- The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has been around for over two decades.
- The first show was held in 1995 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
- Since its inception, the VSFS has evolved into a huge televised event. Viewers can stream the show via Hulu with Live TV or YouTube TV subscriptions.
- The 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show airs Sunday, December 2, at 10 p.m. Eastern Time on ABC.
For over two decades, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has been an extravagant showcase for the popular lingerie and sleepwear brand. It has bolstered the careers of supermodels like Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum, and its runway is now a stomping ground for a new crop of in-demand models like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid.
It all started in 1995 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, but the show has only gained momentum since then. It was first televised nationwide in 2001, and last year almost 5 million people tuned in to watch.
Featuring diamonds, feathers, flowers, wings, and everything in between, check out the most iconic looks from every Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show since 1995.
1995: Beverly Peele stuns in a shiny one-piece at the inaugural Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
The inaugural Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was held August 1, 1995, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer at Victoria’s Secret parent company, Limited Brands, told ELLE, “We weren’t happy with the first show, but we woke up the next morning and it was worldwide news.” So, the brand opted to try again in 1996.
1996: Stephanie Seymour turns heads in a full-on bridal look, featuring a wedding veil and train.
Seymour’s poofy train and voluminous, totally ’90s veil made her bridal look the standout ensemble of the 1996 show. Tyra Banks also turned heads this year, debuting a neon green bra and silky, leopard robe in her first runway show for the brand.
1997: The VSFS starts flaunting more daring looks, like model Karen Mulder’s sheer and feathery cloak.
Also in 1997, Tyra Banks became the first woman of colour to model the Fantasy Bra, worth around $US3 million in diamonds.
1998: Tyra Banks premieres the now-signature wings.
After making their debut in 1998, wings have become a staple of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows. Tyra Banks donned the first-ever pair, inspired by the brand’s “Angel” collection.
1999: Gisele Bündchen makes her debut as a Victoria’s Secret Angel in a silky, bohemian nightgown.
The 1999 show had a bohemian, fairy like feel to it, and Bündchen’s debut look was the best example of the theme – effortlessly stunning. The fledgling model was just 19 years old at the time, and would go on to model for Victoria’s Secret until 2006.
Bündchen recently revealed that she hung up her angel wings because she began feeling uncomfortable wearing a bikini.
“For the first five years, I felt comfortable modelling in lingerie, but as time went on, I felt less and less at ease being photographed walking the runway wearing just a bikini or a thong,” she wrote in her memoir, “Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life.”
2000: A far cry from her first look, Bündchen wears the $US15 million Fantasy Bra.
Bündchen wore the priciest Fantasy Bra to date in 2000 – the “Red Hot Fantasy Bra” was worth about $US15 million. It included 1,300 gemstones, including 300 carats of Thai rubies.
According to Vogue, it’s still the priciest piece Victoria’s Secret has ever created. The look was featured in the 2000 catalogue, and though Bündchen did not walk down the runway in it, she was photographed wearing it backstage.
2001: During the first televised VS fashion show, model Alek Wek rocks a thong in the shape of an embellished heart.
Wek wore this thin, inventive thong and a red balconet bra in 2001, which was also the first year the Victoria’s Secret fashion show was held before Christmas. The change in scheduling was reflected in the theme, as many models donned festive, red ensembles like Wek’s. (Wek also wore Santa boots in another look that year.)
2002: Then-newbie Adriana Lima sports unforgettable orange wings.
Back in 2002, now-veteran Adriana Lima was a newbie, officially becoming an “Angel” in 2001. She sported these unbelievable orange wings in the 2002 show, matching the runway’s neon backdrop and setting the standard for the outlandish wings she would become known for in the future.
This year, Lima announced that the 2018 show would be her last for the brand, and shared a video on Instagram highlighting her favourite VSFS moments throughout the years.
2003: Naomi Campbell rocks black, chained wings and a flame bikini.
Campbell’s wings weren’t as big as some in the past, but the myriad of chains attached to them – accompanied by the black, flaming lingerie – made this edgy look the show’s standout number.
Victoria’s Secret wings seem to get more and more intricate as the years go on. According to INSIDER, the wings take “hundreds of hours of labour and meticulous work by designers” before they hit the runway.
2004: The show is cancelled, and the models instead embark on an “Angels Across America Tour.”
In an official statement, Victoria’s Secret said they cancelled their 2004 show in order to explore new types of brand promotion – but it has also been reported that they didn’t want to risk televising partial nudity after Janet Jackson’s wardrobe mishap at the Superbowl earlier that year.
