Victoria's Secret has had a rough year, and that's no secret. From plummeting sales to the owner's latest comments that rubbed several customers the wrong way, it's left many customers looking elsewhere for their lingerie. Though, if there was any better time for the brand to revive itself, their annual fashion show seemed like the perfect time after a fall from grace.
Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2018 Highlights
Unfortunately, it seems that the Victoria's Secret show didn't deliver the same fantasy this year. Though it's not just the result of falling interest in live fashion and award shows though, but rather a consumer base that is losing interest in Victoria's Secret.
One of the first issues the brand faced was shortly after the filming of the show when Ed Razek, who serves as the chief marketing officer and an overall man behind the curtain, made some choice comments in a Vogue interview.
When asked about inclusivity on the runway Razek said, " If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have. Why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is."
The comment was quickly met with overwhelming criticism online with many consumers claiming they would be switching to different lingerie stores and opting to not tune in for the show's release.
The under 5 million viewership during last year's show was a 30% drop from the year before, showing that the Victoria's Secret show is experiencing a significant decline in viewers every year.
While the show has enlisted celebrity/model hybrids such as Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid to walk the runway and promote the show, it doesn't seem to have helped as much as the brand likely hoped.
To make matters worse, the night of the show's airing on television, one of the performers featured, Halsey, took to Instagram to condemn the brand. At the time of taping, the comments by Razek during his Vogue interview hadn't been made yet. Since then the singer decided to share her own feelings on the situation and definitely didn't hold back:
Though it wasn't just the Razek controversy that resulted in the brand's fashion show not delivering. In fact, it seems from the beginning the show was set to be underwhelming when fans reacted to the performer lineup for the show that included artists Bebe Rexha, Rita Ora, Halsey, Shawn Mendes, The Chainsmokers, Kelsea Ballerini, Leela James and The Struts.
The lineup of performers at the VS fashion show is so disappointing— Janai (@janailourdes) December 3, 2018
I’m looking at the lineup for the VS Fashion show and it’s Shawn Mendes, Chainsmokers, Bebe Rexha, Halsey, Rita Ora, etc who are all talented in their own ways but like.... pic.twitter.com/L5EDi4QIgr— St. Jen (@sailor_peachh) November 7, 2018
The VS Fashion Show performance lineup is a who’s who of C list singers. So now your ears can bleed WHILE you body shame yourself— JELSUS (@Pnkels) November 1, 2018
Being subjected to bad music during the Victoria Secret fashion show when I only signed up to objectify women!— CUNTRY GIRL (@missgiddyup) December 3, 2018
The lineup was definitely a step down from previous years such as the 2016 show that featured performances from Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and The Weeknd. Though it's clear the brand has begun to stray from enlisting several A-list artists considering that last year the only A-lister who performed was Harry Styles.
Disappointment on the runway for viewers wasn't just in regards to the performers, but what the models were wearing as well.
Fans of the brand were quick to criticize this year's fantasy bra that was worn by Elsa Holsk. Popular fashion Instagram account Diet Prada even went as far as to say it looked like something "from H&M" and viewers didn't disagree.
I still can’t believe how underwhelming the VS fantasy bra is this year :/— fabi (@fab2fab_) December 3, 2018
Absolutely disappointed in VS fantasy bra this year— Maheen Ahmed (@miamaheen) November 27, 2018
i don’t really like this year’s VS fantasy bra... it just looks kinda boring to me idk— soph 👼🏼 (@droolhes) November 26, 2018
Another issue for viewers when it came to outfits was a look that was given to Hungarian model, Barbara Palvin. The star first appeared on the Victoria's Secret runway in 2012 but lost her spot in recent years due to the brand believing she was "too heavy" after gaining some weight. While Palvin finally made it back on the roster this year, viewers were shocked when they saw she came out in this outfit that covered most of her body:
Barbara palvin is so beautiful vs did her dirty pic.twitter.com/F8pjfXbidb— Chloe (@Humblenialler) November 9, 2018
Fans were quick to criticize the outfit choice, with many suggesting that Palvin should have gotten Jenner's outfit.
Clearly, for the 2019 show, Victoria's Secret is going to have to rethink a lot of aspects of the show in order to revive the interest around the event they've had in previous years. Especially considering that this year's show was Adriana Lima's last, who is one of the most loved angels on the roster.
With Victoria's Secret losing one of their icons, not only are they now tasked with restrengthening their brand, but also promoting a new generation of models to viewers who don't love Victoria's Secret as much as they used to.