Victoria's Secret 2019 fashion show cancelled, company boss says

The annual event had attracted criticism for not featuring a more diverse cast of models.

There will be no Victoria’s Secret fashion show this year, the lingerie brand’s parent company has said.

The annual show, which featured some of the world’s top supermodels sporting jewel-encrusted bras and angel wings, had faced increasing criticism over an alleged lack of diversity.

TV ratings had also been dwindling and the 2018 show attracted the lowest viewership since its inception.

Shanina Shaik
Victoria’s Secret model Shanina Shaik announced the brand’s annual fashion show had been cancelled this year (Ian West/PA)

News of the 2019 event’s cancellation was confirmed on Thursday, months after the Australian model and Victoria’s Secret Angel Shanina Shaik told the Daily Telegraph it would not be going ahead.

In an earnings call with investors, L Brands chief financial officer Stuart Burgdoerfer said: “We think it’s important to evolve the marketing of Victoria’s Secret.

“It was a very important part of the brand building of this business and was an important aspect of the brand and a remarkable marketing achievement.

“We’re figuring out how to advance the positioning of the brand and best communicate that to customers.”

The news comes amid declining sales for the Victoria’s Secret brand.

The fashion show, which launched in 1995, was once a major pop culture event and at its peak was watched by millions of viewers each year.

However, last year it fell to its lowest ratings ever and the show had started to attract criticism, with allegations it was sexist and outdated.

There was a furious response to a 2108 interview with Ed Razek, then the chief marketing officer at L Brands, who suggested “transsexual” model should not be part of the event because “the show is a fantasy”.

“It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is,” he told Vogue. Mr Razek later apologised for the comments and left the company earlier this year.

Models – known in the context of the show as “Angels” – who have taken part in the event over the years include a who’s who of the fashion world.

Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Miranda Kerr and Gigi Hadid have all appeared.

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