The 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is just days away from filming, but for some up-and-coming models, the dream of walking the glittering runway alongside the Angels in Shanghai is over.
Four models have reportedly been denied the requisite Chinese visas, according to online fan accounts: Julia Belyakova, Kate Grigorieva and Irina Sharipova from Russia, as well as Dasha Khlystun from Ukraine. Instagram user @VSModelSpain posted a screenshot of a conversation with Khylstun to their Stories in which the model confirms that she will not be walking.
It is not immediately clear why China would deny the visas for the Russian and Ukrainian models; as recently as July, relations between China and Russia were reportedly at their "best time in history," according to one Chinese news agency. In October, a 14-year-old model died after collapsing at a fashion show at Shanghai Fashion Week. Russian authorities are currently investigating her death.
There are rumors that other models are reportedly affected by the visa issue, and many outraged Chinese fans are calling for model Gigi Hadid to be denied a visa for a "racist" video she posted to social media earlier in 2017.
We have reached out to the models' respective agencies and will update this post with further news.