In a cavernous studio in New York, Brazilian supermodel Lais Ribeiro is getting fitted for this 12 months’s Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bra. That is the best of all of the excessive honors relating to Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie world’s model of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Annually the brassiere’s design modifications, as does the Angel who dons it. The 27-year-old’s incarnation is a fragile 18 karat gold filigree creation, festooned with greater than 600 carats of outsized sapphires, diamonds and blue topaz, with an identical bejeweled belt. (“It was molded to my form,” Ribeiro mentioned. “It… doesn’t really feel heavy. I feel I must take it dwelling.”)
Artisans labored for 350 hours simply on the setting of the design and tonight, when Ribeiro takes the runway on the annual Victoria’s Secret Style Present in Shanghai, she will likely be joined by a bodyguard maintaining a watchful eye on the lingerie set, which is price a cool $2.64 million.
That may appear quite a bit for a pair of bra and knickers, however that price ticket is simply one of many many hundreds of thousands that comprise the annual present. Final 12 months’s spectacle in Paris featured 51 fashions – Kendall Jenner, Irina Shayk, Joan Smalls and the Hadid sisters – in 82 appears to be like and 43 pairs of wings and was a manufacturing 18 months within the making.
A crew was on the bottom within the French capital for 2 weeks organising, transporting tools in 45 vehicles with a full complement of armed safety, sniffer canine and bodyguards. The whole inside of the historic – and icy – Grand Palais was heated, with no expense spared. Every of the supermodels who walked within the present acquired a six-figure paycheck.
It was the costliest vogue present ever — estimated to price greater than $26.four million in accordance with the New York Occasions — greater than 100 instances what an odd (and nonetheless costly) vogue present would usually price.
However is the funding price it?
The present should go on
You is perhaps forgiven for pondering that the Victoria’s Secret present exists to promote underwear and in a approach, it does. The lingerie behemoth is a giant enterprise, promoting nearly $10 billion price of product each monetary 12 months. ($1.5 billion of that’s revenue.)
The model’s highest performing quarter is the fourth, which coincides with the airing of the present in November, in addition to seasonal gross sales and promotions together with Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas. And the savvy advertising and marketing choice to host the present in Shanghai is one designed to spice up gross sales within the Chinese language market, the place lingerie is price a reasonably cool $22.5 billion.
So sure, the style present sells knickers. However what it’s actually promoting – the explanation it spends $26.four million flying supermodels, stylists, safety guards and extra hairspray than the inexperienced room at Dawn to Shanghai – is a way of life. It’s promoting the dream of implausibly lengthy legs and toned abs for the low, low value of a pair of lingerie. Or one of many model’s scented physique mists. Or a lick of lipgloss.
“Whenever you need to cost up for a product it’s a must to promote extra than simply cotton underwear,” Bridget Weishaar, an attire analyst instructed Forbes. “What you’ve received to promote is that this gives you entry to a special life-style – it makes a fundamental product very horny and enjoyable.”
Making a living with cash
Sharon Turney, President and CEO of Victoria’s Secret, says the associated fee is all justified. “It’s not as a lot as you’d assume and it really pays for itself 5 instances over,” she instructed Forbes.
A part of that is the licensing cope with CBS in America and Channel 9 in Australia. Traditionally, CBS has paid greater than $1.three million for the rights to broadcast the present, which brings in a tv viewers of greater than 500 million viewers throughout 158 international locations world wide. A single 30-second advert in the course of the present’s broadcast can price greater than $264,000.
A ticket to the present will set you again on the very least $18,494 and that’s not even together with journey and lodging prices. That’s actually simply to get you within the door and get your bum on a second or third row seat. Entrance row is saved for company of honor, celebrities and the A-list companions of the Angels, together with Adam Levine, husband of Angel Behati Prinsloo.
Victoria’s Secret prices for company partnerships, too. In 2015, that meant that six manufacturers, together with Swarovski and Fujifilm, had paid as much as $33,000 for the prospect to flood the backstage space with their product and perhaps, simply perhaps an Angel selecting up that Polaroid digital camera and taking a snap with it.
Which is the purpose, in spite of everything. Eventually 12 months’s present the mixed Instagram followers tally of each mannequin who walked numbered 164 million individuals. That’s a whole lot of eyeballs on a whole lot of bras.