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Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

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The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is an annual fashion show sponsored by and featuring Victoria's Secret, a brand of lingerie and sleepwear. Victoria's Secret uses the show to promote and market its goods in high-profile settings. The show features some of the world's leading fashion models such as current Victoria's Secret Angels Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Behati Prinsloo, Candice Swanepoel, and Lily Aldridge.

American network television broadcasts the show during prime time. The first few shows in the 1990s were held in the days preceding Valentine's Day to promote the brand for this holiday. They were not aired on national television. In 1999 and 2000 the show was webcast. Beginning in 2001, the shows were moved ahead of the Christmas holiday season. Also in 2001, the show made its network television broadcast on ABC, though in all subsequent years, it has been broadcast on CBS. The show has been held at a variety of locations in different cities including Miami, Los Angeles, and Cannes. The first four shows were held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, but since it has become a televised event it has most often been held at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City.

The show is a lavish event with elaborate costumed lingerie, varying music by leading entertainers, and set design according to the different themes running within the show. The show attracts hundreds of celebrities and entertainers, with special performers and acts every year. Each year, twenty to forty of the world's top fashion models are selected to perform in the fashion show. In a typical year, this includes about a half dozen women under contract to the company,[1] known as Victoria's Secret Angels, who help publicize the event. The giant angel wings worn by the models, as well as other wings of various forms and sizes such as butterfly, peacock, or devil wings, have become emblematic of the Victoria's Secret brand.


The first fashion show extravaganza, introduced by Stephanie Seymour, was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City in August 1995. The show also featured Beverly Peele and Frederique van der Wal.[2] This first fashion show occurred two months before The Limited, parent company of Victoria's Secret owner Intimate Brands, sold an initial public offering of a 16 percent stake in the company and almost had Seymour make an appearance at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for the opening bell.[3] She actually did ring the closing bell at the NYSE as part of the publicity campaign.[4] The subsequent three annual shows were also held at the Plaza.[5][6][7]

In 1999, during Super Bowl XXXIII, Victoria's Secret announced a 72-hour countdown to the Internet webcast of the Victoria's Secret fashion show, which resulted in over 2 million internet viewers of the show.[8] Parent company Intimate Brands bought a $1.5 million ($2.1 million today) 30-second television advertisement during the Super Bowl broadcast and spent an additional $4 million ($5.7 million) for subsequent international newspaper advertisements to publicize the event.[9] The show, which was aired by,[9] featured Tyra Banks, Laetitia Casta, Heidi Klum, Karen Mulder, Daniela Pestova, Inés Rivero, and Seymour.[10] In 1999 and 2000,[11][12] the show was broadcast live on the internet, but the 2000 show was moved for a year from the usual February event at the Plaza to a May event in concert with the Cannes Film Festival in France to raise money for the Cinema Against AIDS charity; it raised $3.5 million.[13][14]

In 2001, the show, which was hosted by Rupert Everett,[15] returned to the New York City but at Bryant Park instead of the Plaza.[16] That year, the show made its broadcast debut on ABC,[17] drawing millions of viewers as well as some middle-brow controversy; the Federal Communications Commission received many complaints about the broadcast every year.[15][18] The show has continued to be broadcast on network television every year since.

From 2002 through 2005, it was held at the Lexington Avenue Armory in New York City.[19][20][21] The 2004 show was canceled due to a widespread crackdown on perceived indecency in broadcasting stemming from the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, in which Jackson encountered a breast-revealing "wardrobe malfunction".[22] Before the 2005 show, Banks announced her retirement from modeling and embarkation on a television career with The Tyra Banks Show, making the 2005 show a farewell to her decade of fashion shows for the company.[23]

In 2004, instead of the annual fashion show, the Angels (Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, and Alessandra Ambrosio) did an Angels Across America Tour, a grassroots campaign for the brand visiting four major cities: New York City, Miami, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.[24]

