NEW YORK – Lingerie company Victoria’s Secret held on Thursday its celebrated fashion show, often criticized for the ideal of beauty it promotes, in New York City and also on social media where models gave glimpses of backstage events.
While the preparation of the 60 young “angels” took several hours, millions of followers of the brand on Instagram got to see how models such as Bella Hadid and Martha Hunt were getting their hair and make-up done, dressed in black satin robes and revealing how nervous they were.
Hadid posted a photo of herself that raised concerns from the public for her health, which further added to the controversy surrounding the strict body type selected by the brand for the event.
Australian model Robyn Lawley boycotted the Victoria’s Secret fashion show over lack of physical diversity and is leading an online petition, signed by almost 9,000 people, in which she urged the brand to choose models with “more diverse and inclusive body shapes and sizes.”
“Victoria Secret have dominated the space for almost 30 years by telling women there is only one kind of body beautiful,” she wrote in the petition.
Bella’s sister, Gigi Hadid, who suffers from a thyroid condition and has been criticized in the past for losing weight, thanked her fans for making her feel good about the show.
Gigi, who appeared live on social media behind the scenes, was asked by a fellow model what her “secret” was, to which she was heard saying “youth.”
Veteran Brazilian model Adriana Lima, 37, had announced that this year’s show would be her last and she would be hanging up her wings after 20 years following compatriots Alessandra Ambrosio, 37, who retired in 2017, and Gisele Bundchen, 38, who stepped down in 2015.
They have made way for a new generation of “influencers” led by the Hadid sisters and Kendall Jenner.
Swedish model Elsa Hosk was chosen to wear the “Fantasy Bra” this year, which was a garment designed by Swarovski and covered with 2,100 diamonds priced at $1 million.
The Victoria’s Secret fashion show also generates excitement because of its musical performances, and this year starred Shawn Mendes, Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha, Halsey and Kelsea Ballerini, along with duo The Chainsmokers and rock band The Struts.
Last year the brand moved to China where it sought to strengthen its market, but reported problems with visas for models and artists, and so this year it returned to the Big Apple where it debuted in 1995.