Victoria’s Secret is infamous for their angels, or the beautiful models depicted in lingerie wearing wings. After 24 years of the angels, Victoria’s Secret has decided to rebrand in order to better represent the times. The new model group, referred to as the VS Collective, is composed of activists, entrepreneurs, and athletes that will act as brand ambassadors.
It has been a mixed bag of reactions so far. Many are commending Victoria’s Secret on the change, some are disappointed, and others see it as too little, too late. Aerie, a VS competitor, launched their #AerieReal campaign in 2014 and continues to grow the #AerieReal image through the use of diverse models, body positive dialogue, and inclusive size offerings. #AerieReal is all about embracing the skin you’re in through body positivity and of course, cute Aerie lingerie available for all sizes and shapes. Notable figures such as gymnast Aly Raisman and actress Ali Stroker were among the diverse and distinguished women who represented #AerieReal in 2020. With Aerie blazing this trail in 2014 and building it up more with each year, Victoria’s Secret only looks more behind on the times.
Chief Executive of L Brands (including Victoria’s Secret) Martin Waters addressed this delay and stated, “We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.”
Though a company for women should have always prioritized the wants and needs of women, it is good to see that improvements are coming. Women deserve to choose lingerie that makes them feel good. The angels were so controversial due to the fact that the image was intended for the enjoyment of the male counterparts rather than the freedom and confidence of the female models, and the customer base for that matter.
With Victoria’s Secret shifting gears to foster more diversity, inclusion, and body positivity, it will be interesting to see if there is an increase in sales compared to the last few months of decline. People want to support a brand that has a conscience. More than that, people want to support a brand that supports them, which is what Victoria’s Secret hopes will come out of the rebrand.
Cat Kalogeros is a communications and public relations double major at the University of Rhode Island. Cat is also pursuing double minors in English and writing and rhetoric. She currently serves as the 2021–2022 vice president of brand engagement for the PRSSA National Committee. Outside of PRSSA, Cat is the director of career and personal development for her chapter of Chi Omega. She aspires to use her public relations skills to tell stories in the entertainment industry. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.