The 2006 and 2007 shows were held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.[25][26] On November 13, 2007, the Victoria's Secret Angels were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame right outside the Kodak Theatre.[27][28] The 2007 Angels honored in this celebration to mark Victoria's Secret's 25th anniversary on Hollywood Boulevard were Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Karolina Kurkova, Selita Ebanks, Izabel Goulart, Marisa Miller, and Miranda Kerr. The other models, who also appeared in that year's fashion show, were in attendance that day.[29] The 2008 show coincided with the grand re-opening of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel.[30]

In 2006, Victoria's Secret sub-brand PINK made its debut on the runway.[31] Justin Timberlake opened the show with his popular song "Sexy Back". This year fashion show was the final walk of Gisele Bündchen.

The 2007 show featured a performance by the Spice Girls and gained prominence as the first American TV debut of the band after their comeback.[32] Kanye West was also scheduled to perform at the event, but cancelled his appearance due to his mother's death. was called to perform in his place.[33]

The 2008 show was held at Fountainebleu Miami Beach, Florida. Usher was appeared on the show as well as opened it. Unlike the other shows, the runway was designed parallel with the audience seats.

In 2009, the fashion show took place in New York City at the Lexington Avenue Armory, where it was last held in 2005. The 2009 show was notable for featuring the results of a competition, called the Victoria's Secret Model Search, to find a new Victoria's Secret "runway Angel." The winner was announced as Kylie Bisutti.[34]

The 2010 Victoria's Secret Fashion show aired on November 30, 2010 on CBS, and featured performances by Katy Perry and Akon.[35] A promotional ad featured a lipdub[36] for Katy Perry's "Firework".[37] As of 2010, 152 models have walked the show.[38]

In 2011, Kanye West started his song "Stronger" with a tribute to his mother who had died before his scheduled performance four years before, saying: "In 2007, I was supposed to perform this song on this show ...and I lost my superhero. Now she's my super-angel."[39]

Lais Ribeiro and Kelly Gale in 2014

In 2012, an outfit worn by model Karlie Kloss, which was reminiscent of Native American attire, sparked controversy due to its alleged stereotypical depiction of Native Americans. Victoria's Secret released a statement of apology shortly after, saying that they will remove it from future advertisements and the broadcast. Kloss apologized on her Twitter account for the outfit and expressed her support for the outfit's removal in the broadcast.[40]

In 2013, the Victoria's Secret Fashion show featured performances by Taylor Swift, A Great Big World, Neon Jungle and Fall Out Boy.[41] Taylor Swift performed "I Knew You Were Trouble", A Great Big World performed "Say Something", UK's Neon Jungle made their US television debut with "Trouble", and Fall Out Boy performed with Taylor Swift in "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark" and later performed "The Phoenix".[41]

In 2014, the Victoria's Secret Fashion show featured performances by Taylor Swift; for the second year in a row, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and Hozier.[42] Taylor Swift performed "Blank Space" and "Style". Ed Sheeran performed "Thinking Out Loud". Ariana Grande performed "Love Me Harder", "Bang Bang", "Break Free", and "Problem". Hozier performed "Take Me to Church". During the show, Ariana Grande was performing and was hit by accident with an angel's wings.[43]

Critical review[edit]

The early webcasts were criticized for poor connection, and users that could connect were subjected to low video quality.[9] One critic from The New York Times described the initial 20th-century webcast experience as having felt like he was "watching a striptease through a keyhole".[4]

