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Victoria’s Secret Show Set to Return After 4-Year Hiatus

Victoria’s Secret fashion shows have always been iconic in the fashion world. They nosedived and up until recently, have been on a hiatus.

Image: FashionStock.com/ Shutterstock

Victoria’s Secret is known for its sexy lingerie, sultry looks, and gorgeous models. Their runway shows have always been filled with show-stopping models adorned with wings and sparkles; however, the show has also always brought controversy. Body shaming, misogynistic tendencies, and slut shaming run rampant within the show’s critics’ opinions. 

Victoria’s Secret has not held one of its iconic shows since 2018. Four years ago, the world and its’ expectations for fashion were very different. The company has recently announced they are bringing back the runway shows. This time, the shows will be run much differently and hopefully can help the company set a new standard. 

The last show in 2018 was similar to prior shows, with angel wings and petite models. Image: FashionStock.com/ Shutterstock.

History Behind the Shows

The first runway show was held in 1995 and solely focused on lingerie with sleepwear. The shows have always focused on tall, beautiful women, many of who can be categorized under the same “ideal” body type that was prominent in the late 1990s. 

By 1999, the iconic wings were brought into the show. For a model to “earn their wings” was an outstanding achievement. We have seen models like Kendall Jenner, Heidi Klum, and Gisele Bundchen effortlessly walk the runway with their wings spread wide. 

Victoria’s Secret runway shows sometimes do fundraisers; in 2000, they raised $3.5 million for an AIDS fundraiser. During this period, apparel moved more toward costumes than practical lingerie. The wings became bigger and more extravagant, and the models continued representing only one body type. Critics became tired of the same type of body being represented. 

As society became more accepting and other clothing companies progressed, Victoria’s Secret had to do something. They received a lot of backlash in 2018; Australian supermodel Robyn Lawley took to social media to slam Victoria’s Secret lack of diversity and display of women’s sexuality. Around this time, the runway show had a significant decline in viewership. 

Supermodel Adriana Lima has become one of the most famous VS Angels. Here she is pictured in 2017. Image: Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock.

A New Runway Show

For 2023, the company has announced it will bring back its runway show. In a statement this past Friday, they said they will disclose more information later this year. During their earnings call, they said they want to “reinforce our commitment to championing women’s voices and their unique perspectives.”

The internet is divided. Many are eager to see the VS runway show through a 2023 lens, hopeful for diversity in ethnicities, cultures, and body types. Many hope the show can include all types of people, both men and women, which can represent sexuality and what it means to be beautiful for all humans. 

The VS advertisement to get people excited for their upcoming revamp of the show.

Contrarily, critics think it will be the same snooze fest with the same cookie-cutter supermodels. Lack of diversity and acceptance has seemingly always surrounded the brand and apparel. 

Victoria’s Secret’s advertisements have also seemed to get the hint more recently. They have had plus-size models, pregnant models, and different ethnicities represented. In 2021, they launched VS Collective, a group of ambassadors of all backgrounds who, according to their website, “collaborate with us [Victoria’s Secret] to create revolutionary product collections […] and rally support for causes vital to women.”

Moreover, the VS Collective involves LGBTQIA+ activists, women’s advocates, models, actresses, and entrepreneurs. This would be unheard of from VS even five years ago! VS’s past chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, was vocal in his detest of the idea of involving diversity in the VS brand and its runway shows. This was another reason VS had a decline in supporters, customers, and viewers of their shows. 

The Future of Victoria Secret

To conclude, the recent announcement has people eager to see the outcome. While VS’ sister brand PINK has been much for inclusive and trendier for the younger crowd, VS itself was way behind culturally. PINK has had inclusivity for a long time. PINK has had support in LGBTQIA+ causes and even has a gender-free section on its website. 

Victoria’s Secret future revamp of their show is one to look out for, especially since there is so much riding on the show. If the show fails, it is a deep hole the company will have to climb out of, especially in 2023. 

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