Behind every Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is a team of creatives designing a dizzying array of looks for the catwalk. Some, like costumers Jeff Fender, Todd Thomas and Marian Hose, are regular collaborators whose elaborate creations have come to define the look and feel of the show.
Each year, the lingerie brand enlists new designers to offer their take on the Victoria’s Secret look. Sky-high heels are one of the most important items in a VS model’s arsenal, and over the years the likes of Giuseppe Zanotti and Brian Atwood have created bespoke footwear for the show. But these collaborations are not just with established names: the Pink segment of the show is often used as a space for new and offbeat designers, giving the show just a bit of edge. Here, we look back at five of the lingerie brand’s most successful designer link-ups to date.
Lindsay Degan (2013)
A Brooklyn-based knitwear designer might not sound like a shoo-in for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, but the lingerie brand’s 2013 collaboration with Lindsay Degan is one of the most memorable. The artist-turned-designer’s offbeat and fun approach turned out to be a natural fit, and the wild acid bright knitwear that Degan created for the show’s Pink section managed to look good on the catwalk and stayed true to the designer’s inimitable aesthetic. “It changed how the industry viewed my brand,” Degan tells Vogue. “Before the show my line was more of a small art practice – the show added credibility.”
Zana Bayne (2013)
The self-taught leather-worker had already made a name for herself dressing celebrities including Madonna and Lady Gaga by the time Victoria’s Secret came knocking. Bayne, who describes her luxury leather accessories as “post-fetish”, added some oh-la-la to the Parisian Nights segment with a custom version of her collar harness.
Nicholas Kirkwood and Sophia Webster (2014)
Victoria’s Secret enlisted two of Britain’s top footwear designers for the London show, and the Cordwainers alumni did not disappoint. Kirkwood and Webster took their individual signature silhouettes and turned the volume right up. Kirkwood created gold Swarovski-encrusted caged sandals and matching hand-embroidered knee-high boots, while Webster brought her bold and graphic style to the show with zig-zag cutouts and butterfly wing cutwork. The results were distinctive, whimsical and daring.
Nasir Mazhar (2014)
Another local designer recruited to work on the 2014 London show, Nasir Mazhar brought his raw energy and East End homeboy aesthetic to the catwalk for the University of Pink segment, which focused on a casual athleisure style. Translated to the Victoria’s Secret catwalk, this meant logo-heavy cropped nylon puffers, sporty crop tops, pink towelling tracksuits and a dose of London cool.
Brian Atwood (2016)
The designer has teamed with Victoria’s Secret for the past two consecutive years, bringing his own brand of extravagant showstoppers to the catwalk. One of Atwood’s most memorable creations for the VS squad is surely the laced boots worn by Gigi Hadid and Alessandra Ambrosio for the Dark Angel segment in the 2016 show. More lace than boot, they made a strong and sophisticated statement.
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