Victoria’s Secret annual fashion show has been axed for 2019 amid falling sales and the struggle to generate any interest in the catwalk spectacle.
As first reported by Fortune, in a Wednesday morning earnings call, parent company of Victoria’s Secret L Brand’s CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer said VS “will be communicating to customers, but nothing similar in magnitude to the fashion show.”
It’s reported Burgdoerfer said there wasn’t a “short-term sales response” following the last few shows. Furthermore, VS’ sales have continued to drop since late 2016.
The axing of the show doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Known for its stick-thin models parading in underwear that’s as far removed from what the average woman looks like or wears, VS has historically marketed to a very specific customer.
In an interview with Vogue last year, Victoria’s Secret then CMO Ed Razek said it would be staying that way.
“No one has any interest” in looking at plus-sized models, Razek told the magazine last November, adding they “still don’t”.
Then in March this year, L Brands’ shareholders wrote a letter to CEO Les Wexner, urging him to update the brand’s image and change out its mostly male board. Razek’s exclusive views were also singled out in the letter.
“In our view, Mr. Razek has done a poor job of stewarding Victoria’s Secret’s brand by failing to communicate a compelling, up-to-date image that resonates with today’s consumers,” Barington Group CEO James A. Mitarotonda wrote.
He added: “While we recognise that Victoria’s Secret cannot be all things to all people, we believe that the Company should be delivering a more inclusive marketing message that promotes a more expansive view of beauty.”
Razek quit his post in August and, all of a sudden, the brand has had a change of heart, recently unveiling its first “plus-size” model, the first to grace its stores in its 42-year history.
However, it appears the new brand direction has yet to translate into sales or helped the lingerie company compete against inclusive and diverse upstarts like Rihanna‘s Savage x Fenty line.
Time will tell whether the show will return in 2020.
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