In March 2002, US federal regulators ruled that a racy Victoria's
Secret fashion special that featured supermodels strutting around in underwear
did not violate indecency regulations. Charles W. Kelley, head of the FCC's
investigations and hearings division concluded "Based on the information you and
others provided to us, you have not demonstrated that the sexual aspect of the
material was, in context, so graphic or explicit as to be patently offensive."
Undaunted by their detractors, the next installment of the Victoria's Secret
Fashion Show aired on November 19, 2003 on the CBS Network. The annual program
opened with Sting singing his single "Englishman In New York" as Heidi Klum
descended from the ceiling with outstretched Angel's wings.
Victoria's Secret Angels modeled the world's sexiest lingerie as a tribute to
the bright lights of Broadway in an extravaganza entitled "The Victoria Secret
Taped the previous week at the Lexington Avenue Armory in New
York, the event featured a Cirque-du-Soleil-style winged acrobat who descended
on wires to open and close the show and then disappeared into a column of fire.
Runway models like Adriana Lima, Naomi Campbell and Eva Herzigova along
with Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum and Delish Karolina sported Victoria’s Secret
trademark angel wings (some resembling bird or insect appendages).
5-foot-11-inch, Czech beauty Delish Karolina admitted to Entertainment Tonight,
"I had little spiky wings [last year] dangerous wings...This year they gave me
little, sweetie, angel wings. They're very comfortable. When you walk it's a
little heavy, but we have to suffer a little bit for beauty, don't you think?
For such beautiful wings, I don't mind to suffer!"
To entice viewers, CBS
conducted a sweepstakes that offered winners a trip to New York to watch Gisele Bundchen and Tyra Banks -- on stage and backstage.
"The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" returned to CBS on Tuesday December 06,
2005. Tyra Banks made her last walk down the runway as she retired from modeling
to pursue a career in TV as the host of the daily talk show "American Next Top
The Victoria Secret Angels also appeared on the runway at MTV's show HOUSE OF
STYLE hosted by Rebecca Romijn. As Rebecca revealed in an June, 1998 interview
for Maxim "I got Heidi Klum to pretend she was picking her nose. I got Tricia
Helfer to poke herself in the bellybutton. And Tyra Banks promised she was going
to slap her ass for me. But she's one of the Victoria's Secret angels, and so
she was wearing these enormous, eight-foot wide wings. Then she went the wrong
way accidentally and these big, stupid, clumsy wings were hitting everybody in
the face, and anyway...she forgot to slap her butt. But I forgive her."
The popularity of the Victoria's Secret Angels theme inspired "Dream Angels," a
Victoria's Secret product line for cosmetics, perfume, lotions that featured
images of pure and innocent female angels naked but for their white feathered
wings. The bottom of the ad states, "Scent from above. A celestial blend of soft
florals and earthy warmth creates sheer heaven on earth for the wearer. Your
skin will be fabulously fragrant and blissfully cared for. Choose from among the
full Dream Angels heavenly Collection."
TRIVIA NOTE: Victoria's Secret is part of The Limited, Inc. that includes The
White Barn Candle Company, New York & Company, and Express. In 1982, Les Wexner,
chairman of The Limited, Inc., was in San Francisco when he noticed a small
lingerie shop that reminded him of a European boutique. He acquired the store
that same year, but it wasn't until 1993 that Victoria's Secret ventured into
In February 2002, Wendy Burden, executive vice president
of operations and administration, spoke at Syracuse University. During a
question-and-answer session she revealed just who Victoria really is. "She's not
a person or an embodiment, but an aspirational client envisioned for the
brand...She's in her late 20s, has lived in Europe, has a job, and is very
fashionable. She's a woman, not a girl, and is somewhat worldly and interested
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