Victoria’s Secret’s lingerie, sleepwear and swimwear are a wardrobe staple for millions of women. But the company is now reshaping its image in an effort to appeal to shoppers who want more than just “pretty” products. The iconic brand is working to build a new message of inclusivity, self-love and empowerment, in the hopes that it will draw young people and women of all shapes and sizes back to its stores and online.
Amid a backdrop of tumult in the culture, the brand has seen its sales slump and faces renewed competition from competitors who focus on body positivity and gender equality. Those brands include American Eagle’s Aerie, which launched in 2014 and emphasizes diversity with its “be real” slogan. Others, such as lingerie brand Parade and Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty, feature diverse models in their ads. Despite the push for greater inclusion, some experts say that Victoria’s Secret’s efforts may be too little too late.
The company has seen its profits shrink amid a decline in retail and the impact of sexual misconduct allegations. In 2022, a Hulu documentary that examined the billionaire founder Les Wexner’s links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein revealed that Wexner had turned a blind eye to instances of harassment and assault at Victoria’s Secret, particularly under former chief marketing officer Ed Razek.
After the show, the brand hired new executives and made major changes to its marketing strategy. It ended its tradition of featuring just a handful of “Angels” and instead showcased a larger group of women, including Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, soccer star Megan Rapinoe and plus-size model Paloma Elsesser. It also started airing a series of reality shows that highlighted the everyday lives and careers of its models.
Besides the ad campaigns, Victoria’s Secret has remodeled its retail stores around the country, with lighter paint on the walls and mannequins of all different shapes and sizes. The company has also cut back on discounts, a move that is designed to make it more profitable and encourage people to buy its higher-priced items.
In a bid to appeal to younger consumers, Victoria’s Secret has started offering a wider range of bras, ranging from sports and nursing bras to ones that offer support for breast implants. The company has also redesigned its bras, removing wires and adding stretch fabric and comfort features such as padded straps and adjustable bands that wrap around the neck or arm.
The brand has also introduced a collection of intimates that is aimed at the “postpartum and breastfeeding” market. The collection includes seamless bras and thongs, as well as panties, shapewear and sleepwear.
The brand is focusing on its international market as well, with a new line of Love Cloud bras and a redesigned website that offers multiple options for sizing. The company’s global eCommerce partner eShopWorld handles everything from checkout to payment processing and shipping for international orders. That makes it easy for customers to check out, even if they’re paying duties and taxes. Duty amounts vary depending on location and can add up quickly, but Victoria’s Secret and eShopWorld make the process as painless as possible for customers.