Vermeer no longer “shows” long legs and peach hips.
On July 30, Australian model Shanina Shaik revealed in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that Victoria’s Secret Underwear Show (hereinafter referred to as the “Vimi Show”) would not be held this year. “I can’t get used to it yet, because I have to train like an angel at this time of year.” “unfortunately, the vimi show will not be held again this year.”
Although there is no official hammer yet, Leslie Wechs, CEO of L Brands, Vermeer’s parent company, said as early as May this year: “We have decided to reconsider Victoria’s secret traditional fashion show. In the future, we are considering developing’ new activities’ to revive the brand. “As soon as the news came out, some people in the industry predicted that this year’s Vimi show would be canceled. Later, Vimi announced that it would stop broadcasting big shows on TV networks from 2019.
Since its birth in 1995, the “Vimi Show” has been occupying various high-quality resources and creating viewing miracles as a visual feast. It is believed that otaku will not forget their long legs, which are full of screens, and that the Vimi Angels have reached their career peak through big shows.
Now, the “Vimi Show” may have to say goodbye. After 24 years of selling sexy business, we should reconsider our way, logic and orientation.
Long legs peach hips, aesthetic fatigue
When Victoria’s secret is mentioned, the first word that comes to mind is “sexy”. As a phenomenal program with television as its main mode of transmission, the important criterion for success or failure is audience rating.
In 1999, the “Vimi Show” was scheduled for the halftime of the US Super Bowl. According to statistics, 1.5 million people flocked to the Internet at that time to watch the presence of the Vimi Angels. As a result, the disaster of live webcast was triggered and the live broadcast of the Super Bowl was greatly affected. In 2010 and 2011, the “Vimi Show” broke through the 10 million viewing mark and ushered in its own viewing peak.
However, the good times are not long, and the “Vimi Show” also needs to face the “middle-aged crisis”. In 2015, the audience rating of the Vimi show plummeted by 30% and the number of viewers plunged to 6.59 million. In 2016, the audience rating for viewers aged 18 to 49 who watched the Vimi show was only 2.1. In 2017, the total number of viewers for the Vimi Shanghai show dropped below 5 million. This figure will reach a new low in 2018, with a total audience of only 3.27 million.
Corresponding to the decline in TV viewing is the rising cost of big shows, which is the fashion industry’s annual highlight. The “Vimi Show” not only invited dozens of top supermodels in the world, but also many popular singers to join the show. In addition to the sky-high underwear inlaid with gold and diamonds, almost every part of the show revealed the signal of burning funds.
According to AI Financial News, the cost of the 2016 Vimi show will be about 15 million US dollars, including the entrance fee for models, the expenditure on costumes and props, the exposure cost of media online, and Fantasy Bra, the most popular figure of the year. In 2016, this glittering underwear was designed by jewelry designer Eddie Borgo and is worth 3 million US dollars. In 2017, the cost of Vimi Show reached a record high of 130 million US dollars.
However, Vermeer’s hard work in burning money did not add fuel to the “sexy economy”, but rather slowed down the performance of parent company L Brands.
Vermeer’s predicament is also reflected in the financial situation of its parent company, L Brands. In November 2018, L Brands released its third quarter revenue data-operating profit of 54.4 million us dollars, down more than 70% from the same period last year, with a net loss of 42.8 million us dollars.
Once, Victoria’s secret won the hearts of many female customers with her fashionable and sexy design style, and was once praised as “Hermè s in Underwear”. Statistics show that Vermeer had a market share of over 30% at its peak and could sell 600 underwear per minute. Stuart Burgdoerfer, chief financial officer of L Brands, Vermeer’s parent company, said that in 2019 they plan to close 53 stores in North America, including 50 US stores and 3 Canadian stores.
The sexy kernel becomes different
In recent years, gender equality and the rise of women’s power have become a trend. Many voices have begun to resent Vimi’s “sexy” marketing, believing that it is a deliberate attempt by women to cater to men’s aesthetics. It is not only a figure like Vimi’s angels that women should pursue “perfection”. Women have the right to redefine their favorite “sexy”. The original intention of Vimi Show is to arouse the interest of male customers.
