Victoria’s Secret is bidding goodbye to signature ‘Angels’ and hello to activists, actors, and athletes as the lingerie brand’s fresh spokespeople.
Victoria’s Secret, the intimate clothing brand, might be known for casting models they refer to as ”Angels”, but don’t call the new set of ambassadors the brand has hired ”Angels”. Priyanka Chopra, Megan Rapinoe, and Valentina Sampaio are among the newest faces at Victoria’s Secret.
The lingerie brand had cancelled its famed fashion show back in 2019 and has only recently unveiled a new list of actors, activists and athletes who will represent Victoria’sVictoria’s Secret under the brand new and revamped marketing model. According to The New York Times, the Victoria’s Secret Angels are no more a part of the brand.
To take their place, Victoria’sVictoria’s Secret launched two initiatives called The VS Collective and The Victoria’sVictoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’sWomen’s Cancers on Wednesday, June 16.
The VS Collective is referred to as an ever-growing group of accomplished women who share a common passion that will drive positive change, as per the brand’s press release. Through social, cultural and business relationships, The VS Collective aspires to create new associate programs, revolutionary product collections, engaging and inspiring content so that they can rally support for causes vital to all women.
VS Collective boasts of a star cast of inaugural members, including models, activists, athletes, and artists worldwide. Rapinoe, the pink-haired U.S. soccer champ, Priyanka Chopra, the Quantico actress who married Nick Jonas in 2018 are some of the faces involved.
Other notable members include South Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech, the Los Angeles-based photographer Amanda de Cadenet, the popular Chinese skier Eileen Gu, the British model and body activist Paloma Elsesser and more. The Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, who is popular for having made headlines in 2019 for becoming Victoria Secret’sSecret’s first transgender model, will also join the collective.
In a statement on June 16, the brand’s CEO Martin Waters said that at Victoria’sVictoria’s Secret, they are on an incredible journey to become the world’s leading advocate for women. He called the new program a dramatic shift for VS that the company embraces from its core. He also added that these new initiatives are just the beginning. VS is energized and humbled by the work ahead of that lies ahead of them.
However, it’s not easy to overlook the brand’s past. As The New York Times claimed: “It is a stark change for a brand that not only long sold lingerie in the guise of male fantasy, but has also been scrutinized heavily in recent years for its owner’s relationship with the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and revelations about a misogynistic corporate culture that trafficked in sexism, sizeism and ageism.”
Scandal-plagued the lingerie brand when The New York Times, in 2020, alleged that the company had a history of misogyny, bullying and harassment. They said this according to interviews with over thirty current and former executives, employees, contractors and models, as well as court filings and other documents.
Model Alliance, a New York-based non-profit organization, issued a response that stated that they stand with the courageous women who have come forward and shared their stories, despite fears of retaliation or harm to their careers. De Cadenet had signed the letter at the time, accompanied by Christy Turlington Burns, Amber Valletta and several other stars.
E! News had reported one year prior that the womenswear brand was facing numerous financial difficulties. This included hefty competition from inclusive brands like Aerie and Savage x Fenty, which may have played a vital role in Victoria Secret’sSecret’s declining sales.
Stuart Burgdoerfer, the CFO of parent company L Brands announced in November 2019 that it was now time for the Angels to hang up their sparkling wings as the televised fashion show was coming to an end. He stated that the company would be communicating to customers, but nothing they would say is similar to the fashion show. He added that viewers could be sure they will be communicating with customers through lots of vehicles, including social media and various other platforms that are currently available.