Victoria’s Secret is abandoning its Angels.
The lingerie giant said it will no longer feature “Angels” as the main brand of their famed lingerie line. Instead, management has decided to transform the company and take the brand in an entirely new direction.
The brand announced that it will be partnering with a group of inspirational women – including gender-rights activists and entrepreneurs – to promote a new brand image and shape its turnaround.
These women, who include Indian actor and entrepreneur Priyanka Chopra Jonas and pro soccer player and gender rights activist Megan Rapinoe, will effectively take on the role of the Victoria’s Secret Angels by becoming the face and voice of the brand.
Victoria’s Secret’s Angels have been synonymous with the brand since the late 1990s. These women, who have included some of the world’s most famous models over the years – Gisele Bündchen, Tyra Banks, and Heidi Klum to name a few – were the face of the brand through its marketing campaigns and infamous annual runway shows.
In an interview with The New York Times, Victoria’s Secret CEO Martin Waters said that Angels were not “culturally relevant.”
In its heyday, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Victoria’s Secret runway show had a powerful role defining what “sexy” was in the modern day. In more recent times, it has been criticized for being outdated.
Ed Razek, former longtime marketing chief at the brand’s parent company, L Brands, was the brains behind the fashion show. Razek was considered one of the most influential people in modeling throughout the early 2000s, helping to launch the careers of some of the world’s most famous models.
He stepped down in August 2019 and the fashion show was canceled that November, one a year after he made controversial comments about featuring transgender and plus-size models in its annual runway show.
Waters told The Times that the brand’s recent overhaul was long overdue.
“I’ve known that we needed to change this brand for a long time,” He said. “We just haven’t had the control of the company to be able to do it.