VICTORIA SECRETS LONG RUN
Extravagant stages, whimsical lights, fantasy bras and unique angel wings are all vibes that come to mind when you think of the infamous Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. In recent news, L Brands CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer officially confirmed that the fashion show had been cancelled, citing its declining viewership and lack of immediate "material impact" on Victoria's Secret sales post-broadcast. This news became exclusive on November 2019 making it the first year in 24 years that the company wasn’t putting on their annual Fashion Show.
Let’s reminisce on what’s made Victoria Secret’s fashion show such the event that it is today.
Kicking off the very first show on August 1, 1995. It was introduced by Stephanie Seymour and was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Talk about exclusive, in earlier years before 2001 the fashion show was not broadcasted for the public.
Each year there was a different theme and higher expectations. Nonetheless, each year Victoria's Secret has delivered. The shows have been held in a variety of locations including: Miami, Los Angelos, Cannes, Paris, London and Shanghai. For those who aren’t familiar with what to expect during this extravagant showcase, here’s a few highlights.
Models such as Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, and Alessandra Ambrosio have all graced the runways of the fashion show. During 2005 Tyra Banks announced her modeling farewell making the 2005 VSFS the last show for her in the company.
In 2006, PINK made its debut to the VS runway with a hot opener Justin Timerblake performing “Sexy Back.” Interesting find, the following year in 2007 Kanye West was scheduled to perform but that was the same year that he received news that his mother passed and had will.i.am perform in his place with the Spice Girls as the opener.
Since the 2008 VSFS artists such as, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Fall Out Boy, Ed Sheeran, Ariania Grande, The Weekend, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Miguel have all graced the runway stage to perform.
While this isn’t the direct reason for the decision of the show to cancel, it definitely was a factor. The real motivator in the switch was in the decline in viewership for the 2018 showcase. Viewership fell from 9.2 million in 2014 to 3.2 million in 2018. The company has placed a new direction for the showcase and plans to focus on developing exciting and dynamic content and a new kind of event.
Iconic segments within the fashion show include the “Fantasy Bra” and the “Swarovski Outfit." Each year the company selects an Angel to wear the bejeweled fantasy bra and swarovski outfit and wings. Tyra Banks wore the 1996 million dollar miracle bra during the 1999 fashion show while Alessandra Ambrosio was the first to wear the swarovski outfit.
While Victoria’s Secret has been able to hold the crown for the top sexiest luxury lingerie, just this past year competition was at an all time high. Savage x Fenty by Rihanna scaled the numbers while showcasing a different type of sexy. Rihanna opened the door and redefined what sexy, luxury lingerie looks like and who wears it.
Breaking barriers and creating new waves is the direction of fashion. Emerging artists will continue to influence and encourage inclusivity. This is the new era but I think it’s safe to say the Angels aren’t done just yet.
- Alexis Milton