The annual VS fashion show is making a much anticipated comeback this year, which has caused a mixture of opinions within the internet and the fashion industry. However, the known glamourous and splendour of the show has been converted to a rebranded visual of ‘accomplished women who drive for positive change’, and not so centralised on looks alone.
Why was the fashion show called off in the first place? In 2019, VS reported a decrease in sales and television views – a decline of 2.7 million views in one year – while also facing numerous controversies, such as a non-inclusive definition of what is ‘sexy’ and its unrealistic presentation of the female body, especially towards their target audience of younger women. Most famously, the company’s former CEO, Lex Wexner, had close ties with Jeffrey Epstein; who was charged with sex trafficking of minors, sparked major concern for the brand’s presentation. Regarding these reasons, it was almost inevitable of the company’s downfall in recent years.
However, the company claims that their relaunch of their fashion show will aim ‘to champion women’s voices’, although many fans have shared their hopes for a more diversified cast to represent feminine beauty on a bigger and more inclusive scale. The announcement has also sparked concerns over the relevance of the show in current years, specifically towards the fashion industry and climate, which has been encouraged to do what VS did not: diversify.
Fans are also left speculating if the original VS Angels will return to the runway, including top models such as Adriana Lima, Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum and Karlie Kloss. While this may significantly boost their views, the VS Collective, which includes women that are ‘pioneers in leadership’, will likely have a huge role in the casting process, focusing on empowering and inclusive women. The company also invested and launched many charitable organisations with the focus of supporting women worldwide.
The return is to be expected later this year, but not without divided opinions and major changes of our original view of the show. Will VS have rebranded their company, or will past stigmas still be attached to reinvented image?