The Victoria’s Secret Angels are the face of the brand and were formerly the ultimate supermodels. The line was renowned for hiring supermodels in ever-tinier lace, satin, and mesh to show off its products. Despite their fame, the angels are far from perfect; they are raunchy, beautiful, and moguls in their own right. In fact, Victoria’s Secret’s ad campaign has spawned numerous rap songs, and their models have appeared in countless televised commercials.
Originally, the Victoria’s Secret stores were located in malls, which were essentially proto-Instagrams. Malls were a place to dress up, absorb trends, and spend money. In 1995, Wexner and Razek organized a fashion show, with the aesthetic described as “tits and glitz.” They deliberately stuffed the audience with men. Archival footage shows men smirking at each other in the audience.
Although the company continues to be the number one lingerie brand in the U.S., sales are declining, leading to a drop in the company’s stock price. However, the company’s CEO, Leslie Wexner, has stepped down from his role as CEO, and the brand will separate from L Brands in 2020. If we’re lucky, we’ll see a more inclusive Victoria’s Secret in the near future.
While there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the company’s practices, the documentary series “Victoria’s Secret: The Rise and Fall of a Global Retail Giant” by Matt Tyrnauer, is a must-see for everyone. The company was one of the most profitable in the world and rode the wave of feminism in the 1990s. It was endorsed by a host of media outlets, and influenced a generation of women.
While Victoria’s Secret has fought back against criticism of its advertising campaign, the company has also stepped up its female empowerment strategy. The company removed provocative supermodel images from its ads and has introduced mannequins with body types that were more realistic to a general public. In addition, the brand has also launched a new fragrance that enhances the natural scent of women. This is an effort to change the company’s perception of what women want and what their bodies look like.
While the Victoria’s Secret company has been accused of sexualizing its younger customers, a recent documentary called Angels and Demons takes a look at the evolution of the brand. The original Victoria’s Secret angel was a well-bred Brit with a sensuous side. However, as the brand evolved, its angels took on laser guns and silver bomber jackets. Whether the company’s women have embraced gender equality or not is another matter.
After a decade of success, Victoria’s Secret expanded its empire. In 1982, the brand had five stores and a 40-page catalogue. The company had grossed around $6 million per year. In 1982, Raymond sold his company to Les Wexner for $1 million. Les Wexner changed the business model of Victoria’s Secret by focusing more on female customers. Ultimately, the company became one of the most popular underwear brands in the world.