Fantasy Bras worth millions of dollars! Supermodels wearing 30 pound wings! Pop stars making choreographed cameos! A televised broadcast that reaches 10 million! Today’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is one of the biggest entertainment events of all time.
But it wasn’t always that way. The first annual show—which was held at New York’s Plaza Hotel in 1995—was a relatively low-key affair meant to promote the brand’s Valentine’s Day offering. Sure, there were supermodels (among them: Stephanie Seymour, Beverly Peele, Rebecca Romijn, and Veronica Webb), but they literally just walked down the runway wearing bras and panties. There were no feathered costumes, no bejeweled headdresses, and no live musical performances.
By 1999, Victoria’s Secret was broadcasting the show on the Internet to an audience of 2 million, a $10 million “Millenium Bra” was being modeled by Heidi Klum, and Angel wings were definitely a thing. The rest, as they say, is history, but first, here’s a look at some of moments from the early years.
Can’t you just picture the producer being all, “This is the nude look, everyone. Let’s keep it really fresh. Nude!” That’s why the model is wearing flesh-colored stockings, neutral pumps, and carrying a tan-colored bag.
Apparently, satin was a big deal in the mid ’90s.
You know what else was a big deal? Carrying a handbag whilst wearing nothing but your skivvies.
That scene with Regina George in Mean Girls must have been inspired by this outfit.
The name of this look, by the way, is “Scuba Diving Femme Fatale.”