Lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret is known for its stick-thin supermodels, parading barely-there underwear that is just about as far removed from what the average woman would wear.
Victoria’s Secret has historically marketed to a very specific sort of customer, one that is certainly not plus-size or transgender, which has earned the brand plenty of backlash over the years.
And, in an interview with Vogue last year, Victoria’s Secret then CMO Ed Razek said it would be staying that way.
“No one has any interest” in looking at plus-sized models, Razek told the magazine last November, adding they “still don’t”.
He said: “It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.”
Then in March this year, its parent company L Brands’ shareholders wrote a letter to CEO Les Wexner, urging him to update the brand’s image and change out its mostly male board. Razek’s exclusive views were also singled out in the letter.
“In our view, Mr. Razek has done a poor job of stewarding Victoria’s Secret’s brand by failing to communicate a compelling, up-to-date image that resonates with today’s consumers,” Barington Group CEO James A. Mitarotonda wrote.
He added: “While we recognise that Victoria’s Secret cannot be all things to all people, we believe that the Company should be delivering a more inclusive marketing message that promotes a more expansive view of beauty.”
Razek quit his post in August and, all of a sudden, it appears the brand has had a change of heart.
Victoria’s Secret recently unveiled its first “plus-size” model, the first to grace its stores in its 42-year history.
The brand’s campaign, which is in collaboration with British lingerie brand Bluebella, features body positive campaigner Ali Tate Cutler alongside transgender model May Simón Lifschitz, which is certainly a far cry from Razek’s comments last year.
So, is this a turning point for the brand? Will consumers finally see women of all body types represented in stores and across the catwalk?
Perhaps not quite yet, as the models used in the #loveyourself campaign are employed by Bluebella and not Victoria’s Secret.
Not to mention another recent campaign by Victoria’s secret featuring plus-size model Solange Van Doorn was also a collaboration with LA fashion brand For Love & Lemons.
While Victoria’s Secret’s sister brand Pink used its first transgender model this year, the larger brand hasn’t fully committed to representing women of all types, but it certainly needs to if it wants to address its plummeting sales.
Victoria’s Secret’s new CEO John Mehas admitted at a recent investor day the brand does need to evolve, as its lack of marketing direction has affected the lingerie brand’s sales.
Though last year its revenue hit an eye-watering $7.3 billion, its store sales have been heading south for some time.
And between 2016 and 2018, its market share in the US dropped from 33 per cent to 24 per cent as more body-positive underwear brands started to takeover. Its annual fashion show started drawing plenty of heavy criticism for being outdated, and viewership fell.
On the other hand, brands who have started to embrace the everyday modern woman in their marketing are prospering.
It’s clear if Victoria’s Secret wants to reach the modern consumer and improve its floundering sales, its marketing tactics will have to change. It will be interesting to see the direction the global brand takes with Razek now out of the picture, yet for now, all signs point to a positive marketing shift.
Please login with linkedin to commentVictoria's Secret
OOH transit company Adflow has announced the success of the first phase of its regional expansion program. Adflow’s regional footprint has increased by 60 per cent to now include 65 regional locations. With 9.1 million people living regionally in Australia (growth of 1.1 per cent experienced in the 19/20 Financial year) and most regional centres […]
Freshworks, a leading software company, has started trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, marking an important milestone for the company. The company priced its IPO at US$36 per share (AU$49.76), raising about US$1 billion (AU$1.4B), resulting in a total market capitalisation of AU$13.7 billion (US$10B). Freshworks, which was founded in India, has strong roots […]
Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is the biggest player in the holiday shopping game and Google’s most recent research suggests consumer interest for the peak sales season starts much earlier than retailers may realise. The pandemic has fundamentally changed buyer behaviour over peak sales season, with Google suggesting that global consumer interest in Black Friday […]
Awindependent PR Agency Agent99 has added The Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) to its client roster, alongside thought leader and commercial property specialist, Helen Tarrant. DISCUS is a national trade association representing U.S. producers, marketers, and exporters of distilled spirits. The account was won following a competitive pitch earlier this year. DISCUS has […]
Melbourne-based independent creative agency, By All Means, has today released limited edition ‘Locktown’ t-shirts to create a positive, artistic commemoration of their city, while shining a spotlight on the significant impact of lockdown on the mental health of Victorians. After 235 days under strict stay-at-home orders, Melbourne today claims the unenviable crown from Buenos Aires […]
Global marketing agency, Komodo, has announced it will be launching a dedicated TikTok arm to the business in Australia, following a series of key industry hires and new creators signed to their roster. The agency, who partners brands with social influencers across the globe, aims to bring a new dimension to influencer marketing by assisting brands […]
According to Fifth Dimension CEO Lyndall Spooner, whether you like roller coasters or not, we have all been riding ‘Dashed Hopes’ the COVID-19 emotional roller coaster for over 18 months and many of us have turned to online retail therapy to cope. Spooner uses the analogy of an emotional roller coaster to depict consumers’ […]
Underscoring its ongoing commitment to team care and wellbeing, during and beyond the pandemic, Havas Village Australia has introduced be together – a reconnection initiative to enable staff to reconnect with loved ones for longer when domestic and international borders reopen. The initiative, which reflects the Havas core value ‘Better Together’, gives staff from Host/Havas, […]
Global ecommerce and marketplace specialist Pattern has ranked a group of 50 brands selling on Amazon.com.au based on a set of best practice criteria it has developed. Pet brand Zenify topped the ranking in Pattern’s Amazon Australia Benchmarking Report, scoring 82 per cent of the possible marks against a set of criteria designed to measure […]
Fifth Dimension Consulting has announced the expansion of its executive leadership team in response to the organisation’s significant growth over the last 18 months. Lyndall Spooner has moved from the position of managing director to the role of chief executive officer (CEO). As CEO, she will lead Fifth Dimensions’ innovation arm, as well as the […]