Aerie, Vimi’s competitor and the underwear brand owned by American Eagle, smelled different “sexiness” earlier than Vimi. Different from the “perfect figure” advocated by Vimi all along, Aerie, which focuses on natural style, advocates “natural figure”. In many ways, Aerie is like the opposite of Vimi. Since 2014, Aerie has taken “real clients” as models, and they can show their beauty regardless of their stature, race and age. In addition, Aerie also announced farewell to PS and no more pictures will be edited for the advertisement.
Aerie has even boldly used models with “defects” in their bodies. Some of them have scars and some have stretch marks, but they can also embrace their unique and true selves. Such “three views” and true and considerate marketing methods are undoubtedly more sought after by women than Vimi. After all, in real life, not every woman has the figure of an angel.
Although women admire the figure of angels, they may prefer a comfortable underwear when they really buy underwear everyday. Aerie brand designer Greer Simpkins said, “Many women just want to buy basic underwear that they can wear every day, and these basic underwear can make them look a little more beautiful and feel a little better, which is enough.”
Although Aerie still lags far behind Vermeer in terms of revenue and number of stores, Aerie is growing rapidly. In 2017, Aerie’s same-store sales increased 27%.
Although Vimi is still a symbol of the underwear industry, it is no longer a direction to follow or even a “bad example” for its current and potential competitors.
In addition to Aerie, in recent years, more and more underwear start-ups have branded themselves as “anti-Vimi” brands, including Thirdlove, Lively, MeUndies and TomboyX. These brands all emphasize the empowerment of women, provide inclusive size choices, and focus on the comfort of underwear rather than the sexual attraction to men. Lively’s advertisement is: Your day starts at 6 a.m. as if you have time to spend on uncomfortable underwear.
After 90s, they bought half of underwear without steel rings.
From pleasing men’s sex appeal to highlighting one’s own reality, we can see similar changes in the Chinese market. In 2018, in the online sales of Tmall bra categories, non-steel ring underwear has accounted for 60% of the total, and has maintained a high growth rate with great market potential.
In March this year, the “underwear industry trend research” released by the first financial and commercial data center (CBNData) showed that post-90s women are the main consumer group of bra without rims, accounting for nearly 50%.
“Now Chinese women are becoming more and more confident, dare to live out their true self (figure), wear boldly, and don’t care too much about other people’s eyes. Therefore, functional underwear gathered and set off on Taobao and Tmall are no longer on sale.” In an interview with the media, Zhang Xiang, the founder of Ariel, once said that this generation of young people are no longer seeking to gather together. They are more confident, know the charm of small breasts and microemulsion, and do not care about any career line at all.
In April this year, NEIWAI inside and outside, the underwear brand endorsed by supermodel cuckoo, won 60 million yuan in B+ rounds of financing. the brand emphasizes comfort without steel rings and simple and natural design style, with sales reaching 150 million yuan in 2017.
Times are changing and people’s definition of sex appeal is also changing. Vimi, an old expert in selling sex appeal, needs to re-export a spiritual core to the market: what is new sex appeal?
According to data analysis by Technavio, a consultancy, the global underwear market will grow at an annual rate of 17% and will exceed 58 billion us dollars by 2020, while China’s underwear market can reach 33 billion us dollars. It is reported that European women spend about 500 euros per capita on underwear every year, while Chinese women only spend about 500 euros per capita on underwear every year in 200 yuan, with lower consumption in second-and third-tier cities.
The rapid growth of the underwear industry shows that Vimi still has enough room to revive. Vimi plans to introduce lifestyle products in the future, focusing on new products such as pajamas and sportswear to attract millennial consumers. At the same time, it will adjust the comfort level of core underwear and design products based on consumer data obtained by stores.
However, at a time when the concept of young consumers has undergone tremendous changes, Vimi still needs to make further improvements if she wants to fight for her own space in the highly competitive underwear market. Liu Judi, publisher of fashion media and author of FT China, once mentioned in an article commenting on Vimi, “What is sexy in our time? Who has the final say? Consumers will give their own answers to this question. “