Shanina Shaik has confirmed that the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will not be taking place this year. It was previously reported that the show wouldn’t be broadcast on television, but now it seems that it’s not happening at all.
The model, who is a longtime ambassador for the lingerie retailer, has appeared in the catwalk extravaganza seven times since making her debut in 2011.
“Unfortunately the Victoria’s Secret show won’t be happening this year,” she told the Australian Daily Telegraph. “It’s something I’m not used to because every year around this time I’m training like an angel.”
The 28-year-old added that she doesn’t think it’s a permanent decision, and that the cancellation of this year’s event was likely due to the organisers “trying to work on branding and new ways to do the show, because it’s the best show in the world”.
For almost two decades, fashion followers from across the globe have tuned in to watch the likes of Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Winnie Harlow transform into ‘angels’ as they walk the runway decked in bejewelled lingerie and feathered wings.
Earlier this year, Leslie Wexner, chief executive of Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, L Brands, confirmed that the show wouldn’t be broadcast on network television.
“We have decided to re-think the traditional Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,” he wrote in an email sent to fellow employees. “Going forward, we don’t believe network television is the right fit.”
He also notes that the show, which was traditionally broadcast via US network giants ABS and CBS, “must evolve and change to grow”. With this in mind, L Brands hopes to create “a new kind of event”.
The news comes amid falling viewing figures, as the once-popular television event only drew in 3.3 million viewers last year in comparison to five million the previous year – making it a record low for the lingerie giant.
Though it’s not entirely surprising, as Victoria’s Secret came under fire for its lack of diversity on the runway.
In November 2018, former chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, was forced to apologise after claiming the public has no interest in seeing plus-size or transgender models on the catwalk.
“It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No,” he said in the controversial Vogue interview. “No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special.”
But the lingerie brand is working hard to reinvent itself post-scandal, as Wexner also hinted that Victoria’s Secret is set to “push the boundaries of fashion in the global digital age”.
Karlie Kloss, who walked in the show several times, recently explained why she chose to stop working with the underwear giant, saying that she didn’t agree with the message it was sending to young women.
“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,” Kloss told British Vogue. “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.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
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