Victoria’s Secret is one of the largest apparel brands in the world. It has a number of different collections of bras, swimwear, shoes and other items. There is also a line of beauty products sold through Victoria’s Secret. The brand has a large number of stores around the world.
Victoria’s Secret was founded in the early 1970s by American businessman Roy Raymond. He was unhappy with the underwear available in department stores. He wanted a place where women could feel comfortable shopping.
At first, Raymond’s vision was to create a lingerie store where women could buy underwear that were aesthetically pleasing and affordable. But he was frustrated by the snob appeal of the underwear that was available. That was until he found an affordable version of the upscale European underwear brand La Perla. Les Wexner, a fashion mogul, bought the company from Raymond in 1982 for $1 million. This was the beginning of the brand’s expansion.
In the early 1990s, Victoria’s Secret became the largest lingerie retailer in the United States. By that time, it had a catalog of about 40 pages. And the brand began to expand into other areas of clothing, sport, beauty and even sleepwear.
The company had a number of models on its roster, including Banks, Heidi Klum, Lima, Ambrosio and Gisele Bundchen. They wore diamond-studded bras and wings. The models were required to eat like hamsters, wear makeup and hairspray and train like Olympic athletes.
During the early 1990s, the brand also starred in several television commercials. One of the most famous ads, which featured a supermodel and a man smirking, became a viral hit. Since then, it has become a staple of television shows and movie trailers.
Victoria’s Secret has been accused of oversexification. Many parents complained about the brand’s ads and its overly sexual depictions of women. A coronavirus pandemic swept across the US in March 2020. Fortunately, the company has taken steps to change its image.
During the mid-1990s, the Victoria’s Secret brand changed its image to reflect the age of the audience. Instead of the traditional Angels, it recruited a new group of models and activists who were not only fashionable but openly transgender.
After that, Victoria’s Secret hired a number of more body-inclusive models, including Barbara Palvin, who is not a plus size model. Although she was not officially considered a transgender model, her agents confirmed that she signed a contract with the brand.
However, the brand’s reputation was tarnished in the early 2000s. Victoria’s Secret drew criticism from both customers and advertisers for the quality of its underwear and for its sexually-charged advertising. Several executives and former employees have criticized the company for this and other issues.
After the scandal erupted, Victoria’s Secret resigned its CEO, Sharen Jester Turney, and replaced him with John Mehas. As a result, the brand had to close several of its stores. Eventually, it had to sell off its majority stake to private equity firm Sycamore Partners.