Victoria’s Secret Has Officially Canceled Its Fashion Show
Updated on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at 2:10 p.m. ET.
This year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has officially been canceled. On November 21, WWD reported the company execs have decided not to go forward with the show, stating “it’s important to evolve the marketing of Victoria’s Secret.”
“We recognize and appreciate that the communication of the brand, the offerings, the emotional content of Victoria Secret is obviously an important thing,” Stuart B. Burgdoerfer, CFO and EVP of L Brands, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, admitted in a press conference. “[The show] 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. And with that said, we’re figuring out how to advance the positioning of the brand and best communicate that to customers, and that’s among the things that [Victoria’s Secret chief executive officer] John [Mehas] is focused on.”
After years of controversy, including transphobic comments made by Victoria’s Secret CMO Ed Razek and accusations of cultural appropriation, the brand has reportedly decided to cancel this year’s fashion show.
Shanina Shaik, a model and frequent participant in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, told The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, July 30, that the show was canceled, People reported. “Unfortunately, the Victoria’s Secret Show won’t be happening this year,” she alleged. “They’re trying to work on branding and new ways to do the show.”
News of the alleged cancellation comes after the 2018 show became the center of much controversy. In response to calls for more inclusive and body-diverse casting, the company came under fire for transphobic and fatphobic comments made by Razek to Vogue. Razek was not fired for his comments, but others did quit the company in protest, and some fans announced that they would no longer support the brand. Razek later apologized in a public statement, Variety reported.
When the 2018 fashion show finally aired on CBS, it received its lowest ratings ever; many factors, including a switch in networks and air nights, could have contributed to the plunge in viewership, but it’s also possible fans followed through on their intended boycott.
In recent months, Victoria’s Secret announced it was making some changes to its brand, and in November, John Mehas was brought on board as the company’s new CEO. Not all of the planned changes were revealed at the time, and nothing was said of the fashion show, but the company did release a statement saying it was examining “marketing, brand positioning, internal talent, real estate portfolio, and cost structure.” It said the brand was focused on its “merchandise assortment” and delivering “products and experiences that resonate with women around the globe.” What the future holds for Victoria’s Secret, and whether the company accomplishes that mission, remains to be seen.
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