Fashion Backwards

Victoria's Secret model, Jasmine Tookes at 2014 Fashion Show in London, England.

Paul John Bayfield,

Victoria's Secret model, Jasmine Tookes at 2014 Fashion Show in London, England.

Chloe Houwman, Staff Writer

As the years have passed, many changes to marketing strategies have been made. This year, Victoria’s Secret, a popular womenswear, lingerie and beauty product brand, has announced that they will no longer air their fashion show on network television.

The show has been an opportunity for the company to promote its brand through extravagant costumes, famous runway models and top music hits from the past years. When the show first began, it aired before Valentine’s Day, but as the years have passed, the show has started to instead take place before Christmas. Starting in 2002, the show was broadcasted on national T.V. for millions to view, but in the past few years, the once-popular show began to fall. 

The once high profile branding opportunity has been dropping viewers over the past few years. Elaine Low of Variety stated that back in 2013 viewing of the show reached 9.7 million, but in 2018, viewing reached only 3.3 million. What can account for this huge drop in viewership? Is this because of the brand’s lack of incorporating plus size and transgender models or simply the loss of interest amongst the viewers?

According to The New York Times, the decision was announced by Leslie Wexner, the chief executive of L Brands, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company. 

“[The company has been] taking a fresh look at every aspect of our business and must evolve and change to grow,” said Wexner.

Many major companies have evolved and created clothing in many sizes that can make many different body types of women feel comfortable and confident in their size. However, Victoria’s Secret has yet to jump on the trend. Instead, they are still known for their models who are reminiscent of Barbies with their blond hair, long legs and thin figure. 

Unwanted attention was drawn to this fact last year when the chief marketing officer of L Brands, Edward Razek, made concerning comments in an interview with Vogue

“So it’s like, why don’t you do 50? Why don’t you do 60,” said Razek, referring to sizing. “Why don’t you do 24? It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special.”

Victoria’s Secret has learned that they need to keep up with the times or they will suffer the consequences of not expanding their offerings to keep up with society’s demands. It is the end of the decade, so maybe a facelift is the right idea.