When you hear the term “supermodel,” who comes to mind? Gisele Bündchen, Naomi Campbell, or Tyra Banks could all be to blame. Or perhaps a young person like Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid comes to mind. Each of these women is a supermodel in her own right. Victoria Secret serves as a common thread that ties them all together. Yes, the well-known lingerie manufacturer.
With its meteoric rise to fame in the 1990s, recent decline, and new rebranding initiatives. Victoria Secret has seen more than its fair share of ups and downs. The new Victoria Secret: Angels and Demons Hulu series, which debuted this week, covers the brand’s history. In case you needed a refresher, L’OFFICIEL has summarised some of the brand’s most well-known products.
Victoria Secret: Founded by Roy Raymond in 1977
Think about this In 1977, a young man purchases intimate apparel for his wife from a department store. The experience has made his skin crawl in every way. And every item of lingerie is dreadfully ugly and boring. Roy Raymond had a similar experience, which gave him the idea to launch his own lingerie company. He consequently takes action. But instead of concentrating on the people who would wear the lingerie, he went with a different approach. Slate asserts that the vibrant pink walls were not present when he first opened his store in Palo Alto, California. Additionally, if a customer entered Victoria’s Secret store today, they would see striking bra designs. Slate claims that instead, Raymond used dark fabrics, moody lighting, velvet textures, etc. to appeal to men. The “red room” from Fifty Shades of Grey comes to mind.
Leslie Wexner purchases Victoria Secret
Raymond had a good idea, but the company was still on the verge of bankruptcy. According to Slate, he also made an effort to access more and more shops. Leslie Wexner could see why Raymond’s plan was failing and come up with a fix because he already had his own business, The Limited. Slate claims that he spent around $1 million to buy Victoria’s Secret in 1982. The company was swiftly repositioned to concentrate on women, who would wear the lingerie. Enter the cute and flirty stores to see the colorful bras and underwear on display. By the start of the 1990s, the brand’s success had reached new heights. Additionally, it was the “largest lingerie retailer in the US, with 350 stores nationwide and sales topping $1 billion,” according to Business Insider.
The Victoria Secret Fashion Show’s inaugural performance
Even though the brand’s annual exhibition is now recognizable. The 1995 VS fashion show couldn’t have been more dissimilar, with a jeweled “Fantasy bra,”. Some of the most recognizable faces in the world, and celebrities from a variety of musical genres.
A video of the first-ever VS Fashion Show from the 1990s supermodel Cindy Crawford was shared on Instagram in 2017. Yes, tall, stunningly beautiful models kept strutting down the catwalks while wearing sexy lace and silk. But everything was much simpler. None. There are no wacky production features. merely underwear.
Shines with the Fantasy Bra
What surpasses diamonds? underwear covered in diamonds. After the Fantasy Bra was invented in 1996, model Claudia Schiffer was the first to start the tradition of wearing the million-dollar (or frequently even more expensive) bra. Glamour claims that Schiffer’s 100-carat bra was never ready for the runway. The bra of all bras has been worn by numerous supermodels over the years. Supermodels are Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, and Gisele Bündchen, continuing the multimillion-dollar tradition.
Sales Start to Fall
Despite the glitz and glamour of the Fantasy Bra and some of the most beautiful women in the world, sales of the brand started to decline between 2016 and 2018. Up until that point, the brand had been thriving. According to CNBC, sales dropped from $8.1 billion in 2018 to $7.5 billion in 2019. Sales decreased even more in 2020, to $5.4 billion.
The Brand’s Diversity Is Insufficient
In an interview conducted in 2018, Ed Razek, L Brands’ chief marketing officer, was asked whether VS had considered diversifying the brand. Razek was quoted by the BBC as saying, “Considers the business diversity? Yes. Have you got larger sizes? Yes… Transsexuals ought to be discussed in the show, don’t you think? No. No, I don’t think we should.” He continued, “It is a fantasy television show. The 42-minute entertainment special will be broadcast. That is what it is. It is the only instance of its kind in the entire world “added he. Despite his apology, Razek’s comments only served to confirm what some customers had already suspected—namely, that VS catered primarily to those with a particular appearance. It was not inclusive.
