The marketing brass at L Brands are probably starting to regret their decision to hold this year’s Victoria’s Secret fashion show - expected to have the largest audience in the show's history - in Shanghai.
As the New York Post reports, the fashion show, which takes place in two weeks and will feature Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Karlie Kloss, among other internationally recognized supermodels, is transforming into an international diplomatic crisis.
Chinese government officials are refusing to work with the show’s producers and grant the necessary expedited visas so fashion bloggers and other media types who’re supposed to cover the show, according to the New York Post.
Bureaucrats have also stubbornly resisted other seemingly routine requests, like approving shooting locations for the TV crew.
We’re told fashion bloggers booked to cover the glitzy event are canceling their trips because the Chinese government won’t give them visas; TV producers are grappling with bureaucrats over permission to shoot outside the Mercedes-Benz Arena, where it’s being held (“If you’re going to China, you want to show that you are in China!” fumed an insider); and Victoria’s Secret staffers in China can’t send out press releases because they have to be approved by government officials.
“It’s just a nightmare for all the media trying to cover [the show],” said a jet-setting insider. “These TV companies are spending a fortune on it, and they don’t even know what they can shoot when they get there."
We’re told that producers charged with coordinating the coverage for various outlets are “on the verge of nervous breakdowns."
The show, which will be broadcast on CBS, has mostly been held in the US since 2001, but the popular purveyor of ladies’ undergarments has had a run of bad luck in the past few years since trying to host the show overseas, the Post reports. Last year’s show (which was held in Paris) was also plagued with production issues caused by a terror attack and Kim Kardashian’s high-profile robbery.
For that event, every journalist covering the event had to submit to background checks and provide government ID, and security was so tight that cars dropping off VIP guests were only allowed to stop momentarily outside the venue, so celebrities had to circle the block before being dropped off.
This year, they’d be lucky to get a visa.