Some critics have described the 21st-century televised editions of the show as pornographic,[44][45] while others have described it as both "outright commercialism" and an infomercial.[15] The Federal Communications Commission has received complaints regarding the broadcast, but no fines have been imposed, with the FCC, following the 2001 airing, citing the First Amendment and stating that "sexual or excretory activities or organs in a patently offensive manner as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium" were not broadcast.[46] In the initial 2001 airing ABC blurred the screen on particularly sheer lingerie.[45] This enabled the show to pass muster with its internal Broadcast Standards and Practices department and to achieve the TV-14 rating.[47] In 2002, the National Organization for Women protested the show calling it a "soft-core porn infomercial."[44] They were joined in protest by the Parents Television Council and other watchdog organizations.[45] CBS has given past shows TV-14 ratings, which is a warning that the show may contain material unsuitable for children age 14 and under. Nonetheless some affiliates have chosen not to air the show in past years including Fisher Broadcasting affiliates in Idaho.[45] In 2009, the American Decency Association organized email letters of protests to sponsors of the show including AT&T, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Netflix, Nikon, and Reebok.[48] CBS has described the event to as "the Super Bowl of fashion".[49]

Summary table[edit]

Dates Locations Broadcaster Viewers (millions) Models Performers
List Ref.
August 1, 1995 Plaza Hotel, New York City no broadcast no broadcast [2]
February 6, 1996 Plaza Hotel, New York City no broadcast no broadcast [5][50][51][52]
February 4, 1997 Plaza Hotel, New York City no broadcast no broadcast [6][53][54]
February 3, 1998 Plaza Hotel, New York City no broadcast no broadcast [1][7][55]
February 3, 1999 Cipriani Wall Street restaurant, New York City webcast by 2.0+[8] [11][55][56][57][58][59]
May 18, 2000 Cannes, France webcast [1][12][60][61]
November 13, 2001[17]
aired: November 15, 2001[17]
Bryant Park, New York City ABC 12.4 [16][19][62] Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli
November 14, 2002[63]
aired: November 20, 2002[64]
Lexington Avenue Armory,
New York City
CBS 10.5 [19][64][65][66] Destiny's Child, Marc Anthony, and Phil Collins
November 13, 2003[20]
aired: November 19, 2003[67]
Lexington Avenue Armory,
New York City
UPN repeat
[20][68][69][70] Sting, Mary J. Blige, and Eve
2004 (Angels Across America Tour instead of annual fashion show) New York City, Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles[24] None N/A N/A None
November 9, 2005[21]
aired: December 6, 2005[71]
re-aired: December 13, 2005[72]
Lexington Avenue Armory,
New York City
UPN repeat
[21][71][75][76] Chris Botti, Ricky Martin, Seal, and Rutgers University Drumline[77]
November 16, 2006[25]
aired: December 5, 2006[78]
re-aired: December 19, 2006[79]
Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles CBS
The CW
6.8 [22][25][78][80] Justin Timberlake
November 16, 2007[81]
aired: December 4, 2007[26]
re-aired: December 11, 2007
Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles CBS
The CW
[26][84][85] Spice Girls,, Seal and Heidi Klum
November 15, 2008[86]
aired: December 3, 2008[87]
re-aired: December 17, 2008
Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami CBS
The CW
[87][90][91][92] Usher and Jorge Moreno
November 19, 2009[93]
aired: December 1, 2009[93]
re-aired: December 9, 2009
Lexington Avenue Armory,
New York City
The CW
[97] The Black Eyed Peas[98]
November 10, 2010
aired: November 30, 2010
re-aired: December 8, 2010
Lexington Avenue Armory,
New York City
The CW
[101][102][103] Katy Perry and Akon
November 9, 2011
aired: November 29, 2011
aired: December 14, 2011
Lexington Avenue Armory,
New York City
The CW
[106] Maroon 5, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Nicki Minaj[107]
November 7, 2012
aired: December 4, 2012
re-aired: December 12, 2012
Lexington Avenue Armory,
New York City
The CW
[110][111] Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Bruno Mars
November 13, 2013
aired: December 10, 2013
re-aired: December 16, 2013
Lexington Avenue Armory,
New York City
The CW repeat
Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy, Neon Jungle, A Great Big World, and Rutgers University Drumline[114]
December 2, 2014
airing: December 9, 2014
re-aired: December 16, 2014
Earls Court, London[115] CBS
The CW repeat
[118][119] Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and Hozier
November 10, 2015
airing: December 8, 2015
re-aired: December 15, 2015
Lexington Avenue Armory,
New York City
The CW repeat
6.59[120] [121] Ellie Goulding, Selena Gomez and The Weeknd
November 30, 2016
airing: December 2016
re-aired: December 2016
Grand Palais,
The CW repeat

Fantasy Bra[edit]

Adriana Lima with the 2010 Fantasy Bra.

