Victoria’s Secret announces the return of its annual fashion show

Four years after the cancellation of its mythical Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, marred by various controversies, the famous lingerie brand announces the return of its annual showcase show with a new format, announced as more inclusive, more artistic, and based on a vision beauty that is more rooted in reality.

Gone are the tall, skinny, perfectly toned angels, replaced by a collective of models from diverse backgrounds. They will headline a live-streamed fashion show this fall, aiming to win over an audience split between excitement and skepticism.

For more than 20 years, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has energized the world of fashion, and more particularly of lingerie, before being undermined by the many controversies that have tarnished the brand’s image. The last edition, held in 2018, before the show was canceled for good, saw its audience drop to 3.2 million viewers, from more than nine million four years earlier. The cause? A slew of controversies, a lack – not a total absence – of inclusivity in the show’s cast, and a notable contender who was ahead on the diversity front – Rihanna’s brand Savage x Fenty, which just be launched in 2018.

The demise of a once legendary show

First held in 1995, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show quickly found an audience not only for its grandiose nature, but also for its tall, slim and perfectly toned models, including Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima, Cindy Bruna, Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner, to name a few. A casting that attracted a lot, at least at the beginning, but which ended up being seen with a bad eye, as promoting an ideal of beauty far removed from reality, not to mention an obsolete and objectified vision of women. Despite increased societal awareness, driven by various movements including body positivity, the Victoria’s Secret brand stayed the course, and ultimately attracted the scorn of a public that instead turned to bodies, sizes and more diverse cuts from the new brand founded by Rihanna. It was a first notable setback for the lingerie juggernaut, which then found itself at the center of various controversies.

The arrest of Jeffrey Epstein, accused of multiple sexual assaults, put Victoria’s Secret in the spotlight because of the financier’s close ties to Leslie Wexner, the boss of Limited Brands, then the parent company of Victoria’s Secret. This proved to be a blow for the lingerie giant, which was forced to reassess. But the brand did not give up, even in the midst of turmoil, and opted for a total reboot. This involves, for example, refreshing the brand’s headliners, but also casting models more in tune with reality, and introducing more diversified collections, despite mistrust and criticism from an unfamiliar public. receptive to these sudden changes. .

The dawn of a new era?

Victoria’s Secret has been rethinking things for several years now. For the most part, it started with the replacement of the iconic Angels by women from all walks of life – artists, sportswomen, activists, models – with all kinds of body types, and from all backgrounds, not to mention the recruitment in 2019 of the first transgender model of the brand, Valentina Sampaio. The collective of brand ambassadors has since welcomed Megan Rapinoe, Paloma Elsesser and Sofía Jirau, demonstrating its desire to respond to consumer demands, while restoring its image. The same goes for the brand’s collections, which are now more inclusive, with maternity and mastectomy bras, for example, but also available in a much wider range of fits and sizes.

The new Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show concept will be the culmination of this program of radical change and will determine whether the brand has really succeeded in renewing its image. The Victoria’s Secret World Tour will take the form of a feature film that will take a behind-the-scenes look at VS20, “a group of 20 innovative global creatives who will design four fashion curations in the dynamic cities of Bogota, Lagos, London and Tokyo. The goal general is now to “stand up for women’s voices, perspectives and experiences”, in stark contrast to the image of objectified women once embodied by the angels of Victoria’s Secret, who paraded, wings fixed on their backs, in clothes skimpy to present the ultra sexy collections of the brand.

“This film is the ultimate expression of the transformation of the Victoria’s Secret brand. It will be driven by fashion, glamor and entertainment with a nod to beloved iconography from the past, but in a bold and redefined way. We are so honored to offer our platform and have it explored through the lens and artistry of global creators who celebrate the individuality of women’s stories and perspectives,” said Raúl Martinez, Executive Vice President and chief creative director of Victoria’s Secret, in a statement.

This documentary, which will be broadcast worldwide, will be accompanied by a live fashion event this fall, specifies the brand. News of the series’ return was not unanimous on Instagram, where the brand shared information about the new concept. While some Internet users are delighted with the return of the annual parade, others are wondering about the real motivations for this change. A handful of users even say they miss the “real” Angels who made the brand famous, before contributing to its disappearance.

Back in March, when Victoria’s Secret teased her show’s return, singer Lizzo made her point clear on Twitter: “This is a win for inclusivity for inclusivity. But if brands start doing this only because they’ve suffered backlash, what happens when the “trends” change again? Do the CEOs of these companies value true inclusion? Or do they just value money? Now we just have to wait and see what this revamped show has in store for us so people can make up their own minds on the matter.

[Hero and Featured Images: Courtesy Victoria Secret]

This story is published via AFP Relaxnews.

Leave a Comment