“This is one of those shining examples, when you look back at how brands were when it came to body inclusion, it’s amazing that they’re going back in that direction unless they’re doing some major sea change. ” says Cara Richardson-Whiteley, CEO of Gorgeous Agency, a size-inclusive consulting firm.
The promise of revival came during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call last week, with Chief Financial Officer Timothy Johnson referring to a “new version” of the fashion show to market later this year.
A Victoria’s Secret spokeswoman did not respond to The Post’s questions about specific changes. In a statement, the person said. The company is “constantly introducing new innovations and ideas in all aspects of its business” and “is bringing back one of our best shopping and entertainment properties to date and transforming it to reflect who we are today.”
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Victoria’s Secret’s former parent El Brands (which split in 2021) canceled the show in November 2019 as the brand’s image was in freefall. The televised event, which attracted 12 million viewers in 2001, has dropped to 3.3 million in 2018 as consumer interest in the narrow and exaggerated portrayal of female sexuality declines.
L Brands CEO Les Wexner has also been investigated for his relationship with billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, who previously managed Wexner’s funds. He was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges. An investigation by the New York Times found that Epstein used his relationship with Victoria’s Secret as a model for recruiting young women, inviting them to his hotel room and inviting them to audition. In the year In July 2019 In July 2019 Epstein was found dead in his cell after apparently committing suicide.
The announcement of the fashion show comes as Victoria’s Secret faces declining revenue and “weak performance both in stores and online,” GlobalData’s director of analytics, Neil Sanders, said in a statement, adding that fourth-quarter sales fell 7.1 percent. More than a year.
The brand has faced intense competition from athletic brands, body-hugging underwear and undergarment companies such as Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty, Aerie and Parade that have cut customer bases.
Victoria’s Secret’s incorporation into the body has made its own push, as has fellow department store Abercrombie, which has been called exclusionary by critics. The underwear company offers many sizes and uses different models on its websites, stores and marketing campaigns. But unlike Abercrombie, Victoria’s Secret hasn’t been able to refresh its outlook, and that’s evident in its revenue results, Saunders said.
“While we appreciate and appreciate management’s commitment and efforts to make Victoria’s Secret more engaging and popular, this still doesn’t resonate with the customer. Nor will it be for some time in our view,” he added.
“Opening up to a larger body was a strategic and important step,” said Professor Shawn Gran Carter of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Gen Z and Millennial consumers want inclusion, authenticity and sustainability in the brands they buy.
“Are you saying you’re inclusive in terms of body size? Are you inclusive across generations? Do we include you by race and ethnicity?” Grain Carter said. “All of this is important in terms of what’s important to consumers, especially the modern consumer.”
There is a huge business opportunity in the plus-size market with more than $40 billion in purchasing power due to size inclusivity, Richardson Whiteley noted. But Victoria’s Secret has a steep road ahead. For years, the brand has ignored and outright marginalized this demographic.
“They need to recognize that the plus-size market, in particular, has deep pockets and long memories,” Richardson Whiteley said. “So when a company wants to offer larger quantities, it really needs to work to heal the customer journey so that customers know they can trust the brand again.”
The fashion show is an opportunity to prove that the brand is committed to this rebrand, Grain Carter said.
“The customers will vote together and decide if you understand their lifestyle and if you are serious about offering the product and also models that refer to the lifestyle they know, or what do you think? It doesn’t work and you know very quickly, because it increases immediately with social networks.