The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will return. On its 2022 earnings call on Friday, the lingerie firm stated that it is looking to reinvent its Angel wings-filled production, which was previously one of the most anticipated (and watched) in the globe. “We’re going to continue to lean into the marketing spend to invest in the business…and also to support the new version of our fashion show, which is to come later this year,” said Timothy Johnson, the brand’s CFO.
Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Returning as 'New Version' After 4-Year Hiatus https://t.co/EWcn8vLuTI— People (@people) March 4, 2023
According to a spokesman for The Hollywood Reporter, the show will premiere in 2019 “reinforce our commitment to championing women’s voices and their unique perspectives.”
The event, which had previously included prominent models such as Adriana Lima, Gisele Bündchen, and Heidi Klum, was canceled in November 2019 due to VS’s dwindling sales, bad television ratings, and brand problems. Most notably, the company’s CEO, Les Wexner, was said to have strong links to Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged with sex trafficking of juveniles and conspiracy to participate in sex trafficking at the time.
A New York Times story published in 2020 accused Edward Razek, the former chief marketing officer of L Brands, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, of cultivating a “culture of misogyny, bullying, and harassment.”
During the time of its suspension, there were also growing concerns over whether the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was still relevant or suitable in today’s fashion world. In 2018, Razek was questioned if the show’s bombshell-only style needed to be updated and if it would ever consider including a more varied ensemble, including trans or plus-size models. He famously rejected the notion, telling Nicole Phelps of Vogue, “I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”
During the same time, Rihanna’s lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, demonstrated that it was feasible to have a seductive and varied display. Since its debut on the runway in 2018, Savage x Fenty has cast models of all sizes, as well as queer, trans, nonbinary, and drag queens.
Lizzo, who has her own brand of plus-size shapewear called Yitty, even commented on the news this morning. “This is a win for inclusivity for inclusivity’s sake,” she wrote on Twitter. “But if brands start doing this only because they’ve received backlash, then what happens when the ‘trends’ change again? Do the CEOs of these companies value true inclusivity? Or do they just value money?” Only time—and the 2023 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show—will tell.
This is a win for inclusivity for inclusivity’s sake— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) March 5, 2023
But if brands start doing this only because they’ve received backlash then what happens when the ‘trends’ change again?
Do the CEOs of these companies value true inclusivity? Or do they just value money? https://t.co/ykmcUTLayQ