UPDATE 11/21/19: In July, Victoria’s Secret model Shanina Shaik seemingly let it slip in an interview that the annual fashion show had been canceled for 2019, and now the brand has confirmed it. “We’ll be communicating to customers, but nothing [will change] that I would say is similar in magnitude to the fashion show,” chief financial officer of L Brands, Victoria’s Secret's parent company, said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call. “Given the decline in performance at Victoria’s Secret, we have substantially pulled back on capital investment in that business while we focus on ensuring that our merchandise resonates with customers,” the brand added.
The company has faced controversy during the last year, including not blowback for not casting size-inclusive models, stock that's fallen 28% since the beginning of the year, and L Brand former chief marketing officer Ed Razek's departure. A 36-year Victoria’s Secret vet, he was at the helm throughout the time when the brand’s identity was made iconic, i.e., the era of the VS Angel. Thin cisgender models, in padded bras, oozed sex appeal that felt intended for the male gaze. A “fantasy,” as Razek would call it, but one that excluded anyone who didn’t fit those parameters—something the former executive confirmed in an interview with Vogue last year.
7/2019: In May, Victoria’s Secret's announced it would no longer broadcast its annual fashion show on national television, as it had since 2001. But according to one of the brand's regular models, the whole event might not even happen in 2019.
"Unfortunately, the Victoria's Secret show won't be happening this year," she said. "It's something I'm not used to because every year around this time I'm training like an angel. But I'm sure in the future something will happen, which I'm pretty sure about. I'm sure they're trying to work on branding and new ways to do the show because it's the best show in the world."
Victoria's Secret has yet to comment on whether or not its fashion show is actually over. (Glamour has reached out for a statement.)
The future of the event was left a bit up in the air when executives said it wouldn't appear on television. In an internal memo obtained by the New York Times, Leslie Wexner, the chief executive of Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, L Brands, wrote: "We have decided to rethink the traditional Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Going forward we don't believe network television is the right fit.... In 2019 and beyond, we're focusing on developing exciting and dynamic content and a new kind of event—delivered to our customers on platforms that she's glued to…and in ways that will push the boundaries of fashion in the global digital age."
As a company, Victoria's Secret has faced a string of controversies in recent years. Its chief marketing officer Ed Razek made several offensive comments about transgender and plus-size models last year. And over the past few weeks, links between company executives and Jeffrey Epstein have emerged. In addition to all of that, sales have been slumping, and viewership of its fashion show has declined.
In July, Karlie Kloss, a former Angel, opened up to British Vogue about why she walked away from her contract with the brand. "The reason I decided to stop working with Victoria’s Secret was I didn’t feel it was an image that was truly reflective of who I am and the kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful,” she told the publication. “I think that was a pivotal moment in me stepping into my power as a feminist, being able to make my own choices and my own narrative, whether through the companies I choose to work with or through the image I put out to the world.”
Originally Appeared on Glamour