Victoria’s Secret, the renowned lingerie brand, has announced plans to revive its annual fashion show after a four-year hiatus, as confirmed by CFO Tim Johnson during the 2022 earnings call. The over-the-top show, which featured lingerie-clad models walking in extravagant ensembles, was last aired on television in 2018, with the company stating they planned to “rethink” the show after receiving its lowest ratings ever.
The 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which was the last time the show aired on television, was highly criticized for its lack of diversity and inclusivity. Many viewers were disappointed by the lack of representation of different body types, ethnicities, and cultures, which was further amplified by Ed Razek, the former chief marketing officer of Victoria’s Secret, who made controversial comments regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the show.
When asked about the possibility of casting transgender models, Razek stated that the show was a “fantasy” and that they had “no interest” in including transgender models. He further added that the show was intended to be a “42-minute entertainment special” and not a “political or cultural commentary.” The backlash from those statements prompted the company to rethink its strategy and mission, leading to the significant rebranding effort that has been underway since then.
The announcement to renew the fashion show comes after the company underwent a significant rebranding effort in 2021, which involved eliminating the use of supermodel “angels” and bringing in more models of different sizes, including non-model celebrities such as soccer star Megan Rapinoe. The move was made to redefine the brand’s definition of “sexy” and to better align with changing societal norms.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Victoria’s Secret confirmed the planned reinvention of the show, stating that the new version would reflect the brand’s new mission and projection, which aims to champion women’s voices and their unique perspectives. The statement also revealed that the company was excited to share more details later this year.
The Victoria’s Secret fashion show first aired on television in 2001 and quickly became a highly anticipated event, attracting millions of viewers worldwide. However, as society’s values and preferences shifted, the show became increasingly criticized for its lack of diversity and representation.
CEO Les Wexner acknowledged the need for change in 2019, stating that the brand must “evolve and change to grow” and that network television was no longer a suitable platform for the show. The decision to revive the show comes as the brand continues its efforts to redefine its image and reconnect with its customers.
The company’s decision to eliminate the use of supermodel “angels” and showcase more diverse models and celebrities has been met with widespread praise, with former Victoria’s Secret angel Heidi Klum stating that it was “about time” the brand made these changes.
The revival of the fashion show is yet another step in Victoria’s Secret’s ongoing rebranding efforts and demonstrates the brand’s commitment to evolving with changing societal norms and values. The new version of the show is expected to reflect the brand’s new mission and projection, further cementing Victoria’s Secret’s position as a leading lingerie brand that celebrates and champions women of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.