In late 2018, Victoria’s Secret’s Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek’s shared his controversial opinions regarding diversifying the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. His biased beliefs had industry professionals recoil and loyal customers burn their bras.
He claimed in an interview with Vogue, that the infamous show is a “fantasy” and that including women of varying sizes, not to mention transgender women would ruin the illusion. This statement was met with an uproar of rage as Razek’s comments had actively offended the brand’s main target audience: women.
For further information, read our previous article detailing the controversy and our estimated assessment for the future of the brand: Is this the end for Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show?
Heading Into Hibernation
It appears that through the hurricane of bad press and controversial headlines, Victoria’s Secret is taking a step back.
The annual show’s numbers dropped substantially in 2018. 3.3 million people tuned in to watch, a dismal number compared to the brands peak 6.7 million viewers in 2016.
In May, the company revealed they had no intention of televising the 2019 show. They planned to take a fresh look at their business in order for it better reflect current times.
Although now it was been revealed that the show will not go on. Australian model Shanina Shaik was the first to share that the fashion show would not be back in 2019. Shanina implied that it was not the end of the show, but business was taking a much needed hiatus.
Despite Victoria’s Secret’s sidestep into the shadows, rumours have begun to circulate involving transgender model Valentina Sampaio.
Introducing Valentina Sampaio
Transgender model and actress Valentina Sampaio posted a puzzling picture on her Instagram page. Wearing a white robe and sporting a flirtatious pout, Valentina’s caption insinuated a collaboration with Victoria’s Secret PINK.
PINK is geared towards young women and teenagers. The Brazilian model suggested through her tags that she would be starring in an upcoming campaign.
Valentina’s modelling career skyrocketed after her feature in Vogue Paris. She is the first ever transgender model to pose for any edition of Vogue.
Many fans are ecstatic for the addition of Valentina to the brand’s lingerie campaigns, others aren’t convinced. The company experienced an extreme slump in sales after Ed Razek’s comments on transgender models. Some fans feel that casting Valentina is an attempt to save face.
The brand has publicly announced their plans to reinvent their core values. Times have changed and Victoria’s Secret are stepping out of the spotlight to change their mentality that sex is the only thing that sells.
Whats Next For The Fantasy?
The inclusion of transgender models is pivotal representation for the modern world. It’s no secret Victoria’s Secret lacks body diversity as in the past their ‘Angels’ have been ostracised and “forced” to drop the kilos.
Business executives and past ‘Angels’ are remaining optimistic for the future of the brand, though there are doubts that the business can recover from the controversies.
Victoria’s Secret has big claims of adopting a “more inclusive approach”. Since the creation of the show, the brand has opted to only cast thin and tall models. Switching this around would be a drastic change for the company.
It’s uncertain where they plan on taking the show and if it will ever appear on our screens again. If it does, we should hold Victoria’s Secret to the expectation they’ve set of variety and diversity.
One positive action doesn’t erase decades of controversy.
The modern fantasy encourages the idea that everyone is beautiful in their own way. Representing this ideology is vital for the mental well-being of young people looking to these models as inspiration.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; grouping one body type as the fantasy is inaccurate.