Adriana Lima Is Retiring from Victoria's Secret After 20 Years: 'Thank You for Teaching Me to Fly'

The veteran Angel revealed this will be her last Victoria's Secret Fashion Show as she leaves the brand for new opportunities

Veteran Victoria’s Secret Angel Adriana Lima is hanging up her wings. After 20 years with the lingerie giant — and 18 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show catwalks! — the Brazilian bombshell announced that she’s retiring.

The 37-year-old supermodel announced her departure on Instagram as she prepares for her final show with a moving highlight reel of her best catwalk moments with the brand.

“Dear Victoria, Thank you for showing me the world, sharing your secrets, and most importantly not just giving me wings but teaching me to fly. And all the ❤️ to the best fans in the 🌎! Love, Adriana 💖”

David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock
David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

In true Lima fashion, the model (who has worn the Fantasy Bra three times, fronted VS campaigns for countless lingerie launches and is considered by the rest of the VS model squad as The Guardian Angel) went out with a bang. She’ll close this year’s fashion show in dramatic winged look, a moment which she tells PEOPLE is the ultimate highlight of her 20-year tenure.

David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

“I think this year is going to be the highlight of my career,” Lima, 37, tells PEOPLE. “This has been my 18th fashion show and I am still as excited as I was from the first day. I always love to be on runways and being part of the Victoria’s Secret show. It my favorite to do.”

Lima added that she’ll be focusing on new projects with women empowerment at the core.

“I’m looking forward to support women and being connected to different projects which support women around the world,” she says. “That like my future from now on but I am still happy that I am part of Victoria’s Secret this year. You guys are going to love this year’s show. To me it is definitely going be very special.”

2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Hair and Makeup, New York, USA - 08 Nov 2018
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Despite hitting 18 catwalks, Lima says she still gets butterflies.

“I do get nervous and I thought that throughout the years I would get more relaxed but no it doesn’t go away ever,” she says. “Every year I get anxious and very nervous.”

The model added that this year marks one of the most diverse shows yet.

“We have 60 girls from all over the world representing different countries,” she says. “We have 8 different musicians, which is the most we’ve ever had. We have seven different segments. I am looking forward to seeing Rita Ora — I am such a big fan. She is such a great musician. Besides that she is a beautiful, sweet kind person.”

Last year, Adriana’s close friend and fellow veteran Angel Alessandra Ambrosio announced her retirement at the VS Fashion Show in Shanghai after nearly two decades with the brand.

“Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have been working for this amazing brand that inspires me and women all over the world. In my wildest dreams I would have never imagined doing 17 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows,” Ambrosio wrote in an emotional Instagram post last year. “Thank you Ed, and all my Victoria’s Secret family for making these memories unforgettable. Last night was so emotional to say goodbye to my #angel sisters but we put on the biggest and best show ever. I could not have done this without all the love and support from my fans. It gives me great pride to be part the Victoria’s Secret movement! I will always be cheering for you! Love you forever.”

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