Is Victoria Secret’s connected with women?
The Fashion talk of the moment is the interview Ed Razek, the CMO of Victoria’s Secret, gave to Vogue. He was questioned why the brand does not yet have inclusivity and diversity in the models participating in their famous runaway show. His answer was that the show is a fantasy and nobody wanted to see diversity. They received so many angry social media comments that this might have accelerated the departure of their CEO. Our question is – Is Victoria’s Secret connected with women?
For a long time we have been talking in our workshops and courses in Brazil about new underwear brands in the market that are much more connected with women: Third Love, Aerie, True & Co and Everlane. And that there is negative impact in Victoria’s Secret sales. An article in the NY Times this Sunday says that despite the fact they are still market leaders, the stock of the company is down 41%. The runway show had 9.7 millions viewers in 2103, decreasing to 5 millions viewers in 2017. The crisis of the malls in the US is said to be part of the problem.
Another reason could be that women are less interested in push-up bras and are choosing to wear more natural and comfortable underwear. Ed Razek also said in the interview that Victoria’s Secret doesn’t want to be the third love, they wanted to be the first love of all women. It was a clear reference to the underwear brand Third Love that was created by women, sells online, makes different nudes tones considering different skin colors and makes 70 different sizes. And also has photos of real women instead of models with perfect bodies in their website. Better than this, they guide the client in the website for her to be able to choose the best style and size for her. She can order it, wear for one month and then decide if it is a good fit for her body and lifestyle. If there is a return, the bra is donated to someone that can’t afford to buy one.
The Third Love founder Heidi Zak wrote a beautiful open letter to Victoria’s Secret that was in the NY Times this Sunday as well: ”Your show may be a fantasy but we live in reality. Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country.” “It’s time to stop telling women what makes them sexy – let us decide.” “We may not have been a woman’s first love but we will be her last. To all women everywhere, we see you, and we hear you. Your reality is enough. To each, her own.”
As a women and a personal stylist that works with real women, I know how frustrating it is to not feel inclusivity in a store. I know how difficult and sensitive can be to buy a bra. The majority of women wear wrong sizes and underwear is the foundation of our wardrobe, making all difference in how clothing looks. Also how can it be difficult dealing with all the changes in our lives, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancies, breastfeeding, menopause, not mentioning diseases, all affecting our self-esteem. In times of #MeToo and #TimesUp, nothing makes less sense than a women underwear brand created to please men.
Isn’t fascinating to see this happening? What is your opinion about this? I would love to hear it.