For over two decades, Victoria’s Secret had been synonymous with a particular vision of sexiness. Epitomized by its annual fashion show catwalk extravaganza featuring supermodels like Naomi Campbell. Strutting down the runway in Swarovski-crystal-covered wings, thongs, and million-dollar fantasy bras. However, after a four-year hiatus, the iconic lingerie brand made a triumphant return on Wednesday night with a complete overhaul that combined a fashion event with a preview of a documentary-style film featuring 20 global creatives. This comeback celebrated diversity and showcased all different body shapes.
Prominent models like Winnie Harlow, who has vitiligo, and a skin condition, graced the event wearing some of the brand’s new designs. What made this event even more noteworthy was the inclusion of headless mannequins representing a diverse array of body types. Underlining Victoria’s Secret’s commitment to inclusivity.
Revamping Marketing, Expanding Product Range, and Reimagining Stores
Titled the “Victoria’s Secret World Tour,” this grand spectacle is set to be aired globally on Amazon Prime Video on September 26, marking the company’s most substantial marketing investment in the past five years. It represents Victoria’s Secret’s latest endeavour to rebrand and reverse its image, which had become disconnected from the evolving ideals of beauty and empowerment, leading to a series of sales declines in recent years.
The brand’s efforts to regain relevance have been multi-faceted. They include revamping their marketing campaigns to prominently feature fuller-figure women in advertisements and on store mannequins. Additionally, they’ve expanded their product range to include mastectomy bras and comfortable sports bras. Physical stores are getting a facelift with brighter lighting and blush pink walls to create a more inviting ambience. Perhaps most significantly, Victoria’s Secret has bid farewell to its iconic supermodel “Angels” and replaced them with a diverse group of ten women who have not only advised the brand but also actively promoted it on social media platforms.
Long-time Victoria’s Secret Angel, Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima, shared her perspective on the red carpet, stating, “My motive to be here is that I have girls. Some of my girls want to be models so I feel that in this day, Victoria’s Secret and other brands are embracing and celebrating women in their different stages. So that’s a beautiful thing.”
Victoria’s Secret CEO Acknowledges the Journey to Revival
Despite these efforts, Victoria’s Secret faces an uphill battle, according to industry experts. While it still holds the title of the largest lingerie label by sales in the U.S., its market share has steadily eroded. Falling to 18.7% last year from 31.2% in 2017. This decline can be attributed to the rise of smaller rivals like American Eagle’s Aerie and various online startups that prioritized inclusivity and comfort from the outset, tapping into shifting consumer preferences.
Last year, in a bid to counter this trend, the company acquired online rival Adore Me for a significant sum of $400 million in cash. However, Victoria’s Secret still reported another quarter of sales declines for the period ending July 29. And the company’s forecasts suggest that sales will continue to decline for the remainder of the year.
Victoria’s Secret CEO Martin Waters acknowledged these challenges, noting that turning the business around would be a gradual process. The brand’s future now hinges on its ability to successfully execute its revamped image. Moreover, connects with consumers who are seeking a more inclusive and body-positive approach to lingerie and fashion.