Why did Gigi Hadid suddenly drop out of the Shanghai Victoria’s Secret show?

Model Gigi Hadid is seen arriving at Stuart Weitzman

Here are some photos of Gigi Hadid out and about this week in New York. I wouldn’t wear these light, breezy, white outfits in a New York November, but what do I know? Gigi is Gigi, and she’s going to wear whatever she wants. Gigi was due to walk the runway at the big Victoria’s Secret show, which takes place in Shanghai this year. As always, the show was supposed to be pretaped and then aired on television, because who doesn’t love a TV show devoted to lingerie modeling? Well, Gigi had pulled out of the show. She was one of the biggest “names,” so this is bad. Here’s Gigi’s brief statement:

So what’s going on? Gigi didn’t want to clomp her way through Shanghai? Or was it truly out of her hands? Apparently, the Shanghai show is full of crazy drama and it hasn’t even gotten started yet. The People’s Republic of China has refused to give visas to several models, like Ukrainian model Dasha Khlystun, and Russian models Irina Sharipova, Julia Belyakova and Kate Grigorieva. VS is apparently dealing with some extreme limitations on media coverage too:

Page Six has learned that the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show — which is due to be held in Shanghai in just two weeks and will feature models including Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Karlie Kloss, among others — is turning into an international media crisis.

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 — had been mostly held in the US since 2001, but the undie company has had a run of unfortunate luck in the past few years since moving overseas. Last year’s show was also troublesome, because Victoria’s Secret had the misfortune of trying to organize the show in Paris in the wake of both the Paris terror attack and Kim Kardashian’s high-profile jewelry 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.

[From Page Six]

Such a mess. Did no one at VS ever stop and think, “Hey, should we learn a little bit about Shanghai and the People’s Republic of China before we try to invite a million Westerners in to cover a lingerie show?” I guess not. If the VS show has to happen, maybe do it in a city that is more welcoming to foreign models. I’m trying to think of one… like, Toronto, maybe? But Toronto doesn’t sound as sessy as Shanghai.

Also: there’s a solid possibility that Gigi withdrew from the show because of her own history of being stupid. Earlier this year, Gigi got in trouble – justifiably – for making a racist, anti-Asian gesture on camera. When she announced her appearance at the Shanghai show, Chinese commenters flooded her social media to tell her that she is not welcome in Shanghai. Sounds about right.

Gigi Hadid is a vision of beauty in a white dress

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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63 Responses to “Why did Gigi Hadid suddenly drop out of the Shanghai Victoria’s Secret show?”

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  1. Thebees says:

    That’s not cool, but then again, they are following 45s lead! This is what happens when y’all elect a babyman! Lol.

    • Kanye's Blonde Hair says:

      Idk why they’re trying to blame China. Gigi and Kendall were dropped from the show months ago. VS is changing the narrative and it’s kind of weird.

      • I recall the stories that the other “ professional” models had banded and said they would not appear with the “ celeb models”
        Then the racism on top sealed the deal
        It is good she has a job as a human billboard
        This girl is literally unable to put two words together
        Clearly with their father it was about using their bodies to please men ( Sorry Bella) not education
        But I don’t even mean book smart – she is unintelligible even on a reality show – don’t see many interviews with her no surprisr

      • SKF says:

        @realitycheck that seems unlikely. The Hadid girls in particular are popular in the industry and friends with many of the top top models including many of the VS angels. They are all over each others’ insragrams. I think they’re nice girls and they work hard and are sure to be grateful so they are well liked. I’m not sure how Kendall is received by other models but she does seem to be friendly with quite a few.

        I don’t even know what to say about the comment about their father and using their bodies to please men. There is so much wrong with that. I think you have some issues to unpack.

      • Bridget says:

        Kendall has been out of VS since she signed with La Perla. But Gigi was definitely supposed to be in the show. The word is that she was denied a Visa.

