The Victoria’s Secret Angels, those barbies with fluttering wings, feathers, fantasy bras, and diamonds, no longer exist. They will be replaced by seven women, who are known for their achievements, not for their proportions and appearance. Who are these women?
Megan Rapinoe, the 35-year-old pink-haired soccer star, and gender equity campaigner; Eileen Gu, a 17-year-old Chinese American freestyle skier, and soon-to-be Olympian; the 29-year-old biracial model and inclusivity advocate Paloma Elsesser, who was the rare size 14 woman on the cover of Vogue; and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, a 38-year-old Indian actor, and tech investor.
This movement will represent a change in the definition of sexuality. Previously, based on skinny girls with curves, VS presented a stereotype about beauty, femininity, and sexuality. Now, Victoria’s Secret wants to present the strength and power of all women.
“When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond,” said Martin Waters, the former head of Victoria’s Secret’s international business who was appointed chief executive of the brand. “We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.”
These seven women make the VS Collective group whose task is to promote Victoria’s Secret on Instagram and to appear in ads.
Megan Rapinoe commented her decision to take part in a Victoria’s Secret campaign
Ms. Rapinoe said that it was “patriarchal, sexist, viewing not just what it meant to be sexy but what the clothes were trying to accomplish through a male lens and through what men desired. And it was very much marketed towards younger women. ” That message, as she said, was “really harmful.”
“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,” Mr. Waters said. “As for the Angels? Right now, I don’t see it as being culturally relevant,” he said.
Now it will be difficult to juggle between new customers who will embrace this way of working and old ones who loved what was before. We do not doubt that Victoria’s Secret will succeed in this and that it will attract many more customers.
“To rebrand is going to take a lot of steps to ensure that they have the consumer trust, that this isn’t just inclusivity-washing,” said Erin Schmidt, a senior analyst at Coresight Research.
However, their current message is the most important, and that is that sexuality and femininity are not only contained in exact proportions but that every woman has her note of beauty, uniqueness, and sexuality, whatever she looks like.