How did you become a Victoria’s Secret model?
It’s funny because about a year and a half ago I went to New York for the first time with my ex boyfriend and I was just going to see agencies and the first one – women direct – I was still seeing a couple of agencies, when they called me and said, “Victoria Secret want to see you”, and I wasn’t even signed with them. I was like, “erm ok should I go now?” So I went, and apparently they liked me because a month later I was doing a test with them and then I worked again with them a couple of weeks after that and over a few months I did nothing with them and then in February this year they used me for Pink and since then I’ve been doing work almost every couple of weeks and I’ve started doing the swimline.

Most memorable photo-shoot?
I have a few that are really stuck in my memory. I’m very proud of them and some of them, they’re not really all that important but just so cool to shoot, I remember when I shot the Blumarine campaign with Adriana.

Where will you be hanging out while you’re in London?
I don’t really know a lot here in London. Yesterday I went to see that Burlesque show, Crazy Horse, with a friend and it was really cool actually.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
I love The Kooks – I am completely addicted to them at the moment – and I have been kind of obsessed with Taylor Swifts new album, it is really good and I like a bit of a mix of everything.

How do you stay in shape?
I’ve got a personal trainer in New York and we box and do one on one training. It beats the crap out of me but it’s nice, always different and we do a lot of different types of exercise. It’s normally boxing at the beginning and then exercise on the floor, Pilates and stuff like that.

Who’s your dream celebrity mum, dad, brother and sister?
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, if they want to adopt me I’m up for it. Brother probably, Ian Somerhalder because he is really, really cute, but a little bit old for me, so I guess he could be my husband, but I would like having a big brother. With sister I think Taylor Swift she looks really cool.

Christiano Ronaldo or Jose Mourinho?
Jose Mourinho, because he’d make my football team win the championship, my team are Porto and he got us to win the Champions League so it is always in my heart.

What is your advice to somebody wanting to become a model?
It’s most important to see what the top agencies are, a lot of agencies just want to get money from you so find top agencies and then see what agent will suit you – you don’t want to be stuck in it, you can be with one of the top agencies but still not be doing any work because they’ve got so many models they don’t care about you. Sometimes it can be better to be with a good small agency that will do amazing for you, so I guess just see what agency works for you and to know what you want and tell your booker what you want, fight for what you want and sometimes you will have to be willing to say no. Maybe in the beginning it will be harder, but you should stay true to yourself and if you have to say no to a job, then it will not be the end of the world.

– Sara Sampaio with Models 1
– Images by Leigh Keily using Kodak circa 2000
– Interview Declan Higgins

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