The Victoria’s Secret Angels have fallen. Following claims of sexism, anti-feminism and plummeting TV ratings, the once iconic Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has been cancelled.
L Brands, Victoria’s Secret parent company, confirmed the news that it will not air the show this year. “We think it’s important to evolve the marketing of Victoria’s Secret,” L Brands Chief Financial Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer told analysts on Thursday. “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.”
After first airing in 1995, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show became one of the biggest events on the celebrity calendar, a scantily-clad spectacle that featured some of the biggest musical acts in the world (along with the biggest supermodels in the world). But its sexed-up, skinny, scant aesthetic soon lost relevance, particularly in the shadows of the #MeToo movement. It faced claims that it was objectifying women, that it preached a sexist, anti-feminist rhetoric and that it lacked diversity and inclusivity. Then came those remarks from its chief marketing officer.
Last year, Edward Razek, then chief marketing officer of L Brands, said transgender women should not star in the show, a comment which was met with outrage – and rightly so. Since then, the brand has swiftly fallen from grace. Last year’s show had its lowest ratings ever, further compounding popular sentiment that it had lost relevance. This week, that point of view is all but confirmed.