This Is Who's Replacing the Victoria's Secret Angels
After years of complaints, the brand is finally making a big change.
Victoria's Secret has been embroiled in controversy over the past few years. The company was called out for its non-inclusive definition of what counts as sexy, accused of misogyny and harassment by current and former employees, and suffered a significant loss in earnings. In 2019, the Victoria's Secret Angels that were emblematic of the brand hung up their wings, and the annual fashion show was called off. Now, Victoria's Secret has announced who will be replacing the Angels. Read on to see the new faces of the brand.
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A group of famous and successful women will replace the Victoria's Secret Angels.
In a June 16 statement, Victoria's Secret introduced The VS Collective, "an ever-growing group of accomplished women who share a common passion to drive positive change." The group includes athletes like Megan Rapinoe, professional soccer player and pay equity and LGBTQIA+ activist, and Eileen Gu, a freestyle skier and soon-to-be Olympian and youth and women's sports advocate.
The group also includes Priyanka Chopra Jonas, an actor, producer, and entrepreneur; Paloma Elesser, a plus-size model and body advocate; Adut Akech, model, refugee, and mental health supporter; and Amanda de Cadenet, journalist, photographer, and founder of #Girlgaze, a platform for female photographers. Valentina Sampaio, who was Victoria's Secret's first transgender model back in 2019, also joined The VS Collective.
The VS Collective will be more than just the faces of the brand.
Rapinoe told The New York Times that she was convinced to join The VS Collective in part because it's not a normal brand ambassadorship. She said it extends to consulting on the company's language, the kinds of products it offers, and the nature of the brand's narrative. Per The New York Times, both Rapinoe and Chopra Jonas will be working on new lines with the company that will debut next spring.
Additionally, The VS Collective will release a podcast hosted by de Cadenet in which the members will share their "remarkable experiences and perspectives," according to the statement. Martin Waters, the former head of Victoria's Secret's international business who was appointed chief executive of the brand in February, told The New York Times that we haven't seen the last of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. He predicts it will likely return in 2022 with a whole new look.
This change is a long time coming.
"I've known that we needed to change this brand for a long time," Waters told The New York Times. "Right now, I don't see [the Angels] as being culturally relevant." The chief executive knows the company lagged behind other cultural shifts. "When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond. We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want," he continued.
In the statement, Waters acknowledged that what is to come is "a dramatic shift" for the brand. The New York Times called this shift maybe "the most extreme and unabashed attempt at a brand turnaround in recent memory."
Through all its trials and tribulations, Victoria's Secret remained at the top of the women's underwear market.
With all of the company's bad press over the past couple of years, it still managed to stay at the top of the market. Per The New York Times, Euromonitor International found that although the company dropped from a 32 percent share of the U.S. women's underwear market to a 21 percent share in 2020, Victoria's Secret is still the biggest seller. The second highest competitor, Hanesbrands, hardly comes close, with a 16 percent share of the market.