PUSH-UP bras, feathered angel wings and a six-figure payday — this is the lucrative world of Victoria’s Secret.
“Angels” including Adriana Lima, Lily Aldridge, Behati Prinsloo, Stella Maxwell and Candice Swanepoel, along with Gigi and Bella Hadid, Australians Kelly Gale and Victoria Lee, and New Zealand’s Georgia Fowler, are preparing for next week’s lingerie runway, to be staged in Shanghai.
Walking in a Victoria’s Secret show is big business for models, with their contracts said to be worth “six figures” and their collective value estimated at more than $50 million, according to Forbes.
Brazilian model Lais Ribeiro — who has walked for VS six times — will wear the 18 karat gold “Champagne Nights Fantasy Bra”, worth $2 million.
“I’ve never cried so much in my entire life — and I have a baby,” Ribeiro told People magazine, of the honour.
The bra is cut-price compared to last year’s garment, sported by Jasmine Tookes, which was valued at $3 million.
“Handset with diamonds, yellow sapphires and blue topaz in 18 karat gold, the jewels are set into a Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Demi bra,” the brand said in a statement about the pricey brassiere.
Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing has collaborated with Victoria’s Secret on some designs for the show, including a set of 70s-inspired wings reportedly constructed out of safety pins, expected to be worn by Jasmine Tookes.
But this year’s show is not without drama.
Four Victoria’s Secret models were reportedly denied visas to China: Russians Julia Belyakova, Kate Grigorieva and Irina Sharipova, and Dasha Khlystun from Ukraine, according to Harper’s Bazaar).
Kendall Jenner won’t walk in the show — to be filmed next week ahead of a November 28 air-date — due to her endorsement deal with rival lingerie brand, La Perla.
Karlie Kloss, who has been absent from the runway the past few seasons, will return to the Victoria’s Secret runway.
While the brand has not yet confirmed who will perform, it’s expected Harry Styles, Katy Perry (who previously played at the 2010 show) and Miguel are on the short-list.
“Merging fashion, fantasy and entertainment, the lingerie runway show will include pink carpet interviews, model profiles, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show and musical performances that will be announced at a later date,” a rep for Victoria’s Secret said in a statement.
If so, Styles would come face-to-face with his ex-girlfriend, Fowler, among a string of models he has been linked to.
The American lingerie giant practically made the careers (and bank balances) of Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen and Miranda Kerr, among others.
Forbes credited Taylor Hill’s six-figure Victoria’s Secret income for catapulting her earnings to $4 million, making her No. 17 on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paying models last year.
Every model featured on Forbes’ top 10 — Bundchen, Lima, Jenner, Miranda Kerr, Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Cara Delevingne, Candice Swanepoel and Liu Wen — have all modelled for Victoria’s Secret.
Their earnings — and Insta-followings — are in the millions.
So what does this mega-publicity catwalk machine mean for sales of Victoria’s Secret’s bras and knickers?
Well, Victoria’s Secret was forced to cut “certain merchandise categories”, slash 200 jobs and discount retail prices (during periods like Cyber Monday) amid reports of financial difficulties.
It discontinued the VS swim line, which was worth about $500 million to the business, to focus on growing Victoria’s Secret sportswear and a collection of “unstructured bralettes”, according to business site CNBC.
Overall sales for the VS’s parent company, L Brands, were down by 5 per cent in April, according to CNBC.
VICTORIA’S $ECRET PAYDAY
These Victoria’s Secret models are strutting all the way to the bank. Here’s how much they are reportedly worth:
* Gisele Bündchen: $386 million
* Heidi Klum: $70 million
* Adriana Lima: $65 million
* Miranda Kerr: $38 million
* Kendall Jenner: $18 million
* Lily Aldridge: $15 million
* Gigi Hadid: $13 million
* Jasmine Tookes: $5 million
* Behati Prinsloo: $3 million
* Bella Hadid: $1 million