The Revival of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Written By: Abigail Puskas

Victoria’s Secret is one of if not the largest and most well-known lingerie company in the world. They were so well known for the annual ‘Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show’. This show was the Super Bowl of the fashion industry and a huge part of the brand’s image. The show got canceled back in 2019 after the 2018 show had a measly 3.27 million viewers which is just a fraction compared to past years such as the 2001 show that had 12 million viewers. Controversies continued to follow the brand due to a lack of inclusivity, body positivity, and transphobic remarks made by the then-chief marketing officer Ed Razek. In an interview with Vogue Magazine in 2018, he commented on transgender models and why they should not be part of the show. The brand’s focus on women and sexuality was not evolving with the rest of the world which is where its downfall started.

This year the brand will be bringing back production. People are concerned that they will go too far in either direction when it comes to inclusivity. They could not make any changes to the traditional “angels” look or they could join the “everyone is a model” movement but do it in the wrong way. With the backlash in previous years, you would expect the public to be excited about the change. Especially after model, Barbra Palvin was cast in the show to be the first “plus-sized” model when in actuality, she was supposedly a size 2 or 4. The show’s comeback has been trending on social media but the comment section is not what anyone expected. The majority of comments are saying that they want the real angels back and that it better be real models.

Do the “real models” comments seem to stem from the recent London Fashion Week show presented by Sinead O’Dwyer that received a substantial amount of hate on social media for being too inclusive? This is not a problem the brand saw coming. But the complaints about not using real models really showed a change in people’s opinions on what models should look like. It was not necessarily the inclusivity initiative that is the issue, but the fact that many people seem to think that the models cast in this show did not have the same skill set as the models who are typically seen on the runway. They complained that the face and walk just were not meeting the modeling standards like they weren’t actually professional models.

Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty fashion shows were revolutionary. They were very entertaining from the creative set designs, well-casted inclusive models, and live dance performances to the live musical performances. Rhiannas shows set the new standard in this division of fashion shows because they are the closest competitor to Victoria’s Secret. To showcase the new branding, the company started its new campaign called “VS Collective”. This campaign included Priyanka Chopra Jonas (model, actress, and LGBTQ activist), Megan Rapinoe (professional American soccer player), Sofia Jirau (Puerto Rican model with Down syndrome), and Valentina Sampaio (first transgender model to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue). These women are replacing the VS Angels.

A lot is being expected from Victoria’s Secret with the announcement of this new and improved fashion show. They have already set the tone with their new angels but the real question is whether will they live up to the expectations of the public.

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