The 2019 Production Has Been Canceled
This period came to an end in 2019. CBS reports that in November of that year, the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show was formally discontinued. Before 2018, millions of viewers tuned in, but only 3.7 million did so in 2018. According to CBS, this number hasn’t been this low in more than ten years, even though it still seems high. The cancellation reportedly took place for several different reasons. These include a sharp decline in retail sales and the show’s ratings from the previous season. Additionally, a plan was in place, according to CBS, to develop the brand.
The Declaration of Rebranding
In the year 2021, Victoria’s Secret bid its “Angels” farewell and welcomed a new ambassador program in its place. This group includes well-known individuals with names like Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Adut Akech, Eileen Gu, and others. Instead of focusing solely on aesthetic appeal, the new initiative wants to “become the world’s leading advocate for women,” according to the VS website. The collective is also now open to featuring women with all body types, including curvy, athletic, thin, and everything in between, as well as women from all backgrounds and ethnicities.
The brand wants to improve the world in addition to encouraging variety. According to the website, the brand wants to help finance businesses run by women. It also offers a platform for female voice actors. Gu, Chopra Jonas, and Akech are listed as ambassadors on their website along with Amanda de Cadenet, Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, Megan Rapinoe, Naomi Osaka, Paloma Elsesser, and Valentina Sampaio.
Why the rebranding of Victoria Secret offended people
The organization is responsible for spreading the high-kitsch male fantasy of lingerie-clad women. Additionally, it is criticized for being boring and practical to fly on angel wings.
Why is there a controversy surrounding its rebranding?
Following several years of declining sales and societal acceptance, Victoria Secret announced its rebranding in August 2021. The news was generally met with raised eyebrows, which is understandable. The VS Unity, ten accomplished women who represent a range of ages and body types, would replace its large number of glamour model angels. And also the company would go on to become a champion of female emancipation.
The former haven of high-kitsch male fantasy was supposed to transform into… the next Betty Friedan? It was hard to imagine.
A new campaign that declares “we’ve changed” and “we see you” and features women of all ages, shapes, and abilities looking incredibly at ease in basic silk bras and panties celebrates the Victoria Secret of today.
What is this, then? On Twitter, a lot of people voiced their displeasure with the new design. It’s too “utilitarian” in its design. Nobody wants underwear that is so boring. It conveys the message that inclusivity isn’t glamorous, claims one observer. Make sure that everyone has the wings when you bring them back.
Bring back the wings? Seriously?
Owner of L Brands Leslie H. Wexner passed away a little more than two years ago. In addition to building Victoria’s Secret into a titan, he left the position of chairman and CEO after his associations with Jeffrey Epstein came to light. Only two and a half years ago, Victoria’s Secret canceled its infamous “babes in thongland” fashion show in response to the #MeToo movement. Half of the world seems to have forgotten the debate about why VS, as it is now recognized. It needed a shift in the first place as if a significant psychological event has occurred.
Nobody seems to remember wearing stilettos, bikini bottoms, a push-up bra, and a balloon skirt attached to your heinie. While walking around was probably not anyone’s idea of a dream outfit disregarding the 30-pound weight limit for the wings. They made mature women look like naughty puttis. The fact that such ridiculous clothing was worn contributed to a culture in which powerful men, including those at Victoria’s Secret, saw the young women in their area as playthings to be exploited for their purposes. That nothing more than promoting equal opportunity objectification is being done by encouraging the inclusive reintroduction of those outfits. Furthermore, that hardly seems glamorous.
