Victoria’s Secret trades its Angels for a more inclusive ‘Collective’

To stay culturally relevant and compete with upstarts, Victoria’s Secret is embracing new trends, including athleisure and body positivity.

Victoria’s Secret is a brand in desperate need of a pushup.

According to The New York Times, Martin Waters — the lingerie brand’s CEO — believes the scantily clad Angels are no longer “culturally relevant.”

The old Victoria’s Secret is being replaced…

… with a more inclusive “VS Collective,” with 7 notable women becoming the face for the brand:

  • Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas
  • Soccer player Megan Rapinoe
  • Freestyle skier and future Olympian Eileen Gu
  • Model Paloma Elsesser
  • Model Adut Akech
  • Photographer Amanda de Cadenet
  • Valentina Sampaio, who became Sports Illustrated’s 1st trans model in 2020

Once the undisputed champ of the lingerie market…

… Victoria’s Secret’s market share dropped from ~80% in 2016 to 65% in 2019. Why? Consumers now prefer more body-positive and inclusive brands, comfort over pushup bras, and athleisure.

In 2010, 10m viewers watched VS’s annual fashion show — a spectacle of models in angel wings and bejeweled bras. In 2018, only 3m watched and it was canceled the following year.

The VS Collective and the company’s intention to expand sportswear options may help, but it’ll still have to compete with…

… the underwear up-and-comers

  • American Eagle Outfitters’ Aerie ditches photoshop and embraces body positivity. Sales have grown by double-digits every quarter for 6 years.
  • Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty hit a $1B valuation earlier this year and saw 200%+ sales growth last year.
  • Gender-inclusive Les Girls Les Boys saw 400% YoY sales growth in 2020.

Fun fact: Victoria’s Secret’s “Red Hot Fantasy Bra” contained 1.3k gemstones and was valued at $15m. It’s probably not very comfortable, though.

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