In 2018 the world was divided following the annual Victoria’s Secret runway show. For many, the glossy-haired, stick thin angels were no longer relevant as consumers called for a more inclusive cast of models. Now in an attempt to revive the once beloved intimates giant, Victoria’s Secret has signed a deal with actress Priyanka Chopra and soccer World Cup winner, Megan Rapinoe.
According to a report by Page Six, the women will serve as spokespeople for the (hopefully) new and improved brand and will appear on a podcast and in marketing material. They join the likes of model Adut Akech, freestyle skier Eileen Gu, Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio, plus-size model Paloma Elesser, and journalist Amanda de Cadene to host a 10-episode podcast series where each woman will have the opportunity to share their unique story.
“It’s a group of women inspiring change and positivity. It’s another step they’re taking towards transforming the brand. The entire industry thought Victoria Secret was done,” an insider for the publication said.
It’s not known if this new push for inclusivity will translate to the Victoria’s Secret stores.
Another source added, “[The Collective] is completely cause-driven … The idea is to create this community of outsiders looking in. It’s a new generation for the brand that is more about inclusivity.
“And they [Victoria’s Secret] needed it if they wanted to stay afloat. The brand was stuck in an era that never evolved. It’s a different world now.”
The brand came under fire in 2018 after former CMO, Ed Razek, 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
In an era of cancel culture, the brand fell from grace. In 2019 Victoria’s Secret announced it had cancelled its highly-anticipated runway show. In light of the pandemic just 12 months later, its parent company L Brands was forced to close 250 stores in North America – one quarter of its brick-and-mortar business.
Will a podcast alone be enough to repair the VS image? We suspect not, but we imagine more is planned. Stay tuned.