Anyone who needs help remembering can use “Victoria Secret: Angels and Demons.” A three-part documentary from director Matt Tyrnauer is premiering on Hulu just in time for the new campaign. It looks at how the storied Victoria influenced the business. As evidenced by the angels emerging from a spaceship wearing matching undies and silver bomber jackets equipped with laser guns, it is a well-educated Brit with a hint of sensuality. Anyone who needs help remembering can use “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons.” A three-part documentary from director Matt Tyrnauer is premiering on Hulu just in time for the new campaign. It looks at how the storied Victoria influenced the business. As evidenced by the angels emerging from a spaceship wearing matching undies and silver bomber jackets equipped with laser guns, it is a well-educated Brit with a hint of sensuality.
The documentary effectively traces the evolution of the brand, even though it doesn’t directly address the issues it raises regarding Mr. Epstein and Mr. Wexner and what exactly their relationship was (the talking heads typically essentially say, “Who knows?” and raise their eyebrows meaningfully). How it evolved into what it is today from being a respectable soft-core entertainment platform to a chic catalog business. How it evolved from being a psychological stick to beat us over the head with all of our jumbled feelings and annoyances about what exactly is “sexy.” And how you dismantle a mindset and mold that have been ingrained for many years. This is why the rebranding has ultimately generated so much controversy.
No one brand has the solution to the question of what makes something sexy, and there is also no one correct answer.
Because it differs depending on the individual. However, extremes and binary images continue to dominate most lingerie imagery. On Jessica Rabbit’s body, either kinky maids and thongs or many bodies, soft cotton underwear in neutral tones. Along with Dove and Aerie, the first Victoria’s Secret.
In actuality, the frequently mentioned alternatives include Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty and Kim Kardashian’s Skims. In terms of style, it fits into these two categories fairly well. While the second’s gameplay is primarily motivated by maximum motivation, the first is primarily minimal wabi-sabi. Additionally, those lines are perceived differently because they were written by famous, seductive women. The idea is that because the money she makes encourages a woman to be openly sexual, that influence eventually trickles down to the clients they deal with.
Perhaps. The most crucial lesson here might be that sex isn’t defined by one brand, size, or shape. And that should be regarded favorably. Being at ease in your skin—rather than just in one particular article of clothing—is the secret to being seductive. the period can be defined in as many different ways as there are people. Real empowerment also does not come packaged with a bra and underwear. It comes out of it.
How Victoria Secret Became a Powerhouse in the Lingerie Industry
Victoria’s Secret controls 35% of the lingerie market. Little girls dream of becoming Victoria’s Secret angels, and young women happily splash out on their undergarments from the brand.
How did Victoria’s Secret conquer the hearts of so many women (and men) across the globe?
Here are four tactics that Victoria’s Secret employs:
The VS Angels brand ambassadors are someone the public can look up to and relate to
Many little girls dream of becoming Victoria’s Secret angels. Many well-known people are credited with starting their modeling careers with the company. Top models like Giselle Bundchen and Miranda Kerr would not be where they are today without their roles as Victoria’s Secret angels. Even the star of the Kardashian-Jenner family, Kendall Jenner, wanted to be Victoria’s Secret angel.
So why do all little girls dream of donning those coveted angel wings one day?
For its brand ambassador program, Victoria’s Secret chooses up-and-coming models with genuine personalities. And modest upbringings that appeal to regular women. VS angels are undeniably breathtakingly beautiful. But because they can strike a balance between seductive and approachable, they consistently draw in a large audience.
The Victoria’s Secret annual show is the most anticipated fashion event of the year
Since 1995, Victoria’s Secret has hosted its 20th annual fashion show in November 2015. Every year, in the months and weeks leading up to the fashion show, both the models and the media generate a tonne of hype. Fans also expressed their enthusiasm for the occasion. There are several ways that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is different from other fashion shows. The show has a carnival-like atmosphere and includes million-dollar fantasy bras, exquisite set-ups, and the sexiest models, and attracts the biggest musical talents in the industry. The VS fashion show should also be scheduled for the holidays. Everyone here has a habit of giving extravagant gifts. What more appropriate location to find gift ideas than the actual VS fashion show?
The fashion show, however, is an invitation-only event and not open to the public. The television program is still being watched and discussed by millions of people.
