Victoria's Secret (VS), a subsidiary of L Brands' chief marketing officer of creative services, Ed Razek has apologised via Twitter for his earlier comments that the annual VS show should not include transgender models. In an interview with Vogue, Razek said the show did not have transgendered models "because the show is a fantasy" and "a 42-minute entertainment special".
Please read this important message from Ed Razek, Chief Marketing Officer, L Brands (parent company of Victoria’s Secret). pic.twitter.com/CW8BztmOaM
— Victoria's Secret (@VictoriasSecret) November 10, 2018
"To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model in our show. We've had transgender models come to castings... And like many others, they didn't make it," he added in the tweet.
During the interview, he added that the brand has considered putting a transgender model in the show "or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show,".
"We invented the plus-size model show in what was our sister division, Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant still sells plus-size lingerie, but it sells a specific range, just like every specialty retailer in the world sells a range of clothing. As do we. We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world," he added. He further elaborated that the brand attempted "to create a "television special" for the plus size demographic in 2000 but "no one had any interest in it, [and] still don’t."
His comments have unfortunately irked netizens on Twitter:
An 80 year old man owns the company and a 70 year old man runs it. And their archaic perspectives - on women, on gender, on plus size folks, on trans folks - are making VS a worse brand by the day.
— Cora Harrington (@lingerie_addict) November 9, 2018
Meanwhile, plus-sized model Tess Holliday tweeted a picture of her bum with a caption, "Who needs VS anyway?! They never supported plus ladies & now they are trying to dis my trans sisters? Hell nah. Kiss my fat ass."
— Tess Holliday ? (@Tess_Holliday) November 10, 2018
Most recently, L Brands raised its outlook for third-quarter earnings despite the challenges at VS. This is due to growth in its Bath & Body Works brands. According to an FT article, the brand has been trying to overhaul its portfolio amid a tough environment for traditional retailers and slow growth at Victoria’s Secret and PINK.
Last year, in a bid to capture the growing Asian marketing, VS also held its show in China for the first time. However, the show ran into several logistical issues as many models were denied visas. Even performer Katy Perry was also barred from entering the country and the Chinese police were reported to have shut down the after-party before midnight. Last year, Chinese smartphone brand OPPO also announced a partnership with fashion brand Victoria’s Secret for its annual fashion show in Shanghai.
Meanwhile, Victoria’s Secret also recently launched its first flagship store in Hong Kong on 17 July. The store, located at Capitol Centre, Causeway Bay, features a full assortment of Victoria’s Secret’s lingerie collections.
In 2014, following the backlash, it removed the tagline “The Perfect ‘Body’” from its new bra campaign to“A body for every body”. The campaign first came under fire last month for promoting what was deemed by many as unhealthy image of women and called for the lingerie brand to make a public apology.