Fred Dufour | AFP | Getty Images
Model Stella Maxwell takes a selfie backstage before the start of the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, on November 20, 2017.
Women’s clothing brand Victoria’s Secret has wrapped its first ever fashion show in China, although the brand’s move east has not been without its issues.
Its annual show was held in Shanghai this year, but politics in the region caused problems for the event organizers. Katy Perry, who was expected to perform, was reportedly denied visa entry for wearing a sunflower-adorned dress while performing in Taiwan back in 2015. The flower is the emblem of the island’s anti-China movement.
Meanwhile, supermodel Gigi Hadid announced via Twitter last week that she would not be taking part in the show. Reports have attributed this to a video made public earlier this year in which Hadid apparently squinted her eyes. The video, perceived as politically insensitive, has since been taken down and Hadid apologized for how it may have been construed.
An editorial published Monday by the Global Times, a state-run newspaper in China, said that while the two stars’ reasons for not participating were “unknown,” it was “logical” that both were denied visas for political reasons.
“Political correctness cannot be ignored,” said the editorial.
“Payback was unavoidable,” it went on. “Those who are serious about developing careers in the Chinese market can draw lessons from this case and learn to abide by the rules in China.”
Reports have also surfaced that other models and influencers were denied entry to the country.
Victoria’s Secret did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Popular Western performers have been denied entry to China before, including Justin Bieber and Maroon 5, the latter supposedly for one member tweeting birthday wishes to the Dalai Lama.