What really happened to the biggest lingerie empire in the world? In 2022, Hulu is set to premiere the three-part documentary series The Rise and Fall of Victoria’s Secret. As announced by The Hollywood Reporter, director Matt Tyrnauer will “go behind the scenes of the lingerie brand, using first-hand accounts and deep investigative research to reveal the inner workings of Victoria’s Secret the brand and the cultural institution.”
Behind the 2008 film Valentino: The Last Emperor, Tyrnauer will also be joined by production company, Film 45, with filming already underway according to Deadline.
The limited series will follow the evolution of the lingerie giant from its beginnings as a mail-order company to world-wide phenomenon where it fostered a slew of supermodels including Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima. But in recent years, the celebrated franchise has garnered plenty of criticism for its lack of diversity and poor stance on body positivity.
Victoria’s Secret CMO, Ed Razek, was largely to blame for the brand’s poor public image. In 2018 he claimed “transsexual models” would not be cast in the show as it was “a fantasy”. It followed comments to Vogue where he claimed he had “no interest” in seeing plus-size models on the VS runway.
An end of an era arrived in 2019 when Victoria’s Secret announced it had cancelled its highly-anticipated runway show. In light of the pandemic, the brand’s parent company, L Brands, closed 250 stores in North America – one quarter of its brick-and-mortar business. On Instagram and following the resignation of Razek in 2019, the brand is attempting to win back its followers with campaigns involving curvy women.
It begs the question: can Victoria’s Secret gain back its relevance? And can it do it when the likes of Rihanna’s Fenty X Savage lingerie line is ahead of the curve where diversity is involved.
Stay tuned for more on the forthcoming documentary series.