By Lauren Valenti published
There are a variety of reasons why you might recognize Elsa Hosk. Let me put it like this, on one hand she's a Victoria's Secret Angel—you know, the one who nearly took Ariana Grande out with her fluffy pink wings—and on the another, she's a retired pro basketball player.
So not your average supermodel, when I got the chance to hang with Hosk in all her powerhouse glory, I jumped at it. So if you, like myself, were wondering about at least one of the following: the Scandinavian beauty's past life as a baller, the secret behind her best-loved body part, or her broken New Year's resolutions, you're in luck.
Marie Claire: Congrats on scoring the Victoria's Secret Swim 2016 catalogue cover. You slayed that shot. Could you tell us about it?
Elsa Hosk: Yeah, I mean, I had no idea I was gonna be on the cover. Coming from Sweden, I didn't really know it was such a big deal and then everybody was like 'That's amazing!' And I loved the photo, it was so natural and [the photographer] Guy Aroch is an old friend of mine. The whole trip was just so natural and beautiful, and there was less makeup. The swimsuit fit the island so well. It's so '70s retro.
MC: One thing we were surprised to learn about you is that you were a professional basketball player. Could you tell us about that part of your career?
EH: I started playing when I was seven. All the girls in my school did it. I don't know why. We came from a little town outside of Stockholm, but it was just the thing that we did and I loved it. finally had something to put all my energy into. My dad put up a basket on my street and I would just go home everyday and practice after work. I'd bring my best friend and we got really good. I just started playing with one higher class up and then when I finished school, I was professional. It was very a short time, and I was modeling at the same time, so it was just really hard cause they would train me 7 times a week, plus games on the weekends. I was away and trying to figure it all out, but it was such a good time and I really miss it!
MC: So you were a professional basketball player and now you're a Victoria's Secret Angel. Now we're dying to know—what's your workout regimen?
EH: I love boxing, and I try to mix it up as much as I can. Boxing makes you kind of tight, so it's really good to mix that with barre, pilates, or something that'll stretch you out and make you longer. I'm not the person that loves to be in the gym so much. I like to mix it up as much as possible, otherwise I'll get bored.
MC: Do you ever work out with the other angels?
EH: It's funny you ask because when we go on trips we try to do workouts together. Everybody will teach a different workout because we're all doing different things. It's the whole team, like the stylists and the photographers too. It's really fun.
MC: As far as your killer bod, what's your biggest area of focus?
EH: For me, it's the butt for sure. It's just always on display. And it's a vicious circle because if you start working your butt out a lot and then you stop it, it goes like [makes a deflating motion with her hands]…you have to keep it up.
MC: And 2015 was definitely the year of the butt. It raised the stakes.
EH: Yes. I would always be ashamed because I have wide hips and a small waist and growing up, that was not cool. Now it's about celebrating the curves. I love it.
MC: As someone who loves working out, what's your personal style when you're getting active?
EH: Well, it's so fun now with all the new workout trends. It's cool because lot of these clothes you can take from the gym and wear them during the day. You can throw on a pair of cool sneakers and a sweater over these clothes and it still looks good. I love Victoria's Secret Sport because what they do so well is the fit and how it makes you feel. They sculpt all the right parts of your body. Plus, there's so much to choose from—colors, prints, and cool details. It's dangerous, you want everything.
MC: We're over a week into 2016. Did you set any New Year's resolutions for yourself?
EH: I usually have a moment where I meditate and think what's going to come up in the new year, and I didn't have time to do that, so now I'm like ah, I didn't make any resolutions, but I think last year was so cool, I had such a great year. The year before that was awful, and I just want to keep riding on this wave that I'm on and hopefully I just keep bettering myself as a person. Spreading more love and being more open.
MC: Totally. But just so we know you're human, in past years have you cheated on any of your resolutions?
EH: I feel like you always do. It's more like guidelines, you know you're gonna f—k up. I think it's good to set big goals for yourself, but it's also good to be realistic so you can actually reach them and be proud of yourself.
MC: Totally. And what would you say your indulgences are?
EH: I have so many. I think my baddest one, and I do it very often, is this grilled cheese that you get by Milk Studios at Chelsea Market. I get it every time I work at Milk, so it's a pretty bad one. I also love Swedish food, so meatballs with the gravy. Salty licorice too. I have so many indulgences—way too many. But I think also you work out to be able to eat what you want. You can be healthy, but you have to let yourself live.
MC: That's a sentiment we can get behind.
EH: I think life is so much about enjoying and not punishing yourself or restricting yourself too much. The more I let go of all my rules, the more free and happy I am and nothing happens. So I just enjoy.
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I’m the associate web editor at Marie Claire. I love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. I firmly believe that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.
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