Victoria’s Secret says goodbye to its angels

MPHO RANTAO

VICTORIA’S Secret is shedding its wings and is getting a makeover.

The popular lingerie brand announced in a statement that they would be rebranding through two new initiatives: The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers and The VS Collective.

The VS Collective will feature Indian actress Priyanka Chopra; models Adut Akech and Paloma Elsesser, and US footballer Megan Rapinoe as some of the spokespersons. 

Other figures included as spokespersons are Brazilian transgender model and activist Valentina Sampaio, Chinese skier Eileen Gu and photographer Amanda de Cadenet. 

They were chosen because they wanted to associate Victoria’s Secret with “accomplished women who share a common passion to drive positive change.”

“We are proud to announce an exciting new partnership platform, #TheVSCollective, designed to shape the future of Victoria’s Secret,” the brand wrote on Instagram. 

“These extraordinary partners, with their unique backgrounds, interests and passions will collaborate with us to create revolutionary product collections, compelling and inspiring content, new internal associate programs and rally support for causes vital to women.”

VS Angel Jasmine Tookes with Hozier (behind) at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2014. Picture: Instagram

Victoria’s Secret comes after major criticism that the brand has received over their lack of body diversity representation. 

The combination of the brand’s reluctance and public backlash led to Victoria’s Secret’s controversial televised Fashion Show being cancelled in 2018; and the resignation of former contentious Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Ed Razek after making transphobic comments when defending the show’s exclusive casting decisions.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2010. Picture: Supplied

The drop in Victoria’s Secret’s popularity also led to a number of their stores closing and a massive rehaul of the brand’s sales strategy – leading to the inclusion of different body types and races. 

“With The VS Collective, we are creating a platform that will build new, deeper relationships with all women. Through a series of collaborations, business partnerships and cause-related initiatives, we’re bringing new dimensions to our brand experience. 

“In marrying our new partners’ energy, creativity and perspectives with our network and scale, we can transform how we connect with and show up for women,” said Martha Pease, Chief Marketing Officer of Victoria’s Secret.

In an article by the New York Times, the VS collective’s founding members will act as advisors, appear in ads, and use their social media to promote Victoria’s Secret. 

The brand itself will expand past lacy bras and underwear, aiming to promote sales through activewear (which was known as PINK before closure).

Megan Rapinoe; Priyanka Chopra; Adut Akech and Paloma Elsesser. Pictures: Supplied

Upon the announcement, Chopra saw the collaboration to create an insightful journey between Victoria’s Secret and its customers.

“As we work together to chart the path forward in a new and impactful way, I’m not only looking forward to developing future collections that are inclusive of all people, but I am most excited for new customers and for those who have always been a customer of Victoria’s Secret to feel represented and like they belong,” Chopra said.

US-born Chinese skiing champion skier Eileen Gu said that she was looking forward to “to break boundaries and use their platform to uplift, champion and advocate for women across the world.”

South-Sudanese model Akech thanked the “support of so many voices that deserve to be heard more than myself” for allowing her to be “part of a group that celebrates and empowers individuality.”

Transgender model and activist Sampaio expressed her wish to break barriers within the beauty and fashion industry. “Being a trans woman often means facing closed doors to people’s hearts.”

“As a powerful global platform, Victoria’s Secret is committed to opening these doors for trans women like me, by celebrating, uplifting and advocating for ALL women,” she added.

Valentina Sampaio; Eileen Gu and Amanda de Cadenet. Pictures: Instagram / Twitter
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