Victoria’s Secret has canceled its 2019 fashion show, leaving fans of the longtime annual TV extravaganza stunned. The famous lingerie show, which launched in 1995 and became an annual staple featuring wing-clad supermodels such as Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bundchen, has been a must-see TV event since 2001.
Amid recent buzz about the future of the show, Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands confirmed the news via a conference call, according to Fortune. CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer said the iconic fashion show will become a thing of the past in order to “evolve the messaging of [the company].”
“We will be communicating to customers, but nothing similar in magnitude to the fashion show,” Burgdoerfer said.
The L Brands boss teased that social media and other digital platforms could play a larger part in the company’s long-term plan.
As The Inquisitr shared in May, it was revealed that Victoria’s Secret was looking at transitioning the fashion show to another format because network television was not seen as a good fit for it. At the time, it did not seem that the entire show would be canceled, despite the fact that there had been backlash against the brand for its lack of diversity on the TV special.
In early 2018, former Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek faced backlash after admitting he wouldn’t consider casting a transsexual model in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. He also shut down the idea of a plus-size fashion show.
“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,” Razek told Vogue. “We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.”
ABC News notes that Victoria’s Secret competitors have pointed to the fashion show as proof of how out of touch the company is with today’s times. The CEO of online lingerie startup Third Love wrote an open letter to the company denouncing the “demeaning comments about women” by Razek. The executive ultimately stepped down from his post a few months after making his controversial comments.
The 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion show featured many A-list models, including Gigi Hadid, Behati Prinsloo, and Adriana Lima, but ratings were down for the TV special.
On social media, fans of the fashion show expressed disappointment that it has been axed for 2019.
Who decided to cancel this years Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show? I just wanna talk.
— yus. (@yusairaismail) November 21, 2019
I’m sad about the Victoria’s secret fashion show being cancelled. There I said it. Sorry not sorry.
— Amber Murley (@Amurls) November 22, 2019
The Victoria’s Secret fashion show is cancelled because people feel the need to freak tf out over everything. Smh. ????????
— Erin P. (@ErinKramer270) November 22, 2019
So incredibly sad that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show isn’t happening this year. I always look forward to it and love seeing all of the models ????
— Hailey Aaron (@CaffeineDrip_) November 22, 2019
ABC News reports that in recent months, Victoria’s Secret has lost sales to unexpected rivals such as Target, Kohl’s, and American Eagle.
The brand did not specify whether the cancellation of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show is for good or if it will be back in the future.