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Victoria’s Secret Swaps Angels with Women Achievers in a Rebranding Exercise

The playboy reverie and the barbie bodies whose avatars were the Victoria’s Secret Angels are gone.  The features, wings, rhinestones are gathering dust, and the real diamonds, gems, and the “Fantasy Bra” are no more.  Seven famous women have replaced the victoria secret models for their achievements, not their physical attributes.

New Faces of Victoria’s Secret

Some of these famous women are the new victoria’s secret models:

  1. Megan Rapinoe is a 35-year-old pink-haired gender equity campaigner and soccer star.
  2. Eileen Gu is a 17-year-old Chinese American Olympic prospect and freestyle skier.
  3. Paloma Essler is a 29-year-old inclusivity advocate and bi-racial model.  She was a rare 14 size model on the Vogue cover.
  4. Priyanka Chopra Jonas is a 39-year-old Indian actor and a tech investor.

These successful women will spearhead an extreme and unabashed turnaround that one can recall in recent memory.  They will attempt to redefine Victoria’s Secret’s version of “sexy” and sell to the masses.

The red sequined strapless dress gown with low back and plenty of cleavage-revealing epitomized the curves which Jessica Rabbit was famous for and the scantily clad victoria’s secret model’s image for decades.  This was a stereotype that was accepted for femineity.

This image of Victoria’s Secret is now out of tune with a more inclusive culture, not to mention the internal turmoil and increased competition faced by the brand.  According to the Chief Executive of Victoria’s Secret, the company now wants to become a leading advocate for female empowerment globally.

Rebranding

A spinoff of the brand is coming up, and the question is whether women will buy the new collection or not?   The answer to this is a projection of 1400 stores with about $ 5 billion sales annually and about 32000 jobs that would cover a global retail network.

This makeover is in stark contrast to a brand that sold lingerie not long ago in the guise of male fantasy.  In recent years the brand has been under heavy scrutiny for the relationship of its owner with Jeffery Epstein, a sex offender, and the company’s misogynistic corporate culture that encouraged sizeism, sexism, and ageism.

The seven accomplished women representing a group known as VS Collective will advise the company on its new brand, promote it on Instagram and do advertisements.  They join a company that has a new executive team altogether.  The board of directors will comprise women except for one seat.

Victoria’s Secret market share dropped from 32 % in 2015 to 21 % in 2021. It is reflected in its industry standings in the wake of the cultural influence transformation seen after the #Metoo movement.

The Background

Founded in 1977 as a lingerie store, the store allowed men to shop comfortably for women’s undergarments.  The company was purchased in 1982 by Leslie H. Wexner, a retail billionaire who turned the brand into a new phenomenon on how female sexuality was viewed by society.  The victoria secret models or “Angels” were represented by Tyra Banks and Hedi Klum, who posed exclusively in G-Strings and Stilettos.

The company faced growing competition that focused more on inclusivity and diversity instead of victoria’s secret angels’ bodies forcing Victoria’s Secret to acknowledge its dated marketing techniques.

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