Victoria's Insensitive Secret

Victoria’s Secret has been struggling in recent years to maintain it’s monopoly in the bra industry. It’s one, consistent redemption, has been the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, a high profile show case of the newest lingerie and sleepwear that is highly anticipated by lovers of fashion and music. However, after a tactless remark from the Chief Marketing Officer, Ed Razek, there may be no saving this brand that has already been out of touch with consumers for a while. 

In an interview with Vogue, Razek stated that there would never be any plus size or transgender models featured in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. His poor defense for this insensitive claim was that their target market has no interest in seeing a transgender or plus size model. He went on to say that their sister brand, Lane Bryant, was for the consumers that do have an interest in seeing diversity in modeling. 

Rihanna, whose lingerie line has been celebrated for its diversity in the fashion industry, and Kendall Jenner, a model who walks in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show herself, have both expressed their distaste in Razek’s words. Jenner posted on her Instagram story an image of a pin that said, “Celebrating Trans Women.” This is incredibly damning for Victoria’s Secret’s brand image. 

Victoria’s Secret has always used sex to sell its brand and catered to the male gaze. However, in recent years this tactic has been failing due to other brands adopting marketing concepts of female empowerment and body positivity which better aligns with current consumer values. With majority white and skinny models, Victoria’s Secret’s message is not crossing over well in the market. It is time for them to take a step back and realize that it is diversity and inclusion that sells because fashion is a celebration of all differences.