Guest Post: Diversity on the Victoria's Secret Runway 2017 by Hilda Josephine

Hello Runway, today's guest post is from my dear friend Hilda. Hilda is a supermodel fanatic; it was a pleasure to have her write about this year's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Hope you enjoy her wit as much as I do. As always, there is more Backstage.  xo Reginah

It is no secret that the fashion industry lately is making strides towards having a more diverse group of girls walk in their shows. Well friends, Victoria’s Secret wanted in on the melanin magic. Out of the 55 girls who walked their show in Shanghai this year, almost half of them were women of color with a total of 17 Melanin sisters. Now I know what you’re thinking; 17? Just that? Well, we’ve all lived in the era where they had about 2 known black models from this franchise; Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell, so seeing that 17 sisters get to strut their long legs in this expensive lingerie is quite an accomplishment for Victoria’s Secret.

This year, VS collaborated with Balmain’s  Olivier Rousteing. brought his “outside the box” creativity to the VS Runway and he for sure didn’t disappoint. He even had wings completely made out of safety pins for the runway. And for the shoppers, DO NOT worry as his collection will be sold in VS stores and online after the show airs.

While we were missing seasoned veterans such as Joan Smalls in this year’s fashion show, VS made up for it by casting more black models. Newbies like Amilna Estevao, Alecia Morais, Samile Bermannelli, Aiden Curtis and Grace Bol joined Returns like Dilone, Leila Nda, Lameka Fox, Jourdana Phillips, Leomie Anderson, Herieth Paul, Alanna Arrington, Zuri Tibby, Cindy Bruna, Maria Borges as well as VS Angels Jasmine Tookes and Lais Ribeiro. The cherry on top of the cake was that they not only let most of these girls rock their natural hair on the runway but they also hired hair stylists who knew how to handle natural hair. I must give credit to Maria Borges who during her initial years of walking in this show, wore a weave but opened the doors for black girls in 2015 when she chose to walk the runway with just her afro hair. This year most, if not all the girls had their afros flourishing and my sister Grace Bol was even bald. Talk about milestones!

Even the famous $2 million fantasy bra was won by a model of color, two years in a row. We had Jasmine Tookes take this honor last year and the beautiful Lais Ribeiro deservedly taking over this year in her champagne nights fantasy bra!

I know this is the first of many diversified shows we’ll see from VS and I can’t wait for them to announce the new angels next year because I have a feeling we shall see more color like we did on the runway this year. Until then, enjoy these “melanin-ized” photos from this year’s VS Fashion show. Tune into CBS this Tuesday 11/28/17 at 10/9c to watch the most diversified Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show!


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