      • babykitten says:

        @RealityCheck, the Hadid girls follow their mother’s lead, not their father’s. Their father insisted they go to college, and Yolanda told them they should strike while the iron was hot (young), they could go to college any old time, and don’t tell daddy. It’s ridiculous that the daughters of a billionaire follow the example of their trophy wife mother.

      • magnoliarose says:

        SKF- The VS friendships are a lie. They all do that and then once they leave the PR girls club ends and they don’t have much to do with each other anymore. They are papped together and go to each other’s weddings and say sweet things. But very few are real homegirls so I wouldn’t take that as a sign of anything.
        As for their father wanted them to go to college it seems out of character, but then their mother seems to run the show with them. It is a shame. Their careers aren’t built on a solid foundation, and it could ruin them. Gigi doesn’t look healthy and well lately, and as much as I criticize, I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to her.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Again with this, “You elected him!” bullshit.

      He did not win the popular vote. HE LOST.

      The antiquated EC voted for him, and I hope each one of them is sickened, because each one of them could have broken with the EC and just incurred a fine for voting with his/her conscience. Assholes, the lot of them. Look what we have now.

      • MC2 says:

        There was the guy in WA that broke from the EC to vote……against HRC cuz he didn’t like her. The system is broken as hell.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        @MC2,
        Agreed. I hope they are all deeply, negatively affected by his “Undo everything that B.O did” policies.

      • MM says:

        The Hadid sisters are pretty popular in the yatching circuit…as well as kendall/kylie (kim’s surrogate haha), Sofia Richie, Hailey Baldwin. There’s a lot of money to make if you’re a pimp in Hollywood…ask Kris, Yolanda and Scott…

  2. Radley says:

    She’s cute but over hyped. And like many young celebs her public life is a figment of her publicist’s imagination. Irl she seems to be a boring boor of a rich kid with a fake boyfriend. Also she’s dressed for spring in the fall because she’s paid to. Walking billboard and all that. It’s her job.

    I can understand the Chinese people being upset about the slur. Besides that, Victoria’s Secret is cheaply made trash and there’s terrible rumors about their models bearding for closeted men as well as the lower profile ones prostituting. When is someone going to blow the lid off that?

  3. Lala says:

    Just read where the government denied Katy Perry a Visa…I would JUST LOVE TO KNOW…who was the brainchild who said…”Yea…let’s hold it in Shanghai?” I know the country has OODLES of money…but folks seem to forget that lavish veneer is hiding a Communist government that DOES NOT PLAY!

  4. Odetta says:

    Victoria’s Secret definitely should have picked a different country. China is not exactly friendly to foreigners. I get why people would be pissed at her over there for the Buddha thing. China isn’t overly friendly to people of different races either…I went to China once with my hubby, he’s white, I’m black. I was stared at by practically everyone over there, I lost count of the racist comments whispered behind my back and said straight to my face.

    • Ytbtet says:

      Considering all the horrible human violations China has done this makes no sense. A lot of models are denied including Adriana Lima a pretty big name and limited media coverage what are they thinking!? Plus the racism in China is going to cause a scandal

      • BorderMollie says:

        I was going to say this. They should not have shows in countries with such abysmal human rights records. VS has been in pathetic decline for a while now anyway.

    • SKF says:

      Yes, many Chinese people are often super racist. The Japanese too (I currently live in Japan). I mean super super discriminatory and racist. So you know… The girl messed up. She did something thoughtless and insulting. However I don’t think it was done with ill intent or to deride or belittle Asians. She was mimicking the expression on a cookie. She’s very young and not particularly well educated. She’d probably had a few drinks and didn’t realise her sister would blast that out publicly. It doesn’t make it okay but it’s more of a moment of thoughtless idiocy than purposeful racism meant to harm. Her apology for sure could have been better but I don’t think this needs to be something she is attacked over endlessly.

