Victoria’s Secret ‘Rethinking’ Annual Fashion Show, Considering a ‘New Kind of Event’

Victoria's-Secret-rethinking-annual-fashion-show
Barbara Palvin, Yasmin Wijnaldum, Winnie Harlow, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Alexina Graham walk the runway during the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on November 8, 2018 in New York City. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret

It’s possible the world has seen it’s last Victoria’s Secret fashion show — or, at least, the last on TV.

In a memo obtained by CNBC on Friday, May 10, L Brands CEO Les Wexner said the company is “rethinking” the annual fashion show in favor for “a new kind of event.”

The memorandum sent to employees further explained that network T.V. no longer seemed like the “right fit” for the event, which has been shown on ABC and CBS for over 20 years. “Fashion is a business of change,” he wrote. “We must evolve and change to grow.”

Even with an A-list roster of models — including Bella and Gigi Hadid, Lily Aldridge and Behati Prinsloo — and chart-topping performances, ratings for the telecast have dramatically dropped over the past few years. Last winter’s show worst in its history.

Not to mention the lingerie company been facing a lot of criticism of late. One common complaint: the company has continuously shown a lack of diversity when it comes to different shapes, sizes and, well, women! When chief marketing officer Ed Razek was asked by Vogue ahead of the 2018 show if he thought transgender models would walk the the catwalk, he replied, “No. No, I don’t think we should.” His reasoning: “Because the show is a fantasy.”

Holding steadfast to its traditional view of sexiness has put the lingerie brand in stark contrast to other more millennial-friendly lines like American Eagle’s Aerie, which has been in the forefront of body positivity, showcasing unretouched campaign images of women of all sizes. Jumping on the celebrity bandwagon, its latest campaign for spring included Busy Philipps, Jameela Jamil, Samira Wiley, Iskra Lawrence and Aly Raisman.

Whether this move means the show will continue as usual and be streamed online rather than shown no TV or morph into a new event completely remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: Times are changing for what the consumers want in their lingerie — and from lingerie brands.

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