Big changes are coming for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. According to recent reports, the annual event will be changing drastically, in that it may no longer be aired on national television.
CNBC reports that Les Wexner, the CEO of L Brands which owns Victoria’s Secret, wrote in an internal memo to staff: “Fashion is a business of change. We must evolve and change to grow. With that in mind, we have decided to re-think 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.”
Based on the memo’s language, it seems that the show’s changes are due to the nature of digital media. Network television might not make the most sense for such an event anymore, since social media allows fans to get a glimpse of the looks long before the show actually airs.
For example, the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show took place on November 8, but by the time it aired on ABC on December 2, the models’ looks (as well as musical performances) had already been circulated.
However, executives at Victoria’s Secret might be rethinking their strategy for deeper reasons. The show’s long history of stick-thin models and lack of diversity has come under fire in recent years, with fans calling out the brand for their narrow definition of beauty.
Rihanna‘s lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, brought special attention to the issue after closing out fall 2018 Fashion Week with a diverse range of models on the runway (even including two pregnant women).
Prime example of why brands need to be careful of casting directors opinions. Especially when it’s a 70 year old man who’s living in the past. Thank god @rihanna brought us @SavageXFenty this year with genuine attention & love of diversity in her branding ? https://t.co/pdCk2ueSGq