When Victoria’s Secret first came to China in 2015, the brand only stocked beauty items and accessories, notes Jing Daily. However, due to a growing demand among the Chinese for the mega lingerie brand, rumors are circulating in the fashion world that the 2017 Victoria’s Secret runway show will go down in the Shanghai Victoria’s Secret venue. Previously, the show has been performed in Paris and New York. But Victoria’s Secret skin-baring Angels haven’t always been celebrated by traditional Chinese culture. Could this be a turning point?
In the past, Victoria’s Secret has been accused of appropriating Chinese culture. Take for example the 2016 show where model Elsa Hosk draped herself with a giant dragon, and Kendall Jenner wore phoenix wings. According to Jing Daily, some Chinese consumers were not pleased with the pairing of such traditional Chinese dress with seductive underwear.
On the other hand, not everyone was disgruntled by the so-called Angels mixing lingerie and traditional Chinese dress. In the aforementioned Jing Daily article, the author noted that popular fashion blogger KOL Gogoboi, who attended the show in person, praised the Angels in a blog post on WeChat, China’s largest mobile messaging app, garnering 100,000 views. Gogoboi wites, “No joke, Elsa Hosk really carried a dragon on her back! She was the first one coming out to greet us for a good New Year ahead and wished us to have a great fortune.”
According to Yahoo! in the 2016 show, a record-setting four out of 54 models of Asian descent walked in the Victoria’s Secret runway show: Liu Wen, Xi Mengyao, Sui He, and Ju Xiaowen. All of these models have a huge global social media presence, and their inclusion could be a clue that the 2017 Victoria’s Secret show might very well be taking place in Shanghai.
Additionally, Mintel Group reports that Chinese consumers are spending $18 billion on lingerie, which explains Victoria’s Secret pulling out all the stops to establish itself as a brand that the Chinese desire. Of the Shanghai store construction, which is taking place in a venue that was formerly a Louis Vuitton boutique, Martin Waters, President of L Brands International (Victoria’s Secret’s parent company) says, “I think it will announce our arrival in China in a very significant way, and should be the beginning of an enormous business for us.”
And so, it seems Shanghai might be where Victoria’s Secrets Angels choose to descend next year. Let’s hope that the 2017 show will see even more Asian models walking in the coveted lingerie lineup.