After months of reports and speculation, Victoria’s Secret has confirmed that it will not host its annual runway show this year. Stuart B. Burgdoerfer, executive vice president of Victoria’s Secret parent company, L Brands, spoke about the cancellation in a phone call with analysts, WWD reports.
“We think it’s important to evolve the marketing of Victoria’s Secret. There will be more to come as that continues to get evaluated,” he said.
“[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,” he added, per WWD. “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.”
The move comes months after the lingerie brand made noticeable changes to appear more inclusive following backlash, such as collaborating with Bluebella and featuring plus-size model Ali Tate Cutler in the campaign, and hiring its first openly-transgender model, Valentina Sampaio, for its athletic line, VS Pink.
It was first speculated in May that Victoria’s Secret could be cancelling its famous runway extravaganza CEO Leslie Wexner sent an internal memo saying he wanted to “rethink” the concept of the show, per WWD. Since then, multiple Victoria’s Secret models have publicly said that the catwalk spectacular was cancelled, but the company never confirmed the news until now.
ORIGINAL STORY, 5/11:
Les Wexner, the CEO of L Brands which owns Victoria’s Secret, apparently wrote, “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.”
Wexner continued, “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.”
It’s true that, in the digital age, fashion shows are broadcast quicker than ever before. For instance, in 2018 the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show took place on November 8, but it wasn’t broadcast on ABC until December 2. By the time the show finally aired on TV, fans had already seen a plethora of looks and musical performances via social media.
While it’s unclear what form the next generation of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will take, it sounds as though the brand is finally ready to evolve, and that can only be a good thing.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.