriend and checks in on her dog, a miniature golden doodle who is very much her obsession.
6:00 p.m.: Hair and makeup touch ups begin again. Hill chows down on her own personal deep-dish pizza. She’s still in her sweatsuit.
6:45 p.m.: The line of people waiting to meet Hill trails outside of the store and wraps around the block.
7:00 p.m.: Hill’s signing starts. The photos are stacked on a table to her right, (she is a lefty) and so far, the only people who are going to get to meet her are VIPs, aka people who purchased something worth $50 or more in the store. They aren’t allowed to take photos of or with her, though. They meet, she signs, they move on. I count my blessings!
7:58 p.m.: Hill signs 118 photos and takes photos with the store employees.
8:00 p.m.: She is whisked away back to her dressing room where the heels promptly come off again. She’s getting back into her sweatsuit because her flight leaves in two hours. “I will not be the person that changes into my sweatpants on the plane. I am just going to wear them. I don’t really care.”
8:15 p.m.: Hill is in route to O’Hare airport and back to Los Angeles.