The annual Victoria’s Secret show is normally a lavish spectacle, operating like a slick and well-oiled machine, showcasing the best of the brand’s wares. This year saw the lingerie supergiant further it’s global dominion, with the Angels soaring effortlessly through Shanghai – for the most part, at least.
Look, there’s no denying this year’s Victoria’s Secret production was borderline chaotic. From rejected Visa applications, to rumours of email surveillance by the Chinese government and a whole host of past indiscretions coming back to haunt some of our favourite models and artists…. dare we suggest the entire affair was cursed from the beginning?
The lavish Shanghai production comes after the lingerie chain opened a four-storey flagship store in China last February. A second store was opened in Chengdu, with another currently in the pipeline for Beijing. The expansion into the Asian market was a bold, and business-savvy move… but not without it’s flaws.
The lead up to the prestigious event was plagued by rumours of government surveillance of the production staff, and even saw singer Katy Perry and model/’It’ girl Gigi Hadid given the flick after having their Visa applications denied. Unfortunately Perry’s donning of a Taiwanese flag during a concert in 2015, and Gigi’s viral mimicry of a Buddha cookie last year were enough to earn them both big, red ‘denied’ stamps across their respective dossiers.
Several Russian and Ukrainian models were also rejected by Chinese border force officials; alas, the VS fat cats persisted. One Direction alum/ dad-dancing Harry Styles was subbed in for Katy Perry at the twelfth hour, and who needs two Hadid’s anyway? Bella’s unfortunate nip slip during the show’s finale proved she was more than enough tit- ahem, ‘It’- Girl for the production.
Nip-slips and mid-runway tumbles aside, the lingerie collections were nothing if not their usual balance between VS brilliance and real-girl wearability. However, the shaky welcome to Shanghai soil and the alleged shut-down of the official after-party by police seemingly spell caution for future ventures. If these minor fiascos are any indication of how the lingerie franchise is set to perform in the East Asian market, then they best count their flagships before they hatch.
Having said that, this year saw a huge intake of 17 new and diverse models – including two Aussie models: Victoria Lee and Kelly Gale. If you missed our short feature film covering the fresh new faces of the Victoria’s Secret, you can catch it here.
Interestingly, Professor of International Business at Curtin University, Fuming Jiang surmises that for Victoria’s Secret to succeed in the Chinese market it should reduce the number of Chinese models representing the brand. 2017 saw a record six Chinese models walk the runway; however, Jiang believes
‘Chinese people want to see different faces, not more of the same! All the store windows in the big cities have models with European faces.’
Speaking with The New Daily, Jiang also remarked that to be noticed amidst the Chinese competition, you need to stand out from the crowd… There is certainly no doubt then that the minor blunders plaguing the 2017 Shanghai show could very well work in Vic’s favour. Shhh, it’ll be our little secret.
The 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai will be televised in Australia on Wednesday 29th November at 9 pm on Channel 9.