On June 16th, Victoria’s Secret announced that they are doing away with their “Angels” and introducing The VS Collective which includes advocates, activists, entrepreneurs, and other influential members. This is in an attempt to bring more diversity and unique backgrounds to the brand. After this announcement, there have been many alternate reactions, so let’s take a look at this announcement and the responses since.
The History of the VS Angels
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Victoria’s Secret was founded by Roy and Gaye Raymond and opened in 1977. Initially, the brand was started because Roy had found it uncomfortable buying lingerie for his wife and began studying the lingerie market. After borrowing $40,000 from the bank, and another $40,000 from family, Roy officially established VS as a brand. In 1982, the company was sold to Les Wexner and The New York Times reported that the company grew by 100 stores by 1986. The first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was in 1995, and the first VS Angel, Karen Mulder, was crowned in 1996. Since then, the fashion show has been highly anticipated, and the list of angels long and star-studded.
Within the past few years, the fashion show and “Angel” concept have been criticized, leading to the 2019 fashion show being canceled. The company has also seen a drop in sales, and major criticism after a VOGUE interview was released with the Chief Marketing Officer of L Brands, Ed Razek, and Executive Vice President of Public Relations at VS, Monica Mitro. This interview had some turning their heads at the answers related to plus size and transgender models. Since then, fans of the brand have been begging for more diversity, so how does this new rebrand come into play?
Why VS Is Ditching The Angels and The Response
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After years of calls for the brand to be more inclusive, and sales plummeting due to more inclusive brands taking over the market (such as Savage X Fenty), Victoria’s Secret is taking action.
According to the announcement, the #TheVSCollective is supposed to bring more diversity to the brand and change its image. In an interview with The New York Times, CEO Martin Waters called the VS Angels “culturally irrelevant.”
“I’ve known that we needed to change this brand for a long time, we just haven’t had the control of the company to be able to do it,” Waters said. “Right now, I don’t see it as being culturally relevant.”
The seven activists and entrepreneurs called the “founding members” of The VS Collective are Adut Akech, Amanda De Cadenet, Eileen Gu, Megan Rapinoe, Paloma Elsesser, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Valentina Sampaio. This lineup is one of diversity, activism, and different backgrounds, but was that enough for fans?
The fact that Victoria Secret is taking away the “Angels” is just reinforcing that only one body type can be an angel. Rather than reinvent what they built they simply took it away. Why can’t a plus size or disabled woman be an angel?!
— Sherise (@SheriseyPieces) June 18, 2021
Since the announcement, most fans are wary about The VS Collective and the direction the brand is taking. Many are questioning why they couldn’t have kept the Angels but added more diverse models. Some are even calling the move “too late.”
Compared to other leading lingerie brands, like Savage X Fenty, which has promoted inclusivity since its beginning, many think this rebrand has fallen flat. While there have been some positive responses, they seem to be minimal and overshadowed by negative press and opinions.
What are your thoughts on Victoria’s Secret’s rebrand and The VS Collective? Do you want the Angels back? Leave a comment below to keep the conversation going!
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