The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is an annual show sponsored by and featuring Victoria's Secret, a brand of lingerie and sleepwear. Victoria's Secret uses the show to promote and market its goods in high-profile settings.
The show is a lavish event with elaborate costumed lingerie, varying music by leading entertainers, and set design according to the different themes running within the show. The show attracts hundreds of celebrities and entertainers, with special performers and acts every year. Each year, twenty to forty of the world's top fashion models are selected to perform in the fashion show. In a typical year, this includes about a half dozen women under contract to the company, known as Victoria's Secret Angels, with examples including Behati Prinsloo, Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Lais Ribeiro, Elsa Hosk, Jasmine Tookes, Martha Hunt, Sara Sampaio, Romee Strijd, Stella Maxwell, Taylor Hill, and Josephine Skriver.
American network television broadcasts the show during prime time. The first few shows in the 1990s were held in the days preceding Valentine's Day to promote the brand for this holiday. They were not aired on national television. In 1999 and 2000, the show was webcast. Beginning in 2001, the shows were moved ahead of the Christmas holiday season. Also in 2001, the show made its network television broadcast debut on ABC, though from 2002 to 2017, it had been broadcast on CBS; the show moved back to ABC for the 2018 edition. The show has been held at a variety of locations in different cities including Miami, Los Angeles, Cannes, Paris, London, and Shanghai. The first four shows were held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, but since it has become a televised event, it has most often been held at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City.
The first fashion show extravaganza, introduced by Stephanie Seymour, was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City in August 1995. The show also featured Beverly Peele and Frederique van der Wal. This first fashion show occurred two months before The Limited, parent company of Victoria's Secret owner Intimate Brands, sold an initial public offering of a 16 percent stake in the company and almost had Stephanie Seymour make an appearance at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for the opening bell. She actually did ring the closing bell at the NYSE as part of the publicity campaign. The subsequent three annual shows were also held at the Plaza.
In 1999, during Super Bowl XXXIII, Victoria's Secret announced a 72-hour countdown to the Internet webcast of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, which resulted in over 2 million internet viewers of the show. Parent company Intimate Brands bought a $1.5 million ($2.2 million today) 30-second television advertisement during the Super Bowl broadcast and spent an additional $4 million ($5.9 million) for subsequent international newspaper advertisements to publicize the event. The show, which was aired by Broadcast.com, featured Tyra Banks, Laetitia Casta, Heidi Klum, Karen Mulder, Daniela Peštová, Inés Rivero, and Stephanie Seymour. In 1999 and 2000, the show was broadcast live on the internet, but the 2000 show was moved for a year from the usual February event at the Plaza to a May event in concert with the Cannes Film Festival in France to raise money for the Cinema Against AIDS charity; it raised $3.5 million.
In 2001, the show, which was hosted by Rupert Everett, returned to the New York City but at Bryant Park instead of the Plaza. That year, the show made its broadcast debut on ABC, drawing millions of viewers as well as some middle-brow controversy; the Federal Communications Commission received many complaints about the broadcast every year. The show has continued to be broadcast on network television every year since.
From 2002 through 2005, it was held at the Lexington Avenue Armory in New York City. The 2004 show was canceled due to a widespread crackdown on perceived indecency in broadcasting stemming from the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, in which Jackson encountered a breast-revealing "wardrobe malfunction". Before the 2005 show, Tyra Banks announced her retirement from modeling and embarkation on a television career with The Tyra Banks Show, making the 2005 show a farewell to her decade of fashion shows for the company.
In 2004, instead of the annual fashion show, the Angels (Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, and Alessandra Ambrosio) did an Angels Across America Tour, a grassroots campaign for the brand visiting four major cities: New York City, Miami, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
The 2006 and 2007 shows were held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. On November 13, 2007, the Victoria's Secret Angels were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame right outside the Kodak Theatre. The 2007 Angels honored in this celebration to mark Victoria's Secret's 25th anniversary on Hollywood Boulevard were Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Karolína Kurková, Selita Ebanks, Izabel Goulart, Marisa Miller, and Miranda Kerr. The other models, who also appeared in that year's fashion show, were in attendance that day. The 2008 show coincided with the grand re-opening of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel.
In 2006, Victoria's Secret sub-brand PINK made its debut on the runway. Justin Timberlake opened the show with his popular song "Sexy Back". This year fashion show was the final walk of Gisele Bündchen.
The 2007 show featured a performance by Spice Girls and gained prominence as the first American TV debut of the band after their comeback. Kanye West was also scheduled to perform at the event, but cancelled his appearance due to his mother's death. |will.i.am was called to perform in his place.
The 2008 show was held at Fountainebleu Miami Beach, Florida. Usher was appeared on the show as well as opened it. Unlike the other shows, the runway was designed parallel with the audience seats.
