Sep 7, 2023
Victoria’s Secret kicked off The Tour 2023 on Wednesday night with clips from its latest concept film and a concert by Doechi and Goyo. The lingerie brand chose a strategic date, namely on the eve of the start of New York Fashion Week.
The celebration began with Naomi Campbell reading a poem at Manhattan Center following a march at the historic space near Madison Square Garden. The ceremony was hosted by none other than Gigi Hadid.
The event comes five days after the brand’s latest results, which did not bring good news: Victoria’s Secret returned to the red in the last quarter, suffering a loss of $1 million (about 930,000 euros). Net sales fell 6% to $1.427 billion (€1.33 billion). The only performance of note was overseas, with growth of 25% year on year, according to CEO Martin Waters.
Bringing together more than 20 talents (artists, designers, musicians and performers), the 2023 tour will stop in four cities located in four corners of the world: Lagos, London, Tokyo and Bogota.
The brand’s stores in North America are still going through a difficult period. The competition is tough, with Victoria’s Secret having to compete with younger brands like Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty. Moreover, mentalities are changing, and the Victoria’s Secret mega-shows, where supermodels performed in skimpy clothing, suddenly took on an outdated, sexist and transphobic connotation in the MeToo era.
The brand’s image was tarnished by its links to Jeffrey Epstein, who was convicted of multiple sexual assaults. This relationship began in the 1990s, when Epstein was one of the advisers to Les Wexner, then CEO of Victoria’s Secret. It turned out that Epstein tried to become a recruiter for the brand in order to “meet” young models.
However, it must be admitted that the label did everything to rehabilitate its image. This time, several transgender models and artists, as well as plus-size models, were present at the party. Guests were treated to a series of flattering performances by several young artists, dressed in vibrant colors and accompanied by professional models such as Adut Akech, Adwoa Aboah, Candice Swanepoel, Guinevere van Sinus, Lily Alridge, Winnie Harlow, Paloma Elsesser and Imaan Hammam. which entered the interior of a rationalistic monument in a modernist style.
20 members of the 2023 tour (Aoi Yamada, Bubu Ogishi, Cristina Sanchez Salamanca Ebun Sodipo, Elogosa Osunde, Goyo, Jen Fang, Kaito Itsuki, KOM-I, Corti Eniola Olanrewaju, Lorena Torres, Margo Bowman, Melissa Valdez Duque, Michaela Stark, Phoebe Collings James, Piishiis Canizales, Supriya Lele, Umi Ishihara and Wavy The Creator all came out to take a bow at the end of the show in front of the brand’s iconic pink column. Behind them hung the famous dresses that the Angels had worn at previous Victoria’s Secret shows.
Before the event, Naomi Campbell posed with celebrities such as Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Brooke Shields, and then read a poem with more than a little questionable lines, such as: “Don’t look a star in the eye if you want to live.” Fight bad luck by dancing all night until your mood softens and your eyes turn blue.” Clearly, there is nothing that can outshine William Wordsworth or Walt Whitman.
Oddly enough, little of the precious underwear was shown in the film. On the other hand, many guests were wearing it, which in a way is the best compliment one can give to a brand. Victoria’s Secret has made innerwear used as outerwear the clothing choice of choice as heat waves hit New York City.
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