Back and better! After a four-year hiatus, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is returning.
The retailer announced the news during its 2022 earnings call on Friday, March 3, per The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re going to continue to lean into the marketing spend to invest in the business, both at top-of-funnel and also to support the new version of our fashion show, which is to come later this year,” Timothy Johnson, Victoria’s Secret chief financial officer, said during the meeting, according to the news outlet.
The event’s revival comes after the 2019 presentation was canceled amid declining sales and increasing backlash surrounding the company’s branding and messaging. Historically, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show featured the industry’s most popular supermodels, including Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and more, in blinged out bras and panties.
While consumers had long expressed their disappointment with the label’s lack of diversity and size inclusivity, things came to a head for Victoria’s Secret in September 2018. Ed Razek, former chief marketing officer and executive vice president of public relations, told Vogue that “transsexuals” shouldn’t walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show because “the show is a fantasy.” While Razek did offer an apology and resigned in November 2019, that didn’t slow the fierce criticism that Victoria’s Secret was faced with. (Hulu also released the docuseries Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons in July 2022 that exposed the alleged misogynist treatment models faced under former owner Leslie Wexner.)
In the months and years that followed, the lingerie label has undergone a major rebrand.
In June 2021, Victoria’s Secret unveiled a completely “new era” for the company, introducing the VS Collective, “an ever-growing group of accomplished women who share a common passion to drive positive change.” Rather than tapping supermodels, the debut crew included “accomplished” women such as actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas and United States Women’s National Soccer Team player Megan Rapinoe as well as Paloma Elsesser, who has garnered a reputation for challenging beauty standards in fashion.
“At Victoria’s Secret, we are on an incredible journey to become the world’s leading advocate for women. This is a dramatic shift for our brand, and it’s a shift that we embrace from our core. These new initiatives are just the beginning,” Martin Waters, chief executive officer for Victoria’s Secret, said in a statement at the time.
In February 2022, Sofía Jirau made history as the first model with Down syndrome to star in a Victoria’s Secret campaign. The 26-year-old Puerto Rican model was tapped as one of the faces for the Love Cloud Collection, a line of uber-comfy bras and underwear.
Following the collection’s launch, Jirau took to Instagram to thank the lingerie company for viewing her as a model “without limits.”
“One day I dreamed of it, I worked for it and today it’s a dream come true,” the Latin model wrote in Spanish, alongside a black and white photo. “I can finally tell you my big secret. I am Victoria’s Secret’s first model with Down syndrome!”
More recently, Victoria’s Secret tapped tennis star Naomi Osaka to create a collaboration that encourages self-love and self-care. “Sometimes you just have to run after what brings you the most peace, wrap yourself up in complete comfort, and spend quality time with you … Love your purpose, but never forget to chase your dreams,” Osaka, 25, said in a statement shared via Victoria’s Secret’s Instagram on February 22.