How Society and Business Change the Face of Fashion

With so many inclusive brands and initiatives, it is easy to forget that there still exist designer brands that measure beauty in waistline inches. Victoria’s Secret is one such dinosaur that has refused to change and adapt to the new reality for years. That’s why we couldn’t ignore the shocking news about the cancellation of the iconic fashion show. Let’s consider why the company’s management had a change of heart, and what it means for us, fashionistas and lovers of beautiful lingerie.

The Curious Case of Victoria’s Secret Cancelled Fashion Show

For the first time since 1995, there will be no Victoria’s Secret fashion show in 2019. The angels will have to forget about their wings while the company deals with a slew of criticism and reputational hits and tries to reinvent itself. L Brands, the parent company, gave the lingerie brand a deadline of three months. VS must reconsider its image and develop a new marketing strategy, all the while separating its other branches from the struggling Victoria’s Secret name.

For a while, the fashion shows starring conventionally beautiful tall and slim models kept the audience’s attention and attracted millions of viewers. However, as our understanding of beauty broadened to include all body types, Victoria’s Secret stayed the course. Catering to a particular niche of straight men enjoying the show, the company lost track of its primary customer base. Making women feel bad just because their bodies did not fit the brand’s idea of a perfect body, cost VS thousands of paying customers.

Ed Razek, the former president of Victoria’s Secret, added fuel to the flames with his insensitive comments in 2018 and had to leave his post soon after. With so many blunders, it is a wonder Victoria’s Secret stayed afloat for as long as it did. It seems the company has finally run out of goodwill with its investors and is now facing a critical choice. Senior management will either have to reconsider the branding and marketing approach or lose support and funding. No bank loan will save Victoria’s Secret if most investors pull their capital out and leave the company to fend for itself.

Let’s hope VS will redirect the funds usually reserved for the fashion show towards better choices. Broadening their range of products and models to reflect the variety of real body types can be the first step in the right direction.

What It Means for Us

Fashion is no longer a purely a world of art or business. Instead, it has become a part of our everyday lives, making it susceptible to the latest trends and cultural shifts. Three decades ago, no one would have batted an eye at the lack of diversity on the fashion show stage. However, fashion brands can no longer ignore the requirements our society puts forth.

When fashion houses ignore the consumer uproar, they cut the branch they are sitting on. If customers are unhappy, the demand dwindles, and the revenue drops. As a result, designer brands lose money, and their investors become nervous. Without a timely fundraising round or a business loan, the companies can go out of business and be forgotten in a blink of an eye.

As fashionistas, we now have a chance and a responsibility to influence our favorite brands to shift towards sustainable practices and materials, inclusivity, and diversity. However, we also risk destroying the aspects of the fashion business we love so much. We should not dictate designers’ choices to avoid uniformity. Let fashion be a shrine to beauty in all its forms.