Typically, one model is chosen among the Angels to wear a bejeweled bra dubbed the "Fantasy Bra". It was first advertised in the Victoria's Secret catalog, but since 2001 has been worn in the Fashion Shows. Prior to each Fashion Show, Victoria's Secret contracts a renowned jewelry designer to craft the bra to be used as a focal point for promoting the fashion show and as a centerpiece within it. The company offers the Fantasy Bra for sale as "the ultimate holiday" gift.[122] However, only the centerpiece from the 2004 Heavenly "70" Fantasy Bra and the 2012 Floral Fantasy Bra and Gift Set have found a buyer.[123][124] If not bought, the bras are dismantled after a year.[125][126]

Heidi Klum and Adriana Lima have worn the Fantasy Bra in three different years.[127] Gisele Bündchen, Tyra Banks, Karolina Kurkova, and Alessandra Ambrosio have each worn two Fantasy Bras.[128]

The $15 million price tag for the 2000 bra worn by Gisele Bündchen earned a place in the Guinness World Records as the most expensive item of lingerie ever created.[129] The $3 million 2009 Harlequin Fantasy Bra and the $2 million 2010 Bombshell Fantasy Bra were designed by Damiani.[130] Listed below are the prices per set (including accessories for the 2007 and 2013 editions, the 2013 bra alone is worth $8,000,000[126]). The 2012 Floral Fantasy Bra was accompanied by a $500,000 perfume bottle.

In 2014, for the first time, two fantasy bras were created. They were worn by Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima and were valued at $2,000,000 each.

Year Name Model Value Appeared in fashion show refs
1996 Million Dollar Miracle Bra Claudia Schiffer $1,000,000 No [131]
1997 Diamond Dream Bra Tyra Banks $3,000,000 No
1998 Dream Angel Fantasy Bra Daniela Pestova $5,000,000 No
1999 Millennium Bra Heidi Klum $10,000,000 No [127]
2000 Red Hot Fantasy Bra/Panties Gisele Bündchen $15,000,000 No [129]
2001 Heavenly Star Bra Heidi Klum $12,500,000 Yes [132]
2002 Star of Victoria Fantasy Bra Karolina Kurkova $10,000,000 Yes [133]
2003 Very Sexy Fantasy Bra Heidi Klum $11,000,000 Yes [134]
2004 Heavenly "70" Fantasy Bra Tyra Banks $10,000,000 No [135]
2005 Sexy Splendor Fantasy Bra Gisele Bündchen $12,500,000 Yes [136]
2006 Hearts On Fire Diamond Fantasy Bra Karolina Kurkova $6,500,000 Yes [133]
2007 Holiday Fantasy Bra Set Selita Ebanks $4,500,000 Yes [137]
2008 Black Diamond Fantasy Miracle Bra Adriana Lima $5,000,000 Yes [138]
2009 Harlequin Fantasy Bra Marisa Miller $3,000,000 Yes [139]
2010 Bombshell Fantasy Bra Adriana Lima $2,000,000 Yes [140]
2011 Fantasy Treasure Bra Miranda Kerr $2,500,000 Yes [141]
2012 Floral Fantasy Bra & Gift Set Alessandra Ambrosio $2,500,000 Yes [142]
2013 Royal Fantasy Bra Candice Swanepoel $10,000,000 Yes [143]
2014 Dream Angels Fantasy Bras Alessandra Ambrosio $2,000,000 Each Yes [144]
Adriana Lima
2015 Fireworks Fantasy Bra Lily Aldridge $2,000,000 Yes [145]

See also[edit]


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