We’ve all seen the winks, flying kisses, and smiles flashed at the camera during Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows. However, the highly anticipated show is now facing controversies. Victoria’s Secret is available in 73 countries of every nation and culture. However, the brand seemed to represent the same body type of cis-women that’s been set by the society decades ago as beautiful—tall and thin ladies without any mark of cellulite, scars, excess fat, and body hair is seen.
The generation today is on its work in pushing diversity and inclusiveness in almost anything every day. With this, labels like Savage x Fenty truly ace the diversity and inclusiveness mission, as seen in their own fashion show. Their show in September introduced true diversity and inclusiveness to the fashion and beauty industry with a 9-month pregnant model walking down to plus-sized, and women of color models sporting lingeries, something that Victoria’s Secret just could not get. People started challenging the label, whose fashion show is on-going for 23 years already, to represent more diverse people.
The label itself added fuel to the fire
Last week, Victoria’s Secret itself worsened the controversy with the comments of their parent company, L Brands’ chief marketing officer, Ed Razek. In an interview with Vogue, Razek commented about the possibility of considering plus-sized models walk in their shows: “We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.”
Razek also responded on people who say VS needs transgender models: “No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.”
Razek apologized, but nobody’s taking it
Nothing was saved after Razek issued an apology. His refusal to models with a different body type and gender preference gained criticism and led to an online backlash.
“My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive,” he said in a statement released through a tweet.
He then started taking back what he said in the interview, “I apologize. To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We’ve had transgender models come to castings… and like many others, they didn’t make it… But it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”
Reactions to Razek were cold with people slamming Victoria’s Secret’s lack of size inclusivity for everyone. Corrie Harington, a book author about lingeries, said: “No one is impressed by a size range that ends at 40DDD anymore. It’s nothing to brag about or be proud of. At best, it just is. And Victoria’s Secret can and should do more.”
Amid the controversy and declining sales, Victoria’s Secret CEO quits.
Jan Singer left her position as the CEO of Victoria’s Secret yesterday for an unknown reason. It’s allegedly linked to the comments made by Ed Razek. Up until today, the label’s parent company L Brands has yet to comment about Singer’s resignation.
The label is facing a constant decline in sales, according to Financial Times, because their consumers are now looking into brands that are “body positive”.
It’s no secret that Victoria’s Secret is struggling with keeping up with the demands of the consumers. This woke generation are now more mindful when it comes to consuming. The generation is not after the people who represent the brand, but brands representing people and Victoria’s Secret is not doing that at all.