Miranda May Kerr (born 20 April 1983) is an Australian model best known as one of the Victoria’s Secret Angels since mid-2007. She is the first Australian to participate in the Victoria’s Secret campaign, and also represents Australian fashion chains Portmans and David Jones Limited. Kerr began modeling in the fashion industry when she was 13, starting at Chaay’s Modelling Agency, and soon after winning a 1997 Australian nationwide model search hosted by Dolly magazine and Impulse fragrances.
Kerr was born in Sydney, but raised in the small town of Gunnedah, New South Wales. Her parents are Therese and John Kerr, and she has a younger brother named Matthew. In an interview, Kerr stated she is of English, French and Scottish descent and countered rumors that she had Filipino heritage. During her childhood, Kerr “raced motorbikes and rode horses on her grandmother’s farm.” She describes her early life in the Australian countryside as “very grounding … there wasn’t any pretentiousness and no one really cared what you were wearing. You could just be you.” Her family moved to Brisbane to allow Kerr and her brother to experience city life. She graduated from All Hallows’ School in that city, and planned to study nutrition before pursuing modeling.
At age 13, Kerr entered and won the 1997 annual Dolly Magazine/Impulse Model Competition. She was flown to Sydney a week before her 14th birthday to shoot for the magazine. Upon Kerr’s win, local media expressed “concerned outrage” at her young age. The controversy raised concerns about the glorification of young girls within the fashion, beauty, and entertainment industries. Some conservative media outlets claimed her Dolly shoot (including images of a 14-year-old Kerr in bathing suits) constituted a form of child pornography. Of the press, Kerr said: “In the media at the time they were trying to cling on to anything remotely to do with paedophilia. Dolly is a magazine for teenage girls, not for old men. And I was fully clothed! Doing a winter shoot! They just made something out of nothing.”
Kerr signed to Chic Management’s Sydney division. She received considerable commercial exposure after a series of beachwear ads predominantly for Australian surf chain Billabong, in which Kerr modeled surf brands Tigerlily, Roxy, Billabong Girls, and One Teaspoon. This increased her profile in the Australian and Asian markets, after which Kerr relocated to New York.
Once in Paris, in 2003, Kerr signed with the Madison Agency. She did an advertising campaign for Ober Jeans with photographer Erick Seban-Meyer.
Once in New York, Kerr had a multitude of runway appearances and then signed with Next model agency in early 2004. From there, she was booked for runway and print campaigns for major labels, including Alex Perry, Ayyıldız, Baby Phat, Lisa Ho, Voodoo Dolls, Levi’s, Bettina Liano, Nicola Finetti, L.A.M.B., Heatherette, Betsey Johnson, Trelise Cooper, Jets, John Richmond, Blumarine Swimwear, Neiman Marcus, Seafolly Swimwear, Anna Molinari, Rock and Republic, and Roberto Cavalli. She was also booked for print in magazines such as Elle, Australian Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and was featured in television advertisements for brands like Portmans, Bonds, and Veet.