      • Kendra says:

        This. I really don’t think she did anything “racist”. She made an insensitive joke and I think she was more comparing HER OWN face to the buddha bun thing, not Asian faces.

      • Kasume says:

        Hi SKF! I’m also currently living in Japan. Are you based in Tokyo by any chance? I would love to meet a fellow CB reader, if you’re up for it :)

      • SKF says:

        Hi Kasume, I would for sure but crazily enough I’m moving to Greece on Tuesday! I’m packing like a crazy person right now. I will miss Japan for sure but am excited about Greece.

      • Kasume says:

        Oh, what bad timing on my part! A true shame. Well, best of luck in Greece!

  5. Louise177 says:

    I doubt it’s the racist gesture since it happened months ago. The Chinese government probably would have said she wasn’t welcome when it was announced she was going to walk. I’m baffled why VS decided China. Although still a part of China, Hong Kong is still mostly independent or Japan if they wanted to go to Asia.

    • Red says:

      I think it was the reason, people are still upset about it and she never fully apologized. She has probably been trying to work on it for the past few weeks and has been denied.

  6. Brunswickstoval says:

    China is a very difficult country to negotiate. The decision to hold it there without a lot of research and work is just dumb.

  7. B says:

    The whole thing sound like a mess. They really shouldn’t have chosen a country like China. South Korea or Japan wouldve been better.

  8. Jb says:

    Rio? Barcelona? Maybe even Istanbul or Marakesh. I have traveled in China – love many things about the country (people have to be some of the absolute friendliest on the planet) but for a fashion show? Nope.

    • Milla says:

      They need China as a market. It wasn’t for any other purpose

    • magnoliarose says:

      I wouldn’t try Turkey or Morroco either.
      Greed is the reason they chose China. When you travel there to work, there is a very lengthy process that takes place, but it works better if a Chinese company hires you. This show was never going to be anything other than a hot mess.
      Hong Kong would have been better with fewer restrictions.
      Models can easily have connections to people or countries that the Chinese government can find objectionable. The VS models especially. So many of them spend loads of time in Cannes and loads of time in sordid social situations in the company of suspicious people.
      I think it is amusing and hope the whole thing burns to the ground.

      • zeynep says:

        I agree about Turkey. It’s quite volatile here at the moment and quite a few LGBT things, minority events and women’s fests have been cancelled recently due to the political gaming Erdoğan is doing.

      • Kath says:

        I absolutely hate what Erdoğan is doing to Turkey and its secular, democratic traditions. He’s such a pillock.

      • magnoliarose says:

        @zeynep
        That is such a shame about Turkey. It is a beautiful country, especially along the coast. The people are friendly, and there is so much to see. Many people would love to go but may never get the chance now.

  9. Nicole says:

    The fact that she’s one of the biggest names and she can’t walk says a lot about fashion shows these days.
    Anyways I’m sure VS did not have an intelligent person figure out what they needed for this show to happen in China. Had they looked they would’ve picked a different country.

  10. Rainbow says:

    They picked China because it’s the most profitable market right now. Lots of Hollywood movies want to open in China because they make big money there, especially superhero and action-packed movies. It’s also a very profitable market for luxury brands, like Louis Vuitton and Bulgari and Burberry. It’s why you’re seeing an influx of Chinese actors and celebrities endorsing Western luxury brands. Everyone wants to tap into the Chinese market and VS is no different.

    They should’ve known better, though, considering the communist government and their strict censorship policies. They can’t even use social media like Instagram there because the government banned it.

    • Wren says:

      I get the purpose but it’s like they didn’t even think about it for 5 minutes. “We need to tap into the Chinese market, what’s the best way to do that…. oh I know! Let’s have the huge VS show there!” And everyone thought it was brilliant and nobody considered the logistics of holding a televised event full of scantily clad models in a country known for censorship and being, ah, exacting about who they allow in.

  11. Astrid says:

    Crazy outfit….in a bad way. maybe she needs prettier shoes to accent the dress?

