November 25, 2019

Victoria’s Secret cancels its fashion show, in bid to remain culturally relevant

Victoria’s Secret’s signature event is cancelled, largely due to ongoing criticism about the company’s objectification of women.

The Victoria’s Secret fashion show — known for sparkly lingerie, angel wings, and unrealistic portrayals of the female body — just got the ax. 

This is on the high heels of steadily declining sales from the biz that brought you your first push-up bra. Although Victoria’s Secret is still the biggest lingerie brand in the US with 24% market share, that’s down from about 32% in 2013. With sales off 6% this year, the company recently laid off 15% of its employees.

On a quarterly earnings call last week, CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer suggested the brand may be trying to “evolve” its marketing — maybe in an attempt to resonate with their actual users (ahem… women).

Who’s this fantasy for, anyway?

Former Vickie’s marketing chief, Ed Razek, came under fire last year for telling Vogue he doesn’t think trans people should be in the fashion show “because the show is a fantasy” and that no one has any interest in a TV special for plus sizes. 

Yet lingerie brands that market to all shapes and sizes, like ThirdLove and Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty, are gaining market share. 

VS feels anachronistic in the #MeToo era…

… especially given CEO Les Wexner’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein managed Wexner’s money and used his position to pose as a VS talent scout and allegedly assault a prospective model. In spite of this, Wexner didn’t cut ties with Epstein until more than a decade after the assault. 

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