Jessica Clarke, a netball-mad, former Miss Teen Manawatu, has become the first New Zealander to walk the infamous Victoria's Secret runway.

The 18-year-old model appeared yesterday in the $12 million Victoria's Secret catwalk show extravaganza in New York, which featured elaborate lingerie - including a $2.5 million "Fantasy Treasure Bra" - and some of the world's leading fashion models dubbed "Runway Angels".

Marama Nicholas, director of Clyne Model Management which originally signed Ms Clarke, said Victoria's Secret was one of the most renowned and respected contracts a model could book - and potentially one of the most lucrative.

"It is one of the few jobs in modelling, along with a worldwide Calvin Klein exclusive or a major fragrance or beauty contract, that can make you into a superstar overnight," he said. Past "angels" have included Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Gisele Bundchen.


Ms Clarke - now based in New York - is one of New Zealand's most successful international models, having featured in a campaign for Dolce & Gabana and runway shows for Marc by Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and Lanvin - success that Mr Nicholas credits to "good management, a lot of hard work and commitment from Jessica and the teams that work for her, huge support from her family - not to forget that ever present x-factor that exudes from her very pore".