Now, 44 years after its founding, Victoria’s Secret has finally chosen to deviate from its traditional marketing strategy and enlist the help of the VS Collective, a diverse collection of women.
The lingerie business has said farewell to its conveyor line of 6 ft willowy “Angels” and welcomed onboard a more inclusive staff, including trans model Valentina Sampaio, British plus-size campaigner Paloma Elsesser, and U.S. footballer Megan Rapinoe, to revamp its “dated” image.
Following a drop in sales, the termination of its annual fashion show, criticism over a lack of diversity, and head office scandals ranging from transphobia to sexual harassment, the company decided to rebrand.
The New York Times quoted Martin Waters, the CEO of Victoria’s Secret, as saying, “When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond,” and then “We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.”
Victoria's Secret is getting rid of its Angels and wings. The company has hired new representatives — including soccer star Megan Rapinoe and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas — as it tries to conduct one of the most extreme brand turnarounds in recent memory. https://t.co/tdP4s3cCNM
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 16, 2021
Waters continued: “I’ve known that we needed to change this brand for a long time, we just haven’t had the control of the company to be able to do it,” adding “In the old days, the Victoria brand had a single lens, which was called ‘sexy.’”
Chopra and Rapinoe will join Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech, freestyle skier Eileen Gu, Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio, plus-size model Paloma Elesser, and journalist Amanda de Cadenet, who will host a 10-episode podcast where each of the women will share their stories.
“It’s a group of women inspiring change and positivity. It’s another step they’re taking towards transforming the brand. The entire industry thought Victoria Secret was done,” an insider said.
Whether this new move will translate to the VS stores—which traditionally stock smaller sizes and do not cater to curvier women—is yet to be seen.
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