Sorry angels, but it looks like the Victoria’s Secret Annual Fashion Show is no more! The company, owned by L Brands has confirmed that there are currently no preparations being made for this year’s show. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has aired around the holiday season every year since 1995. VS Angel Shanina Shaik told the Daily Mail that she’s ‘sure they’re trying to work on branding and new ways to do the show because it’s the best show in the world.’ Shaik has walked the VS runway five times during its run. L Brands commented on the issue back in May saying that it was thinking about making changes to the annual show but didn’t say that it would be outright canceled. CEO Les Wexner said in a memo to employees that the company didn’t believe that “network television is the right fit” for the show. But why is that?
Victoria Secret has come under fire in recent years for only showcasing a narrow standard for what is deemed beautiful. Former chief marketing officer Ed Razek had quit this past August after coming under fire by the media on certain comments that he’s made on the brand’s idea of beauty. Notably, he’s said that “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special.” But he also thinks that since “no one had any interest in it” when they pursued doing a plus-size show in 2000, things should stay the same 18 years later. With the way that people are becoming socially and culturally aware of injustices towards the LGBTQIA+ community, or fat-shaming women and what they should look like in order to be called beautiful, his way of thinking is totally outdated. Razek attempted to apologize over Twitter but it was just as tone-deaf as his original comments.
Celebrities, even VS models themselves have reacted to his statements, with Rihanna coming in clutch with her Savage x Fenty line last year, her first all-inclusive fashion show proving to be a knockout and showing Razek and the rest of society that there is not just one definition of beauty and that it is possible. Nikita Dragun created a sexy video to show that trans people can, in fact, sell lingerie.
She stated, “I could really care less about who Victoria’s Secret decided to cast in their fashion show. I get it, it’s their brand, it’s their fashion show. To me, my issue and problem is the fact that they were making discriminatory comments to trans women and plus-size women. And also thinking that we, as trans women or plus-size women, can’t sell a fantasy. That to me was the annoying part.”
Savage x Fenty made by Rihanna herself has dealt the final blow towards Victoria Secret, with their ratings skyrocketing in comparison to that of the iconic brand. Ratings have continually dropped with the December 2018 show providing dismal ratings of just 3.3 million viewers. This was down from more than 5 million in 2017, and a far cry from its 2011 show that drew in 10.3 million viewers. Instead of going the dinosaur route of putting her Savage x Fenty brand’s second annual runway show on TV, like the now-deceased Victoria’s Secret show, she took her talents to Amazon Prime Video. The cool and hip lingerie show was available to 100 million Prime subscribers in more than 200 countries. It featured women of all shapes and sizes, with racially diverse models who represented nearly all the shades offered by Rihanna’s Fenty makeup line. Her beauty brand generated $558 million in its first full year in operation.
With the changing times, perhaps Victoria’s Secret needs to take it upon themselves and rebrand. And we hope that their upcoming changes are for the better. They cast their first openly transgender model, Valentina Sampaio, for a catalog photo shoot. Her agent, Erio Zanon said that she “believes that this is a great opportunity to break barriers” in the fashion business “and to contribute to a bigger representation for everybody.” We hope so too, Valentina!