Victoria's Secret goes woke

Victoria's Secret is going woke.

No, not in the most obvious sense.  What it's doing is scrapping its long-built brand of sexy underwear on super-thin supermodels — and exchanging it for underwear displayed on fat models, transgender models, lesbian models, tattooed models, people whose taste and presentation in "sexy" is not quite the same as it was in the past, expecting the public to buy it, like it or not.  They're going virtuous, they're going inclusive...

According to the New York Times:

They will be spearheading what may be the most extreme and unabashed attempt at a brand turnaround in recent memory: an effort to redefine the version of "sexy" that Victoria's Secret represents (and sells) to the masses. For decades, Victoria's Secret's scantily clad supermodels with Jessica Rabbit curves epitomized a certain widely accepted stereotype of femininity. Now, with that kind of imagery out of step with the broader culture and Victoria's Secret facing increased competition and internal turmoil, the company wants to become, its chief executive said, a leading global "advocate" for female empowerment.

Oh, really?  As recently as 2018, they resisted that.  There was a groveling apology.  Now they're going all in.

What could be behind it, this spectacular U-turn?

Yes, it is a trend in fashion, definitely a trend with the youth, so, arguably, it's safe to say the company is following the herd and keeping up with the trends to try to make money.  Just take a look at the kind of models seen on Uniqlo, Banana Republic, Abercrombie & Fitch, Bonobos, Savage x Fenty, and other mall fixtures, as well as Dove soap, and in trendy catalogs such as Poetry, North Face, Duluth, or Nike, not to mention high fashion.  It's not quite the wholesome could-care-less outdoorsy look of Land's End, L.L. Bean, or Orvis.  It's definitely an androgynous glamour look, contrived as heck, and in most cases openly woke and scolding.

This is one thing if you're the best in the business at that.  It's probably quite another if you've cultivated a huge business based on another kind of customer, someone who wants the classically sexy look of Victoria's Secret, often to catch a man.

According to the Times:

While it was "probably time for the Angels to go," the lingerie powerhouse will have to strike a balance between moving forward and maintaining existing customers, said Cynthia Fedus-Fields, the former chief executive of the Victoria's Secret division responsible for its catalog.

"If it was a $7 billion business pre-Covid, and much of that $7 billion was built on this blatant sexy approach, be careful with what you're doing," she said.

That's what they're not doing.  They're going all out to join the Church of Woke.

And already they aren't very good at it.  Victoria's Secret's new top model, Meghan Rapinoe, a lesbian soccer star who's done a hell of a lot of modeling elsewhere and seems to like it better than soccer, is their new face and corporate consultant on wokester content.  According to W magazine, Rapinoe said:

"Any chance I get to do something outside of sport, particularly in fashion, I'm all over that," she said. "Particularly in the context of women's sports, where I feel we're very boxed in."

Yet she doesn't project the "inclusiveness" she's been billed as projecting, given that she's been caught making a racial slur targeting Asians in her wayback, 2011, when she was 25.  Some leftists are already calling to cancel her for that.  Way to rope them in, V.S. 

According to Sarah Hoyt of Instapundit, the whole thing looks like a loser.  Getting woke is always a formula for going broke, as we all know, but in this case, the V.S. customer base is dispensed with altogether in favor of another one.  Not exactly a formula for growth, actually


I'd say the new plan is to appeal to butch lesbians, but that's silly. By calling their new models the "VS Collective" they clearly want to appeal to communist butch lesbians.  I don't think they've thought this through, though. There's no way to put a Mao collar on a pair of panties.

Seriously, is the youthful customer who likes this androgynous stuff going to flock to Victoria's Secret for his supply of it?  With V.S.'s bad-fitting, unnatural materials; flimsy construction; high prices; just the general problems seen with the company's products well before this wokester shift?  Or will they stick with what they know best?  The answer to that is pretty clear.

 So once again, what could be behind this sales-suicide almost certain to happen?  Why is Victoria's Secret bowing down to the #MeToo feminists and scolding wokesters who want to sell a political lecture with every g-string bottom? 

One little-noted factor is the company's past issues.  The New York Times puts its finger on it:

It is a stark change for a brand that not only long sold lingerie in the guise of male fantasy, but has also been scrutinized heavily in recent years for its owner's relationship with the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and revelations about a misogynistic corporate culture that trafficked in sexism, sizeism and ageism.

Yes, that.  According to Business Insider:

[Victoria's Secret head] Les Wexner was warned not to trust Jeffrey Epstein on at least two separate occasions but ignored the advice, according to a new investigation by Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman.

Wexner, the Ohio-based billionaire businessman behind L Brands and Victoria's Secret, has become a key part of the Epstein story in the past few years. Epstein had managed Wexner's finances, reportedly beginning in the 1980s, and the two men were considered to be "close personal friends" for several years.

When Epstein was arrested in July 2019, facing sex-trafficking charges, representatives for Wexner said the retail executive had severed ties with Epstein more than 12 years ago.

And some of the scandals likely involved Victoria's Secret itself:

L Brands hired outside legal counsel in 2019 to investigate the company's own ties to Epstein following reports that Epstein had used his connection to Wexner as a way to coerce women and girls into performing sexual acts by promising them modeling jobs.

And as recently as last year, they were pressured to come onboard the wokester train.  According to Fashionista:

Days after the New York Times released a report detailing a culture of misogyny, bullying and harassment at Victoria's Secret, the Model Alliance has sent an open letter to John Mehas, the brand's CEO, urging it to join its Respect Program. "In the face of the horrifying revelations from the past year, this response is utterly unacceptable," it reads. "The time for listening is long past; it's time for Victoria's Secret to take action to protect the people they profit from. Human rights violations can't be stopped with a corporate rebranding exercise." An anonymous source told WWD that the brand is considering a response to the Model Alliance. {WWD}

The evidence is all over that now they're bending over backward toward wokedom, to atone for, or cover up, their God-awful past.  Harvey Weinstein used to do that, too, bankrolling Planned Parenthood and proposing a women's director school at the University of Southern California to keep eyes off his vile casting couch activities and threats to resisters and media exposers.  The feminist wokesters promoting this new trend have become amazingly rich and powerful based on profiting from such creatures, guilty as sin of sexism and objectification and worse.  Instead of targeting the perpetrators with money, however, they force them to target the customers.

Seems Victoria's Secret is going down that route based on its seedy past, too.  As for its customers, too bad.  They'll get wokester images and pushes for sales on this new sexless feminist model whether they like it or not.  One wonders how much of the woke culture is based on this kind of cash to atone for actual crimes now seen from so many of them.  They all want to escape the taint of responsibility for their exploitative acts.  They're forcing wokesterism down the public's throat as a result and, very likely, will draw customer resentment, putting the customers last.  Who says capitalism is all about giving customers what they actually want?

Image: Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta via FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0.

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