Excellent in-store service turns shopping into a luxury experience
Other lingerie companies cannot match the lavish atmosphere of Victoria’s Secret store. The interior decor of Victoria’s Secret stores is warm and opulent in a Victorian style, with lots of pink and black. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and incredibly helpful. They are friendly and always ready to give you wise advice without bothering you. While trying on intimate lingerie in the lavish and welcoming fitting rooms, you will experience the utmost in comfort. In actuality, 67% of customers purchase using the restroom. Victoria’s Secret places a high priority on providing excellent in-store customer service. It is evidenced by the way they treat each visitor like a VIP.
Flexible and knowledgeable in new markets
In China, Victoria’s Secret made its debut in 2014. The first East Asian model to appear in a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was Chinese model Liu Wen, who made history in 2009. This program increases the representation of Asian models in catalogs. Another strategic choice that led to the brand’s entry into Asia was the use of fashion shows. The middle class in Asia is expanding and has a sizable purchasing power. And they have started to be intrigued by the craze that surrounds major international brands like Victoria’s Secret. Asian culture hasn’t quite adapted to such opulent lingerie shopping occasions. And some Asian markets are still very traditional.
Victoria’s Secret is aware of this and has chosen to proceed with caution. When entering these Asian markets, the company focuses less on its renowned lingerie line. Their focus increased more on fragrances, cosmetics, and other goods.
Victoria’s Secret is the largest specialized retailer of intimate apparel in the world. With $7.2 billion in annual sales from its 1,100 stores, it holds a market share of more than 35% for intimates in the US. The operating income margins are above average for the apparel industry, coming in at 18%+. Because of its continued rapid growth and increases in market share, Victoria’s Secret is a success story. It entered popular culture, built a solid brand, and increased brand awareness. But there’s more going on here than just clever marketing. The giant in the lingerie industry can be attributed to the adoption of a coordinated operating model. And through this, it can be a standout value proposition.
The business strategy of Victoria’s Secret focuses on two key areas to increase the value for its clients:
The company sells premium, cutting-edge goods for affordable prices. The items are valuable in both a practical and aspirational sense (such as the push-up design). Victoria’s Secret frequently rolls out new products. To boost clientele, sales, and store expansion, you should also keep a few essentials on hand.
Victoria’s Secret was able to transform buying intimates from a “need to do” activity into a branded, premium experience.
The business of Victoria’s Secret is perfectly aligned with its value creation goals in five different areas:
To keep its business model, the company must remain adaptable and update its product line. Victoria’s Secret is always working to introduce innovative, brand-new products. The company places a lot of emphasis on the “concept-to-market” process. Priority is placed on design and time to market. One of the company’s guiding principles is “Read. React. Chase.” The company’s internal design studios are constantly looking for inspiration for fresh product concepts. New concepts are tested in small batches in a select few company stores. This addition to the Pink product line was developed with young, college-age women in mind.
Victoria’s Secret is in charge of two supply chains. One for its recurring products and the other for new fashion collections. It selects a small group of suppliers who have shown they can produce goods in an inventive, cutting-edge manner. It is capable of achieving new fashion products’ quick concept-to-market objectives. The remaining vendors are high-volume, low-cost vendors for the essential lines. Generally speaking, Victoria’s Secret works with a select group of contract manufacturers who are prompt and adaptable. One supplier accounts for more than 10% of Victoria’s Secret purchases. Additionally, the company has more freedom to innovate because 90% of its purchases are made under “open buy” agreements rather than “committed buy” agreements.
Victoria’s Secret typically treats fashion launch products differently from regular products in terms of merchandising. To reach predetermined sales targets, fashion launches are “pushed” from distribution centers to retail locations in large quantities. Basic goods are “pulled” from the shelves. It is based on actual sales data and the need for replenishment. As a result, Victoria’s Secret has more flexibility in managing fundamentally different product groups.
Sales representatives are a crucial component of Victoria Secret and a valuable resource. The company’s primary objective is to grow its sales team. Because they are trying on intimates, the customer may feel the most comfortable. Additionally, it does so when hiring and training new employees.