The Rise and Fall of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
A key memory in many girls' childhood were the Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows. Watching models walk down glamorous runways with bedazzled wings and a matching set was the female version of the NFL Super Bowl. These fashion shows weren't just a way to display a new collection of lingerie, but were an artistic and strategic production that brought the pieces to life. Teams of supermodels, top artists, designers, creative directors, and more put in hours of work to create shows that would never be forgotten. Wings alone took 400+ hours of labor to craft - not to mention the amount of money spent on these shows was significant.
In 2016, the company spent 26.4 million dollars to produce the show. Hours of labor, practice, and dedication was put into every show. This is why when it was announced the shows were coming to an end, many were left surprised and devastated. Why would a company cancel such an influential part of their business?
In 2018 the company faced extreme backlash and controversies. Victoria's Secret was exposed for harassment and bullying of models, models having extreme eating habits, the company being trans-and-fat phobic, and even potential connections between Jeffery Epstein and models. Controversies grew so big that Netflix came out with a documentary titled Angels and Demons exposing the dark side of the company. This documentary was filled with endless dark truths and horrors that went on behind the scenes. This left the company to lose millions of views and loads of money ultimately leading to the fall of the company. This also led to the company's Chief Marketing Officer, Edward Razek, to resign due to criticism. The company then began to rebrand itself and become more inclusive.
In February 2022, Victoria's Secret hired their first model with Down syndrome, Sofia Jirau. The brand has also now become plus-size inclusive. With the brand gaining popularity again and changing old ways speculation has risen and many believed the Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows were coming back. CFO Timothy Johnson mentioned in an interview earlier this month that the shows are coming back later this year. Will it continue to show its inclusivity on the runway? Will old models come back? Will the environment be less stressful and harmful towards models? Many people's questions have very valid and concerning worries. Will the once multibillion dollar company be able to bring back an era, or will the brand fall once again?