The runway glitter has barely been swept up from its pre-Christmas fashion show, but Victoria’s Secret is returning to prime time with another polished TV special.
The first-ever Victoria’s Secret Swim Special, shot last month in Puerto Rico, will air on Feb. 26 on CBS at 10 p.m. It’s expected to feature eight supermodel Angels along with musical performances from Maroon 5 and latino star Juanes.
The event piggybacks on the release of the annual VS Swim catalogue. But it’s also a direct attempt by both CBS and L Brands to take on the multi-media Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, a cross-marketing juggernaut that commands increasing attention throughout February. The annual SI bikinifest will launch on Feb. 9, followed by a five-night “making-of” series on the Travel Channel beginning on Feb. 15.
For the Victoria’s Secret models, the slippery catwalk of the holiday fashion show might seem like a cakewalk compared to the Puerto Rico shoot. According to a company press release, the models “tackle jungle treks, underwater shoots and overcome personal fears” — including, we assume, lounging on razor-sharp coral and beach rocks, as in the photos below.
The swim special is produced by the same team who put together the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Because it’s not compiled from live event footage, however, it should be able to avoid the awkward cut-and-paste editing that marred so much of December’s show. And presumably no pop stars will get bonked by big wings in mid-song.
The swim show says it will provide “unique insights into [the] character” of models Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Behati Prinsloo, Alessandra Ambrosio, Elsa Hosk, Martha Hunt, Jasmine Tookes, Stella Maxwell, Joan Smalls and Jac Jagaciak.
Behati (above) is, of course, married to musical guest Adam Levine of Maroon 5, while Lily is hitched to Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill — who is performing at the SI Swimsuit Edition launch in Nashville a week earlier.
The 2014 VS Fashion Show was seen by about 9.3 million Americans during its initial broadcast in December, continuing a three-year trend of declining audience numbers. However, the TV ratings only begin to hint at the global reach of the program, which is widely available on numerous media platforms. VS marketing director Ed Razek said in December that the show was actually seen by 500 million people worldwide.