Victoria’s Secret holds first fashion show in Asia

Global Business

For global brands, looking to China has become a common strategy if they want to improve sales.Lingerie-maker Victoria’s Secret is no exception.

And this year, it has held its most glamorous event – its annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show – in the metropolitan city of Shanghai.

CGTN’s Yang Chengxi reports.

It’s one of the biggest nights in fashion. An estimated 800 million people round the world will be watching the 55 supermodels walk the runway with style.

“I feel really great since it’s like, the most famous and biggest country and continent of lingerie market,” Victoria’s Secret model Amilna Estevao said.

“I’m very much looking forward to the show. No other runway show can match Victoria’s Secret,” Victoria’s Secret model He Sui said.

It’s a night of diversity. It features a record number of seven Chinese models, including some new faces.

“So many nationalities. I’m really happy about that and especially since Shanghai…I think they’ve never been to China before. So it’s great that so many diverse models are walking, like, we have red hair, like, from Asian, from Angola. I have many friends who are doing the show with me so it’s cool,” Victoria’s Secret model Estelle Chen.

The brand decided to cast four musical performers including Jane Zhang, the first Chinese singer on the show’s stage. The models presented six major themes, from Nomadic Adventure, Goddesses, Winter’s tale, Porcelain Angels, Punk Angels to Millennial Nation. It’s a night of luxury. Brazilian model Lais Ribeiro was chosen to wears a $2 million Fantasy Bra laced with diamonds, sapphires and blue topaz in 18 karat gold.

“It was a surprise for me. So I cried a lot. It was a lot of emotions at the same time I was very proud of myself, very thankful,” Victoria’s Secret model Lais Ribeiro said.

It’s also a night of surprise. As the dramatic fall of Chinese model Xi Mengyao shock audiences, the night’s show has been one of the top trending topics on Chinese social media.

All of the glamor this evening have been a statement of the brand’s strategic ambition in entering the Chinese lingerie market. This market is expected to have a retail value of $25 billion this year, which is double that of the United States. It’s expected to grow to $33 billion by 2020. In February, Victoria’s Secret opened a flagship store in Shanghai.

“I think it’s a brand for young people. But I think it’s designs need some localization to fit the Chinese physique,” one Shanghai citizen said.

The show will be broadcast across several Chinese video websites on Nov 29. The huge publicity, analysts said, will help Victoria’s Secret cash in on the huge purchasing power of Chinese consumers.