Has The World Fallen Out Of Love With Victoria’s Secret?
CEO Jan Singer steps down amid diversity controversy.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Victoria’s Secret; from the 24th annual Fashion Show in New York to CEO, Jan Singer, stepping down due to public backlash. The sexy lingerie brand’s fashion show emits debate every due to inclusivity and diversity, but to say that this year’s show was controversial, would be an understatement.
This year’s show featured the debut of Kelsey Merritt, the first Filipino to star the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, as well Winnie Harlow’s Victoria’s Secret debut. However, this slight increase in diversity hasn’t been enough to keep up with the new players in the lingerie game. Rihanna’s company, Savage x Fenty, has hosted a body-positive all inclusive fashion show with models ranging from VS model Gigi Hadid to nine months pregnant Slick Woods, and everything in between. Competition from Savage x Fenty, ThirdLove and even Calvin Klein (who had an eight month pregnant Khloe Kardashian in their 2018 campaign) has forced Victoria’s Secret’s lack of diversity to the surface.
Adding to this, Ed Razek (chief marketing officer for VS’s parent brand, Limited Brands) spoke out about the lack of transgender models in the show, defending his choice of models by describing the show as a ‘fantasy’. He then went on to defend his lack of plus size models by saying “We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.” Seventy-year-old Razek’s archaic and obsolete opinions go hand-in-hand with Victoria’s Secret’s limited size availability, with bras only going up to a DDD and panties only to a 16. It is the outdated brand concept, limited sizing and regressive comments such as these which has lead to the world falling out of love with the glamorous world of Victoria’s Secret. This should be a learning curve for all other brands out there; our society values inclusivity, diversity and accessibility more than any fantasy.