It’s one of the most anticipated events in the fashion calendar, and this year the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show held in Shanghai, China, managed to set the bar even higher in terms of designs, performers, and diversity in its models.
While last year only 30% of the models strutting the runway were people of colour, almost half of the models on the 2017 catwalk had an ethnically diverse background.
Maria Borges, from Luanda, Angola, just off the west coast of Southern Africa. proudly wore her natural curly hair for the third time on the VS runway.
“It makes me proud and happy. This is it,” she told People when reflecting on the cultural diversity amongst the Victoria’s Secret model line-up this year.
“We all come from a different race and share different cultures but we need to learn [about ] each other… Diversity is important.”
Meanwhile French Model Cindy Bruna, whose father is Italian and mother is Congolese, said the luxury lingerie brand made history this year with its increased diversity.
“”Everyone wants to feel represented on the runway,” she told Popsugar.
“This year, Victoria’s Secret is definitely one for history, because everyone has someone on the runway who they can say, ‘She’s from my country,’ or ‘She looks like me.’ It means a lot to young girls watching the show.”
Victoria’s Secret show first-timer Aiden Curtiss was proud to wear her natural tight curls, instead of sporting the loose waves typical of most VS models.
She also acknowledged the brand’s effort to redefine beauty, and steer it away from the classically prescribed perceptions of what a woman should look like.
“I really appreciate that Victoria’s Secret, one of the biggest brands that defines beauty in culture in general, is taking the steps to show people that beauty isn’t just the obvious blonde hair and blue eyes,” she told People.
“Yes, you can be beautiful if you have blonde hair and blue eyes, but you can also be beautiful if you’re from Africa or Asia. It’s amazing.”
The Victoria’s Secret Runway Show will air on TV next week, but in the meantime, check out more of these stunning snaps.