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Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Flies from Fashion to Controversy

Victoria Secret’s chief marketing officer, Ed Razek revealed the truth behind the casting’s lack of inclusion.

Courtney Good

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The Victoria’s Secret angels fluttered their wings across the pink carpet at Pier 94 in New York City once again.

Some of fashion’s most familiar faces — Kendall Jenner, the Hadid’s, Winnie Harlow and Leomie Anderson — took the runway along with some first-timers. Victoria’s Secret took a step toward equality when they gave Kelsey Merritt her wings and made her the first ever Filipino VS Angel.

While some made first appearances, others made their last. Adriana Lima, 37, holds the record for longest running Angel and she gave up her wings after the show. Her last set of wings resembled a swan-like peacock. The pure white feathers blasted in a controlled firework out of her shoulder blades and a gemed lace long sleeve shirt dazzled her torso with simple, but elegant white underwear to match.’

The outfit was an ode to her legacy as Victoria’s Secret claimed, “Our runway will never be the same without her.” Lima fought back tears as she flew down the runway and she took a bow of thanks to the camera in her final pose. She wrote on Instagram, “Dear Victoria, Thank you for showing me the world, sharing your secrets, and most importantly not just giving me the wings but teaching me to fly.”

Fashion critics cannot stop talking about designer Mary Katrantzou’s “Floral Fantasy” collection that blossomed in this year’s show. Gigi Hadid notably waltzed down the runway in a parachute of abstracts and pink florals with a lingerie jumpsuit to match.

One show-stopping look after another took the crowd’s breath away until this year’s Fantasy Bra took the cake. Elsa Hosk had the privilege of modeling the bra solely made of Swarovski diamonds worth $1 million. Each year the designers select the perfect model to bestow this honor. Past Fantasy models include legends such as Tyra Banks, Gisele Bündchen and Alessandra Ambrosio.

Every year, Victoria’s Secret asks top musicians to perform at the show. Harry Styles was a main attraction for last year’s show, and this year the program was booming with talent. Bebe Rexha, The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Kelsea Ballerini, Rita Ora, Shawn Mendes and The Struts performed alongside the angels.

While the show has been very popular and continues to reach millions of viewers, the casting crew has faced substantial backlash for the lack of diversity in the show. Sales have significantly dropped since 2016 as competitors such as Aerie began to celebrate diversity in their models.

Victoria Secret’s chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, revealed the truth behind the casting’s lack of inclusion. When asked why the team did not cast any plus-sized or transgender models, Razek said, “The show is a fantasy . . . We’re nobody’s third love. We’re their first love. And Victoria’s Secret has been a women’s first love from the beginning.” Razek later apologized on Twitter.

In the days following the show, Victoria’s Secret CEO of their lingerie division, Jan Singer, resigned.

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will officially go online and air on TV on Dec. 2 on the ABC network.

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I am a University of Kentucky rising senior English major and journalism minor from upstate New York. The adult world is approaching fast, and I plan to conquer it with a cup of coffee in my hand.

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