Victoria’s Secret is finding out the hard way that the old adage, “Too much of anything will kill you,” rings true.
The lingerie juggernaut that’s thought thin, and only thin, for decades has faced backlash in recent weeks with many well-known fashionistas criticizing its continued resistance to embrace size diversity on its catwalks and in its marketing campaigns.
The 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was filmed in New York earlier this month, and naturally, some of the world’s most in-demand models were present. All were beautiful, to be sure, but unsurprisingly, no curvy girls were included.
That casting fail has sparked many consumers and body positive activists to disavow the brand and call for a boycott.
In a desperate damage control move Victoria’s Secret’s chief marketing officer Ed Razek and VP of PR Monica Mitro made headlines with a dumpster fire of an interview with Vogue where Razek made some pretty offensive comments about who Victoria’s Secret likes selling to, i.e. thin hot girls only.
The obvious indifference about size and the general tone of the sit down attracted the ire of many fashion insiders who proceeded to roast the pair for the out-of-touch commentary they were spinning, not only about size but about casting transgender models as well.
The backlash was swift
Phillip Picardi, who is the editor-in-chief Out Magazine, didn’t hold back when he tweeted, “We, as an industry, must stop honoring this arcane pageantry and demand that they change. The fact that this show exists, the way it does in 2018, is absurd.”
Model Alliance, an organization that advocates for models, released a scathing statement about Ed’s comments at the weekend.
“We are disappointed by the recent comments about trans and plus-size models made by Ed Razek, CMO of L Brands, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company,” the statement said. “Such comments create a hostile work environment for people who do not conform to Victoria’s Secret’s mold – one that enforces an idea of female beauty that is predominantly white, cisgender, young and thin.”
Even Karlie Kloss, Lily Aldridge, and Kendall Jenner — three models who walked in the show this year — have also responded to the controversy, more specifically the insensitive trans comments. Veteran angels Aldridge and Kloss posted the words, “Trans and GNC people are not a debate” on their Instagram stories. Meanwhile, Jenner, whose dad is transwoman Caitlyn Jenner, shared a photo of a “celebrate trans women” pin on her Instagram story.
And while the brand issued an apology for the comments, the execs might want to borrow some of those angel wings to save them from their humongous fall from grace.
The CEO is gone
The first exec to officially go since all this recent drama started is Victoria’s Secret’s CEO Jan Singer.
According to Bloomberg, Singer, who has worked at the company for two years and previously held positions at Spanx and Nike, abruptly resigned from her post on Wednesday.
While Singer was the CEO and there was obviously more she could have done to push more inclusive messages, Razek still remains at his post.
These latest developments about a woman being ousted following comments made by a male about snubbing certain women can’t help but make us wonder if a woman is taking the fall for Victoria’s Secret right now.
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