It’s a fact, the Victoria’s Secret Angels are gone. We all knew these characters with their playboy daydreams and Barbie bodies. Also with exciting confections of rhinestones, feathers, and wings. Even with Fantasy Bra with diamonds and really precious stones. Therefore, instead of that, now seven precious women will be part of this company. And, best of all, it won’t be because of its proportions. They have been chosen for their achievements and for various traits that characterize them.
For example, we have Megan Rapinoe. A 35-year-old soccer star with pink hair. Also, she is an activist for gender equality. On the other hand, Eileen Gu is a freestyle skier who at just 17 years old will participate in the Olympics. Paloma Elsesser is 29 years old and an advocate for inclusion. She was the size 14 woman who posed for the renowned cover of Vogue. Lastly, we have Chopra Jonas. She is 38 years old and is an Indian investor and actress.
The extreme change of Victoria’s Secret
All the models that we mentioned above are going to lead the great change of this company. In fact, many people consider it to be an extreme and shameless attempt at a change for the brand. However, this is a way to redefine the interpretation of how sexy Victoria’s Secret has always stood for. Through curves like Jessica Rabbit’s which personified a stereotype of femininity.
Currently, all these images are not in tune with the culture. For this reason, Victoria’s Secret faces great competition and internal pressure. According to the CEO, the company wants to become something more. In short, a leading brand of female empowerment.
From all this, the question arises: Will women support the change? But a future brand separation will depend on the answer to this question. Also more than $5 billion in annual sales and 32,000 jobs in a global retail network. All of this includes approximately 1,400 stores.
All in all, this is all about a sea change for a brand that has long sold lingerie. Also, this has come under scrutiny for the owner’s relationship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. This issue even encompasses a corporate culture that trafficked in sexism and age and size discrimination.
“When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond.” “We needed to stop being what men want and be what women want.” Said Martin Waters, former director of international business for Victoria’s Secret.
The seven women form a group called the VS Collective. Each of them will advise the brand and appear in advertisements. Also, they will promote Victoria’s Secret through Instagram. In addition, they are now joining a company with a new team. This is made up of a board of directors where most of the positions are held by women. Except for one.
However, it has rarely happened that a company like this disconnects from the culture. All this in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Rapinoe said bluntly that the message was really harmful. In addition, he expressed: “patriarchal, sexist, seeing not only what it meant to be sexy but also what clothes tried to achieve through the male gaze and through what men wanted. And a lot was marketed to younger women.”
On the other hand, the influence that Victoria’s Secret has is due to positioning within the industry. This company fell to 21 percent last year. However, the women’s underwear company continues to thrive. Even its closest competitor is Hanesbrands. This has a 16 percent stake.
The company was founded in 1977. In the beginning, it was a store where men could feel comfortable shopping for lingerie. This even referred to the masculine fantasies of prim Victorian ladies. However, in 1982, Leslie H. Wexner bought Victoria’s Secret. Therefore, the billionaire turned her into a phenomenon that helped shape society’s vision of female sexuality. Also from long-established ideals of beauties.
At that time, the center of the spirit were the Angels. Models like Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum posed for Victoria’s Secret in stilettos, wings, and a thong. In 1995, this company presented a fashion show. This was a mixture of pole dance with a parade that was broadcast on television networks.
Victoria’s Secret and old-fashioned vision
This company had a hard time admitting that its marketing was outdated. At that time, the value of the brand eroded. For this reason, some competitors grew by positioning themselves as an opposite view to Victoria’s Secret. A more diverse approach was tried with women with more typical bodies. On the other hand, the brand was also highly criticized after Wexner’s ties to Epstein were revealed. Even a New York Times investigation showed that Wexner and Ed Razed had a culture of harassment and abuse.
Martin said: “We knew for a long time that it was necessary to change this brand, but we simply did not have control of the company to do it.” And the angels? “Right now, I don’t see it as culturally relevant.”
Razek and Wexner
Razek and Wexner will not be part of the new Victoria’s Secret. The company will separate from L Brands and Bath & Body Works. In order to become its own public company during the summer. The pandemic even prevented the sale of the brand to a private equity firm. So it swallowed $2 billion in revenue. Now, there are more women in charge. Even the new chief marketing officer, Martha Pease, is leading the initiative.
Currently, stores are adopting a brighter and lighter style. Even the mannequins will be made in new shapes and sizes. Because before they were only in size 32B. The images of angels will also be partially removed. The company will continue to sell products such as lace lingerie and thongs. But, the difference is that now the scope will expand. Mainly in areas like sportswear and more.
Waters clarified: “In the old days, the Victoria brand had only one focus, which was called ‘sexy’.” This idea was sold for decades. However, this also prevented the company from offering other types of products. For example, maternity or postmastectomy bras.