Instead, the Victoria’s Secret Angels embarked on a nationwide tour, hitting cities like New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles to meet fans and promote the brand.
2005: Tyra Banks walks down the Victoria’s Secret runway for the last time, adorned with medals.
In 2005, Banks announced her official retirement from modelling, and catwalked down the Victoria’s Secret runway for the last time. She wore an outfit adorned with medals, and carried a “V” baton to signify the Victoria’s Secret brand.
After the show, she joked, “I’m so happy; I’m emotional. It’s the last time, and I don’t ever want to do another runway show again!”
2006: Karolina Kurkova wears the “Hearts on Fire Diamond Fantasy Bra” — a jewel-encrusted number.
2008: Heidi Klum trades in her wings for a giant sequined bow.
Klum became a literal Christmas gift in the 2008 show: her bright pink, sparkly back-bow represented the brand beginning to take more risks in the “wing” department.
Klum’s relationship with the brand spanned over a decade, and she was an “Angel” in 11 Fashion Shows before leaving to pursue a career in television.
2009: Selita Ebanks struts down the runway in futuristic, silver-and-gold spikes alongside the Black-Eyed Peas.
Selita Ebanks wore this spiky number and was careful not to harm any members of the Black-Eyed Peas, who performed in the 2009 show.
2010: Karolina Kurkova goes out with a bang, wearing gargantuan black wings made of real peacock feathers.
Karolina Kurkova made her final Victoria’s Secret runway appearance wearing leopard lingerie and massive black feathered wings, which were made with 10,000 of peacock feathers.
2011: Karlie Kloss makes a splash on her first VS runway wearing pink, wave-like wings.
Though the 2011 fashion show had many superhero influences and looks, supermodel Karlie Kloss made her Victoria’s Secret runway debut in a mermaid-y ensemble featuring delicate wings and a sequined bodysuit.
2012: Toni Garrn (and the other models) turn into blooming flowers.
In 2012, the VSFS had three themes, according to Vogue: circus, blooms, and Dangerous Liaisons. It featured 65 different looks and over 28 pairs of wings, too.
2013: Cara Delevingne dances down the runway in this black-and-yellow getup, and her moves go viral.
During the show’s finale, Delevingne danced down the runway in this now-iconic look, flailing her yellow-gloved arms and making bizarre faces.
2014: Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio make history in blue and red Fantasy Bras.
The two Brazilian models have been longtime colleagues and friends, and they have walked the Victoria’s Secret runway together more than once.
In 2014, they made history by unveiling not one, but two Fantasy Bras at once. The bras were said to have cost $US2 million each. Designed by Pascal Mouawad, the bras featured rubies, sapphires, and diamonds that extended to the models’ arms and torsos. According to E! Online, both sets contained “16,000 perfect gems” and took well over 1,000 hours to construct.
2015: Maria Borges becomes the first model to wear her natural hairstyle on the runway.
Borges wore stunningly colourful feathers in 2015, but this look became iconic for another reason: it marked the first time a model wore her natural hairstyle down the runway.
According to INSIDER, in a November 2018 Vogue interview, Victoria’s Secret executive Monica Mitro said: “That’s one thing we’ve been really proud of about the show; it’s not just women who are hangers carrying clothing. They have personalities, and we care about who they are and what they have to say.”
2016: Devon Windsor owns a massive rainbow wheel on her back.
Windsor swapped her wings in for this weaved, basket-like circle and bedazzled red body jewellery in 2016.
2017: The show is plagued with issues, but Bella Hadid still stuns in this ethereal blue number.
The 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show proved difficult, as many models were unable to get their visas in time for the show, which took place in Shanghai, China. Gigi Hadid announced last-minute that she would not be walking, and Kendall Jenner reportedly had a conflicting contract.
Nevertheless, the show went on, and Bella Hadid rocked two blue-themed looks, the second of which was this “Grecian goddess” gown. Hadid struck several poses in it, changing up her arm positions to show off the layered, flowy design.
She took to Instagram to express her thanks, writing, “It took so much for all of this to come together and truly as a team we pulled it together as a WHOLE. I am grateful. I am happy. I am humbled.”
2018: Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Bella Hadid will all return — and they’re sure to turn heads.
The 2018 show was taped in early November, but it will be televised on December 2, at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
Follow INSIDER’s coverage of the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show here.
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