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The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is returning after a four-year hiatus.
The lingerie company revealed the news during its 2022 earnings call on Friday and the brand’s CFO Timothy Johnson confirmed it in a statement acquired by The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re going to continue to lean into the marketing spend to invest in the business,” he said. “And also, to support the new version of our fashion show, which is to come later this year.” A spokesperson for the brand told the publication that Victoria’s Secret is “always innovating and ideating in all spheres of the business to continue to put our customer at the center of all we do and reinforce our commitment to championing women’s voices and their unique perspectives.”
Previously, the event brought its most famous models together, from Gisele Bündchen and Adriana Lima, to Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum, for a glittering catwalk extravaganza. The first show was held in August 1995 and ran for 23 consecutive years (except for 2004). At its height, the spectacle was the most-watched fashion event of the year, with performances from Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Halsey and more.
The cancelation of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came in November 2019, following poor television ratings and declining sales amid a controversial time for the brand. That same year, the company clipped its wings, dropping the Victoria’s Secret Angel title due to criticism that the brand had an outdated, narrow beauty standard and did not include models of all shapes and backgrounds.
The tides turned for the brand when CEO Les Wexner’s close ties with disgraced financier and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein came to light. In 2020, the company faced further backlash when a New York Times exposé accused former chief marketing officer of Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands, Ed Razek, of sexual harassment, bullying and creating “a culture of misogyny.”
Previous comments from Razek cemented the public perception that Victoria’s Secret had failed to evolve with the times. When asked if he would ever consider featuring a more diverse cast of models in 2018, Razek told Vogue, “I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”
Last summer, Hulu released a three-part documentary series, detailing the rise and fall of the brand in Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons. At the time of its release, the brand addressed the docuseries with People. “The company featured in this docuseries does not reflect today’s Victoria’s Secret & Co,” a spokesperson confirmed. “When we became a stand-alone company in August 2021, we set out to regain the trust of our customers, associates and partners.”
In June 2022, the brand launched a new campaign acknowledging their new vision. “We’ve changed,” read the message. “We now know beauty was always yours to define. We see you. You’re multi-dimensional, ever-evolving, real. We promise to advocate for you. Now and forever. Stay close, we’re growing. To us, you’re everything.”
In place of Victoria’s Secret Angels, the brand has established its new “VS Collective” featuring a more inclusive cast of women known for their career achievements and influential voices in the community. Those have included the likes of Adut Akech, Amanda de Cadenet, Bella Hadid, Eileen Gu, Megan Rapinoe, Naomi Osaka and many more.