Victoria’s Secret has long been known for its assortment of lace bras, panties and racy lingerie, as well as its annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. But this year, comments made by Ed Razek, L Brands’ chief marketing officer, left many people miffed. While the cultural shift towards diversity in the fashion industry has resulted in campaigns that celebrate all different types of women, Razek said he doesn’t think the Victoria’s Secret show “can be all things to all customers.”
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“It is a specialty business; it isn’t a department store,” he said. “I’m always asking myself: If we do that, what is the reason we did it? Why did we include that person? And did we include them to shut up a reporter? Did we include them because it was the right thing to do or because it was the politically correct thing to do?”
He even name-dropped ThirdLove, a popular lingerie company that offers a variety of bra sizes, including half-sizes for those who fall in-between standard measurements. Recognizing a perfect marketing opportunity when she sees one, ThirdLove founder’s Heidi Zak took out a full page in the New York Times to express her disappointment and assure women everywhere that if Victoria’s Secret doesn’t see them, ThirdLove does.
You market to men and sell a male fantasy to women. But at ThirdLove, we think beyond, as you said, a “42-minute entertainment special.” Your show may be a “fantasy” but we live in reality. Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country.
Let the battle of the bras begin!