In 2009, the fashion show took place in New York City at the Lexington Avenue Armory, where it was last held in 2005. The 2009 show was notable for featuring the results of a competition, called the Victoria's Secret Model Search, to find a new Victoria's Secret "runway Angel." The winner was announced as Kylie Bisutti.
The 2010 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show aired on November 30, 2010 on CBS, and featured performances by Katy Perry and Akon. A promotional ad featured a lipdub for Katy Perry's "Firework". As of 2010, 152 models have walked the show.
In 2011, Kanye West started his song "Stronger" with a tribute to his mother who had died before his scheduled performance four years before, saying: "In 2007, I was supposed to perform this song on this show ...and I lost my superhero. Now she's my super-angel."
In 2012, an outfit worn by model Karlie Kloss, which was reminiscent of Native American attire, sparked controversy due to its alleged stereotypical depiction of Native Americans. Victoria's Secret released a statement of apology shortly after, saying that they will remove it from future advertisements and the broadcast. Karlie Kloss apologized on her Twitter account for the outfit and expressed her support for the outfit's removal in the broadcast.
In 2013, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show featured performances by Taylor Swift, A Great Big World, Neon Jungle and Fall Out Boy.
In 2014, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show featured performances by Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and Hozier. During the show, Ariana Grande was performing and was hit by accident by Elsa Hosk's wings.
In 2015, the show featured performances by The Weeknd, Selena Gomez, and Ellie Goulding. Ellie Goulding was contracted as a replacement for Rihanna, who had cancelled her appearance just one week before the show in order to focus on recording her album "Anti".
In 2016, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show featured performances by The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, and Bruno Mars. The executive producer of Victoria's Secret, Ed Razek, chose Grand Palais in Paris, France, as the show's location. A major challenge faced with the show was the size of the building and how the show could be showcased on a small TV, as well as the natural lighting in the building, which would get in the way of the tradition of the show being held at night.
The 2017 show was held in Shanghai, China and was the first Victoria's Secret Fashion Show to be held in Asia. The show featured the first-ever segment in collaboration with another brand, French fashion house Balmain. The theme and designs were co-steered by Victoria's Secret and Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing. Performers included Harry Styles, Miguel, Jane Zhang, and Leslie Odom Jr.. A performance by Katy Perry was cancelled due to her visa to travel to China being revoked. A week before the show was due to be filmed, model Gigi Hadid confirmed that she was also denied to attend the show. Russian, Ukrainian, and Nigerian models, including Kate Grigorieva, Irina Sharipova, Julia Belyakova, Dasha Khlystun, and Mayowa Nicholas, all of which were due to feature in the show, were also reportedly denied visas for entry to China, and therefore were not featured in the show.
Victoria's Secret WingsEdit
Arguably, the most unique feature of each year's collection are the inclusion of wings as part of some of the outfits. The idea to feature wings as part of the collection came in the wake of the immense success of the "Angels"-bra line, which was advertised with the models Tyra Banks, Helena Christensen, Karen Mulder, Daniela Peštová and Stephanie Seymour wearing wings, and was introduced to the annual show in 1998. The very same models who were featured in the campaigns for the "Angel"-bra line, with the exception of Chandra North filling in the spot for Helena Christensen, walked the runway with Angel wings on. Over the years, the show featured various forms and sizes of wings, such as butterfly, peacock, or devil wings, which have become emblematic of the Victoria's Secret brand. In theory, wings are any ornamental back piece worn by a model on the runway, or any sort of structural appendage resembling traditional wings. Even though the amount of wings have expanded over the years and thus far have taken away the prestige to wear wings, a lot of models still consider it an honour to wear wings.
Adriana Lima has worn the most wings in the history of the show. With her count of 22 pair of wings, she's closely followed by Alessandra Ambrosio, who has worn 18 pair of wings.
The early webcasts were criticized for poor connection, and users that could connect were subjected to low video quality. One critic from The New York Times described the initial 20th-century webcast experience as having felt like he was "watching a striptease through a keyhole".
Some critics have described the 21st-century televised editions of the show as pornographic, while others have described it as both "outright commercialism" and an infomercial. The Federal Communications Commission has received complaints regarding the broadcast, but no fines have been imposed, with the FCC, following the 2001 airing, citing the First Amendment and stating that "sexual or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive manner as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium" were not broadcast. In the initial 2001 airing ABC blurred the screen on particularly sheer lingerie. This enabled the show to pass muster with its internal Broadcast Standards and Practices department and to achieve the TV-14 rating. In 2002, the National Organization for Women protested the show calling it a "soft-core porn infomercial". They were joined in protest by the Parents Television Council and other watchdog organizations. CBS has given past shows TV-14 ratings, which is a warning that the show may contain material unsuitable for children age 14 and under. Nonetheless some affiliates have chosen not to air the show in past years including Fisher Broadcasting affiliates in Idaho. In 2009, the American Decency Association organized email letters of protests to sponsors of the show including AT&T, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Netflix, Nikon, and Reebok. CBS has described the event to as "the Super Bowl of fashion".