In a highly anticipated comeback, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is set to make its return after a four-year hiatus. The iconic lingerie catwalk extravaganza, known for showcasing supermodels like Adriana Lima, Gisele Bündchen, Kendall Jenner, and the Hadid sisters, is making a resurgence.
Timothy Johnson, Victoria’s Secret’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), confirmed the show’s revival, stating, “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.”
However, what makes this return even more intriguing is the hint dropped by Johnson regarding the show’s new direction. It appears that the revamped Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show aims to depart from its traditional emphasis on superficial glitter and glam. Johnson expressed that it will “reinforce our commitment to championing women’s voices and their unique perspectives.”
The decision to pause the annual event was made in 2019, primarily due to declining sales and diminishing television ratings. Viewership dropped from five million in 2018 to 3.3 million in 2019. The brand also grappled with controversies, notably concerning former CEO Les Wexner’s association with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Moreover, long-standing concerns regarding the show’s lack of diversity and inclusivity were brought to the forefront. In comparison, Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty shows, which debuted in 2018, gained acclaim for featuring models of all sizes, as well as queer, trans, and non-binary individuals in its casting.
In an effort to rebrand and reinvent itself in 2021, Victoria’s Secret introduced the Victoria’s Secret Collective. This initiative aimed to replace the traditional “Angels” with ambassadors chosen not solely for their looks but for their ability to inspire change and promote positivity. These ambassadors constitute “an ever-growing group of accomplished women who share a common passion to drive positive change.” Additionally, the brand initiated several charitable partnerships with the goal of supporting women’s lives worldwide.
Singer Lizzo, known for her recent launch of an inclusive shapewear line called Yitty, addressed the news on social media. She emphasized the importance of inclusivity and questioned whether brands are truly committed to it or merely responding to public backlash.
As the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show prepares to make its return, all eyes are on how it will evolve and whether it will align with contemporary values of diversity and inclusivity, echoing the changing dynamics of the fashion industry.