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The first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show took place in 1995 at the Plaza Hotel in New York.
The models wore slinky slips and shiny bras.
By 1996, the fashion show had better lighting but was still focused on lingerie.
Baby dolls were extremely popular.
The show had started to become a bigger deal by 1998.
In addition to costumes, wings made their first appearance on the runway this year.
By 1999, the wings had become the show’s focal point.
The show had an ethereal feel.
The underwear was no longer the main focus.
It was just one element of the costumes.
And models like Tyra Banks started to own the runway.
Banks walked the runway in silver lingerie with a billowing cape behind her.
In 2000, the show was held at the Cannes Film Festival as a part of the Cinema Against AIDS 2000 gala. It raised $3.5 million.
Source: The Dallas Morning News
In 2001, the show moved to Bryant Park in New York City.
Model Molly Sims walked the runway with much larger angel wings — the trend had become iconic.
In 2002, the show moved to New York’s Lexington Avenue Armory. Gisele Bündchen was followed down the runway by protestors from PETA for wearing fur. She seemed unperturbed.
During these early years, the brand began to recognize a core group of models, including Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, and Gisele Bündchen. Here they are in 2003.
All were Victoria’s Secret Angels.
After a hiatus in 2004, the 2005 show debuted the biggest wings yet.
Musician Seal serenaded the models, including then-wife Heidi Klum.
The costumes were also becoming more elaborate than ever before.
Models have since walked the Victoria’s Secret runway wearing even wilder ensembles.
The 2005 Angels posed as a group, too. This was the final show for Tyra Banks who left to launch her television career.
Source: Associated Press
The following year, Victoria’s Secret’s playful sub-brand Pink made its runway debut at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.
And the 2006 show couldn’t pass by without even larger wings. This show was Gisele Bündchen’s final walk with Victoria’s Secret.
Source: New York Daily News
Heidi Klum walked down the runway looking like a huge snowflake in 2007.
Many of the wings models wear don’t look much like wings at all.
The 2008 show was at Fontainebleu Miami Beach in Florida.
The outfits were even more dramatic and vampy.
Heidi Klum carried this giant bow down the runway in 2008.
Pink bows are a recognizable part of the Victoria’s Secret brand.
In 2009, the show was back at the Lexington Avenue Armory.
The Pink models showed off their own brightly colored wings.
But they couldn’t beat 2010’s Victoria’s Secret Angel wings.
The looks models wore at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show became bigger and bolder over the years.
In fact, all the props were bigger in 2010.
In reality, the models had to do a lot of training before the show.
The 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was huge.
Kanye West performed, there was a superhero theme, and the runway was filled with sparkles.
But 2012 surpassed 2011 with an even bigger stage and setup.
Even Rihanna made an appearance.
There was also a new order of supermodels in 2012, including Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Candice Swanepoel, among others.
Angels had a special contract with Victoria’s Secret, which meant they had obligations to the brand that a runway model may not have had.
The shows became more elaborate over the years.
2013 was all about feathers.
Taylor Swift also performed in the 2013 show.
Swift performed alongside her model friend Karlie Kloss.
2014 had stage designs that effortlessly changed throughout the show.
The background to the runway became more creative over the years.
In this 2014 shot, it doesn’t even look like the same stage.
The gold background matched the theme of the show’s segment.
2014 also had the first dual fantasy bras. Lima and Ambrosio’s bras were valued at $2 million each.
The fantasy bra concept dates back to 1996, but this was the first year two models got to wear them.
In 2015, the show featured new fashion “it” girls like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner.
Gigi Hadid’s sister Bella also walked the runway.
In 2015, model Maria Borges wore her hair natural and close-cropped, which was a critically lauded move.
In 2016, there was more natural hair than ever before on the runway, according to the Victoria’s Secret show’s hairstylist.
Source: Refinery 29
The show was held in Paris, France.
Of the 51 women walking in the show, 18 of them were newbies.
In 2017, 56 models walked in the runway show, which was held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.
However, the show was plagued with problems before it even began. Then, during the show, model Ming Xi fell on the runway.
All drama aside, there were some stunning looks.
The brand collaborated with Balmain, which added an edgy vibe to the show.
There weren’t a whole lot of wings on the runway, though. Instead, many of the brand’s top models sported flowing, Grecian sleeves.
You can see all the looks here.
In some ways, the show marked the end of an era. Just before walking, longtime Angel Alessandra Ambrosio announced that it would be her last show.
All things considered, the show went well.
The 2018 show was held in New York City after two years abroad.
The same year, newcomer Kelsey Merritt made history as the first Filipino woman to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
The 22-year-old model shared an Instagram video of her emotional reaction to being cast in the show.
Winnie Harlow also made her debut in the 2018 fashion show.
Before walking in the show, the 24-year-old Canadian model told Vogue she wanted to promote body positivity on the runway.
“Representation is so important, and I want to [stand for] all women,” she told Vogue. “Every single woman.”
The brand partnered with designer Mary Katrantzou, who created edgy floral ensembles — like this one, which included a parachute for wings, worn by Gigi Hadid.
Hadid returned to the fashion show this year after missing it in 2017.
Like Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner returned to the runway after missing the 2017 show.
The 2018 show was Angel Adriana Lima’s last.
The veteran Victoria’s Secret model and longest-running Angel walked in her 20th and final show in 2018. The brand honored her by playing a “Thank You Adriana” video that compiled moments from her modeling career before she walked down the runway and bid a tearful goodbye to the show.
The 2019 fashion show was canceled due to a decline in viewership.
The Victoria’s Secret fashion show was canceled after being held annually for decades. In 2019, Leslie Wexner, the former CEO of the brand’s parent company, L Brands, confirmed in an email sent to employees that the runway show wouldn’t be broadcast on network TV, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
Viewership of the show dropped after Ed Razek, the former chief marketing officer of L Brands, said in a 2018 interview with Vogue that he didn’t believe the annual fashion show should feature “transsexuals” because “the show is a fantasy.”
Razek issued a formal apology, but less than a year later, Victoria’s Secret announced it was not moving forward with its annual event.
Victoria’s Secret announced in 2021 that it will bring back its annual fashion show without the Angels.
Victoria’s Secret CEO Martin Water told investors that the company was going to “get back into the fashion show business,” according to CNBC. However, a date has yet to be announced for the runway show.
“We’re not in a hurry to announce when that will be or how that will be … but we will redefine it in a way that’s culturally relevant in the coming years,” he said.
In June, Victoria’s Secret announced it was done using its Angels, and is partnering with a group of inspirational women, including Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Megan Rapinoe, who will be the new faces and voices of the brand.