The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Returns in September

by | Aug 7, 2023 | Fashion

Victoria Secret show
Jeff Neira via Getty Images

After a four-year hiatus, the Angels may be returning to the runway. That’s right, the Victoria’s Secret show is coming back, though it seems like it will look a bit different this time. After years of controversies, exposes, and documentaries focused on the toxic nature of Victoria’s Secret and the show, the brand is eager to prove to the world how they’ve changed, promising the new iteration will “uplift and champion women on a global scale.”

How will the Victoria’s Secret fashion show look different this time around?

No longer just a runway extravaganza, the new show—which the company has dubbed “The Tour”—will be part fashion event and part documentary. According to WWD, the special will “celebrate women and global creatives, looking at fashion and art through a cinematic narrative lens.” The documentary portion will depict the formation of “The Tour,” being put on by the VS20, a group of 20 creatives hailing from across the globe, tasked to create four “fashion curations” inspired by Victoria’s Secret. Assumedly, a runway show will also take place.

“The Tour” will air on Prime Video, and following its release, viewers will be able to shop pieces inspired by the show on Victoria’s Secret’s website, as well as the brand’s Amazon storefront.

When will the Victoria’s Secret fashion show air?

“The Victoria’s Secret World Tour” will stream on Prime Video on September 26th.

Who will walk in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show?

When Victoria’s Secret shared a video promoting the event on Instagram, they tagged a handful of models who will assumedly take part in “The Tour.” The group includes some old school angels like Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, and even Naomi Campbell, as well as Taylor Hill, Gigi Hadid, and Winnie Harlow. There seems to also be some newcomers, including Amelia Gray, Lila Moss, and Iris Law. Other models, not tagged, including Hailey Bieber, Bella Hadid, Paloma Elsesser, and Jill Kortleve have starred in recent campaigns for the brand, so it’s possible they could make appearances as well. Victoria’s Secret also recently enlisted athletes like Megan Rapinoe and Naomi Osaka, as well as actors like Priyanka Chopra Jonas, so it’s possible they could pop up in the show too.

In the past, the show has also featured some musical acts, and Honey Dijon was tagged in the Instagram, but she could simply be participating as a model, not a musical performer.

Tyra Banks, Adriana Lima, Karolina Kurkova, Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell

Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage/Getty Images


Tyra Banks, Adriana Lima, Karolina Kurkova, Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell at the show in 2005.

Why did the Victoria’s Secret fashion show ever get canceled?

Back in 2019, the mounting criticism surrounding Victoria’s Secret due to their lack of model diversity reached a breaking point and the brand decided to cancel the show for only the second time since 2001. At the time, CEO of L Brands, Les Wexner, (Victoria’s Secret’s parent company), said network television was no longer the “right fit” for the show.

Though in the beginning, the Victoria’s Secret show was pushing boundaries in the form of body diversity—featuring models that couldn’t find a place on the ultra-thin high fashion runways in the early 2000s—by the 2010s, it was clear they could no longer keep up with the diversity demanded of them by the public. During an interview in November 2018 with VogueVictoria’s Secret’s Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek said the brand would not put transwomen on the runway because “the show is a fantasy.” After an immense amount of backlash, Razek apologized for his comments coming “across as insensitive,” and ultimately backtracked on them. “To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show,” he said. “We’ve had transgender models come to casting… And like many others, they didn’t make it…But it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”

KMazur/WireImage for Full Picture
Angela Lindvall, Karolina Kurkova, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bundchen, Adriana Lima, Naomi Campbell, and Michelle Alves in the 2003 show.

It was too late, though, and the damage was done. Razek stepped down from his position in August 2019, and the 2018 show, which aired a few weeks after the Vogue interview had the worst ratings in Victoria’s Secret fashion show’s 18 years history.

That wasn’t the end of the brand’s troubles, however, because in February 2020, The New York Times published a story investigating “the widespread bullying and harassment of employees and models” at the company, specifically accusing Razek of sexual harassment, bullying, and other misogynistic actions, abetted by Wexner, who stepped down from his position that same month. Razek denied the allegations, calling them “categorically untrue, misconstrued or taken out of context.”

Then, in July 2022, Hulu aired Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons, a documentary revealing more instances of misogyny and body-shaming within the company, as well as mistreatment of staffers and models. Victoria’s Secret responded to the documentary by telling People that they became a stand alone company in 2021, ending their relationship with L Brands. “The company featured in this docuseries does not reflect today’s Victoria’s Secret & Co.,” they said. “Today, we are proud to be a different company, with a new leadership team and mission to welcome, celebrate, and champion all women.”

What has the response been like to the news of the new Victoria’s Secret fashion show?

Lizzo, specifically, has spoken out about the return of the show. “This is a win for inclusivity for inclusivity’s sake,” she wrote on Twitter in response to the news. “But if brands start doing this only because they’ve received backlash then what happens when the ‘trends’ change again? Do the CEOs of these companies value true inclusivity? Or do they just value money?”

by Carolyn Twersky

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