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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Weekend
Victoria’s Secret charms China with fashion gala
    2017-November-24  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

THE star-studded, super-hyped Victoria’s Secret lingerie show hit the catwalk in Shanghai on Monday, the first time the U.S. brand has held its self-described “sexiest show on earth” outside the United States or Europe.

The biggest viral story from the annual show was the runway tumble — and graceful smiling recovery — of Chinese model Xi Mengyao, also known as Ming Xi.

Xi’s fall was just the latest of many bumps in the road for the show.

The eyebrow-raising ticket also made a splash on social media before the show. Victoria’s Secret said on its official Weibo account that the show was invitation-only and there was no way to buy tickets. But in September, a Chinese fashion website said it could provide access to tickets. Each ticket would cost 168,000 yuan (US$25,300). And a listing on Taobao, China’s leading e-commerce website, was selling a ticket at a whooping 300,000 yuan.

The stumbles continued Monday night at Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz arena, whose exterior was bathed in garish pink. A system breakdown slowed the entry of the thousands of invited guests, delaying the show’s start, and the Chinese crowd largely resisted entreaties to show much enthusiasm.

But in China the show, which airs Nov. 28, made its greatest splash long before its models took to the runway Monday: A televised reality competition similar to the “America’s Next Top Model” franchise selected the eighth Chinese model to walk in the show. “Road to the Runway” was hosted by Xi — already a successful model and Victoria’s Secret veteran — and was streamed on Tencent Video and IQiyi.

It whittled down a group of 30 long-legged, dewy-faced young Chinese women, many with years of modeling experience under their belt, to one winner.

The final episode of the show was a cliffhanger, with two finalists—20-year-old One (Wan Yi) and 20-year-old Cristian (Chu Yitian). Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Edward Razek told viewers they’d have to watch the actual runway show Nov. 28 to find out who the winner was. Of course, expecting people to wait is naïve in the age of social media: The cherubic-faced One revealed herself to be the winner through selfie videos she took while sitting backstage in hair-and-makeup at the show.

Victoria’s Secret eventually deigned to bestow its blessings upon eight Chinese women — Ming Xi, He Sui, Liu Wen, Ju Xiaowen, Xie Xin, Pei Shu, Estelle Chen (who is Chinese French), and the reality show winner Wan Yi. This is a first, and has been heralded as a move toward diversity by the media.

Even so, not a single one — not even 28-year-old Xi, who has walked five shows for the brand — has been anointed an “Angel,” a coveted contract that, in return for steadier work and more commitments, has helped models like Tyra Banks, Adriana Lima, and Karlie Kloss become household names.

Victoria’s Secret is a latecomer to the lucrative lingerie market in China: Italian luxury label La Perla opened up shop on the mainland in 2006 and British luxury brand Agent Provocateur entered the market in 2013, while Victoria’s Secret, a mid-market brand, didn’t open a flagship until the end of 2016.

The company has plenty to gain from a higher profile in China. Its yearly runway extravaganza, complete with pop stars, paparazzi, and herds of influencers and street photographers, is the most-watched international fashion event of the year, but last year, the show filmed in the Grand Palais of Paris, France, drew in a middling 6.65 million viewers — less than the population of China’s 19th largest city. This year, with “Road to the Runway” building expectations, Victoria’s Secret is banking on higher numbers. (SD-Agencies)

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Shenzhen Daily E-mail:szdaily@szszd.com.cn