Lizzo is questioning Victoria’s Secret after the iconic brand announced the return of its fashion show following a four-year hiatus.
The “Special” singer took to Twitter following the news to share her opinion and question whether or not the brand was only making the return because of the backlash they’ve received in the past for not featuring diverse and size-inclusive models on their runway.
“This is a win for inclusivity for inclusivity’s sake,” Lizzo, who has her own inclusive shapewear line, Yitty, tweeted alongside a recent campaign video from the brand. “But if brands start doing this only because they’ve received backlash then what happens when the ‘trends’ change again?”
“Do the CEOs of these companies value true inclusivity? Or do they just value money?” she added, wondering if VS’ push for a “new version” of their beloved show is more of a money grab or a true sign that the company has changed.
Lizzo’s tweet comes after VS’s chief financial officer Timothy Johnson announced during the company’s 2022 earnings call on Friday, that the fashion show will be making its return with a “new version.” Retail Dive was the first outlet to cover the update.
“We’re going to continue to lean into the marketing spend to invest in the business, both at top-of-funnel and also to support the new version of our fashion show, which is to come later this year,” Johnson said.
The brand’s return to the runway comes four years after the show was canceled in Nov. 2019 amid controversy surrounding the relationship between former brand CEO Les Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein and growing criticism of the brand’s lack of diversity and inclusion.
The company also faced backlash in Feb. 2020 after a report published by The New York Times accused the brand’s former officer Ed Razek of sexual harassment, bullying and creating a culture of misogyny.
Razek denied the allegations at the time, telling the outlet in an email that “the accusations in this reporting are categorically untrue, misconstrued or taken out of context,” adding, “I’ve been fortunate to work with countless, world-class models and gifted professionals and take great pride in the mutual respect we have for each other.”
The annual fashion show was first held in August 1995 and ran 23 more times in the years to follow — with the exception of 2004.
During its two-decade run, the show featured performances from the likes of The Weeknd, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Destiny’s Child, Usher, Justin Timberlake, and more — a practice that started when the brand began incorporating a performance element to the runway shows back in 2001.
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