  12. Jane2222 says:

    To be fair, media censorship in China is now much worse than it used to be – so I’m not surprised that this show is experiencing unexpected problems.

  13. Nobody's fan says:

    Had she mocked her father’s prophet she’d be facing much worse than a denied visa from many countries. People like to conveniently forget how much more tolerant and free we – the West- are than other parts of the world.

    Anyway this is a lot of free publicity for VS now and then we’ll all be talking again about how the show went so it’s already a good marketing choice in a sense.

  14. Fleurucci says:

    Considering what china does to so many of its people it’s funny that they are judgy about young celebrities lives. I guess that’s a dictator state thing, being hypocritical
    Any chance she decided due to the treatment of Tibetans and uighurs, or the forced abortions?
    I wonder how affordable this stuff is in China. The quality isn’t great, and there are so many cute bras in China for like way less than $5. And the bras are so often small but I guess the people are getting bigger there now and surgery is also popular

    • milla says:

      Why are you judging them? Its their politics and their tradition. And as much as i disagree with them (dog meat festival ffs) , i can choose not to go to China but not to force my politics on them.

    • deevia says:

      Girlfriend you have Trump and black people getting killed by police officers for sport. No room to talk about other country’s politics – esp one that is overtaking the world economy.

  15. TJ says:

    ‘Did no one at VS ever stop and think, “Hey, should we learn a little bit about Shanghai and the People’s Republic of China before we try to invite a million Westerners in to cover a lingerie show?” I guess not. ‘

    Haha, my thoughts exactly!!

  16. Clairej says:

    No Kendall either? Yay loving the fact their stars are fading so fast. The Daily Mail was obsessed with Kendall for a while but now there isn’t something everyday. Gigi is very cute, but she seems to have lost her freshness fast.

    • Sarah says:

      Kendall has a contract with La Perla, shockingly, so that’s why she isn’t there. I can’t imagine why they’d hire someone so bland (well, she has the social media following and I guess she’s still popular, but ‘sexy’ is not a word I’d use to describe her modeling photos), but here we are.

  17. Bridget says:

    Pretty much across the board, the word is that Gigi was denied a Visa.

  18. usagichan says:

    They could have just hired more Chinese models to walk the runway instead of sending their army of super white women to China if they wanted to tap that market. I’m going to be pissed if their show only has one or two throwaway Asian model.

  19. Kendra says:

    China has a hideous problem with human rights and animal welfare as well. They really need to cut the crap with this situation and get off their high horses. Denying VISAs to some of the most popular VS models? For what? It’s likely that those who dropped out were aware of this situation a couple months ago and wanted to simply avoid the shitshow. I doubt Gigi’s withdrawal is because of the buddha bun thing. Her management probably told her to stay far away from this mess.

    • stinky says:

      she really did resemble the bun tho… is noone gonna say it out loud?
      jeebus.

    • deevia says:

      Its their politics and why do they have to care about VS esp some models? You do realize China has their own supermodels who can walk?

  20. Lala says:

    Like mother like daughter. In an episode of RHOBH Yolanda tells the make-up artist to make Gigi’s eyes a bit rounder because she doesn’t want her daughter to have Chinese eyes. When mentioning this she grimaces, and the make-up artist is slightly taken aback like she doesn’t think it is such a big deal.

  21. Samab says:

    Well I don’t care about her or that tacky cheap stuff of vs….she’s a beauty BUT that’s not a supermodel leg in the last pic, Sorry.

  22. why? says:

    This show is going to be an epic failure.

  23. Bobby says:

    To be honest I am slightly enjoying the schadenfraude now that the racist girl will suffer some consequences for her actions. Hopefully she will learn from this experience. Plus imo VS will eventually pull through as no doubt all this chaos will bring a lot of publicity to VS in this new market.

  24. raincoaster says:

    Has she had her face redone to be more Ivanka-ish?