Victoria Secret is an American lingerie and beauty retailer. The company’s products include underwear, cosmetics, sleepwear, and sportswear. It is also known for its annual lingerie fashion show, which features supermodels. This is one of the most popular fashion shows in the United States, attracting over 9 million viewers and spending more than $10 million to hire models and talent.
The brand’s history dates back to 1977. Founder Roy Raymond launched the company after he became dissatisfied with the quality of department store undergarments. He wanted to create a store that focused on women.
By the early 1990s, Victoria’s Secret had become the largest lingerie retailer in the US. The brand has a reputation for racy marketing, featuring a variety of celebrities and supermodels. However, in recent years, controversy has surrounded the company. One of its most controversial aspects is its use of sequins. There are allegations that the company used racist imagery and exploited teen girls in the name of marketing.
In the early 1990s, Victoria’s Secret hired a variety of celebrity supermodels to advertise their products. These models included Banks, Lima, Klum, and Bundchen. They wore diamond-studded bras and wings. They also posed naked for Victoria’s Secret photographer. Many of these photographs were later published in limited-edition books.
The brand’s founder, Roy Raymond, spent eight years researching the lingerie market before launching the store. Throughout this time, he was frustrated by the products available at Fruit of the Loom and Hanes. But Raymond was determined to change the way underwear was sold.
After Raymond sold the business to Les Wexner in 1982, he reshaped the brand’s image. During this period, the company began to expand into PINK and shoes. It also began to take part in televised commercials.
Wexner would remain on as a board member, but he sold his stake in the company to a private equity firm. When the company relaunched the fashion show in 1995, he and his marketing director Ed Razek brought in celebrities to perform. Among them was Justin Bieber. This brought in new customers and helped Victoria’s Secret make an impression.
While the fashion show was a huge success, its popularity was not sustainable. Critics claimed that the audience was not stuffed with real women, but a few select men. As a result, the show was criticized for not being relevant.
Victoria’s Secret has also faced controversy over the company’s leadership. For example, several board members were men. Nine of the 11 directors are male. Furthermore, the company was linked to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Although the two have been in a friendly relationship, there are allegations that Epstein had tried to meddle in the company’s business.
Victoria’s Secret is still considered a leader in the lingerie industry. However, the company has been struggling for the past few years. In 2018, the company’s stocks fell 40%. Some analysts believe that the brand’s popularity is declining, and that the company is losing its relevance.