All the Drama Surrounding This Year\’s Victoria\’s Secret Fashion Show Spectacle in Shanghai

Believe it or not, it looks like there’s much more bigger drama surrounding this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show than Kendall Jenner not being able to walk the runway. For starters, Gigi Hadid tweeted today that she would also be unable to walk the show: “Love my VS family, and will be with all my girls in spirit.”

Though the brand announced that it would be shifting its spectacle to Shanghai all the way back in March, just two weeks before the show is set to be filmed, that decision turns out to have been much more complicated than expected—much, much more complicated even than figuring out what to wear to the show’s notoriously difficult castings.

Victoria’s Secret is no stranger to China—the mainland is home to 26 of its stores, and a handful more can be found in Hong Kong—but it doesn’t seem like it’ll be “taking over” its biggest city, as Alessandra Ambrosio promised it would when she and fellow Angels Josephine Skriver, Sui He, and Ming Xi headed to the opening of the brand’s Shanghai flagship store earlier this year. So far four Ukrainian and Russian models have reportedly been denied visas to the country, including Weronika Mamot, meaning they won’t be able to walk its glittery runway or even show off their jetsetter beauty after all.

As the show date approaches, that drama now seems to be stretching over to the rest of the production, too: Late on Wednesday night, Page Six published a report suggesting that the show was “turning into an international media crisis.” Apparently, models aren’t the only ones being denied visas: fashion bloggers are also now canceling their trips, while producers in charge of covering the show are “on the verge of nervous breakdowns” over the restrictions on shooting inside and out of the city’s Mercedes-Benz Arena.

“These TV companies are spending a fortune on it, and they don’t even know what they can shoot when they get there,” an anonymous source told Page Six. (Victoria’s Secret, for its part, has kept mum about the drama, though that could also be because its staff is reportedly having trouble sending out press releases, as they first have to be approved by government officials.)

All in all, it sounds like things are shaping up to be just as dramatic as last year’s show in Paris, which was unfortunately preceded by Kim Kardashian’s robbery, causing the brand to amp up its security by stating it would be doing background checks on all of its personnel, and ultimately requesting social security numbers from journalists. Hopefully, the brand will take a page out of Bella Hadid’s book and get sweet revenge on last year’s drama by sorting things out within the next two weeks.

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