VICTORIA’S Secret has announced it is ditching its “Angels” supermodels to redefine sexy with “diverse high-achievers” like Megan Rapinoe.
The lingerie brand announced plans to work with a new group of women – including actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas and transgender model Valentina Sampaio – on Wednesday.
Others newly signed up by the underwear company include freestyle skier Eileen Gu, plus size model Paloma Elsesser, Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech, and photographer Amanda de Cadenet.
Victoria’s Secret CEO Martin Waters told The New York Times the Angels were no longer “culturally relevant.”
He added: “I’ve known that we needed to change this brand for a long time.
“We just haven’t had the control of the company to be able to do it. We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.”
The underwear company’s high profile catwalk show, which has featured the likes of Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum and Gisele Bündchen, was cancelled in 2019 following a string of controversies involving its management.
It is understood the new group of women will not be modelling the lingerie – instead appearing on a podcast, appearing in ads and promoting the brand on social media.
A fashion show scheduled for 2022 is expected to look very different from previous events, according to reports.
A source told Page Six: “It’s a group of women inspiring change and positivity.
“It’s another step they’re taking towards transforming the brand. The entire industry thought Victoria Secret was done.”
Bosses hope The VS Collective will be “more inclusive” as the company tries to “stay afloat”, a second source added.
They said: “The brand was stuck in an era that never evolved. It’s a different world now.”
Victoria’s Secret was made into a separate company by L Brands in May and is set to be publicly traded.
In February last year it was alleged top executives of Victoria’s Secret parent company created a toxic and misogynistic culture.
Ed Razek, former Chief Marketing Officer, subjected women to harassment and Les Wexner, ex CEO and owner, did not try to halt Jeffery Epstein’s recruitment attempt, the New York Times reported.
Razek, also told Vogue there was “no room” for plus-size models on the runway and dismissed the possibility of casting transgender models.
In February 2020 Wexner stepped down from his role at L Brands and sold Victoria’s Secret.
Razek left his role in August 2019. He denies all allegations against him, telling the Times: “The accusations in this reporting are categorically untrue, misconstrued or taken out of context.”
Wexner has said in a statement: “I severed all ties with Mr. Epstein nearly 12 years ago.
“I would not have continued to work with any individual capable of such egregious, sickening behavior as has been reported about him.”
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show launched in 1995, going on to become synonymously linked with slender supermodels – known as “angels” – such as Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bundchen.
The annual fashion show had seen a severe drop in viewership over several years. In 2018, 3.3 million people tuned in – down from 9.7 million viewers in 2013.
After ABC first broadcast the event in 2001, it moved to CBS from 2002 to 2017, only to return to ABC again in 2018.
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