What does the new Victoria’s Secret look like? For starters, the hired its first transgender model, Valentina Sampaio, earlier in August and its first plus-sized model Ali Tate earlier this week. Next up? Victoria’s Secret is making sure its new cast of Angels are represented in all of its stores.
According to WWD, this month Victoria’s Secret is collaborating with Emily Bendell’s Bluebella, the UK-based lingerie label that has long been dedicated to empowering women, on a collection that “celebrates inclusivity and strength—each piece is designed for modern, empowered, and confident women.” The advertisement for the collection, which features May Simón Lifschitz, Ali Tate Cutler, Olivia Sang and Laura Rakhman-Kidd, are not only online at victoriassecret.com, but in stores as well, including the New York City flagship shop on Fifth Avenue and London’s Bond Street location.
For the uninitiated, Victoria’s Secret has been scrutinized for its lack of inclusivity in the past following former L Brands’ chief marketing officer Ed Razek’s comments about transgender and plus-size models.
“It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy,” he said in an interview with Vogue. He later recanted his statement, telling ELLE.com, “To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We’ve had transgender models come to castings … And like many others, they didn’t make it … But it was never about gender. Honestly, I really hope that a transgender model will make the show soon. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”
WWD also reported that the stores feature the campaign images and videos of the models showcasing the Bluebella for Victoria’s Secret lingerie collection. “In an industry so often accused of promoting unrealistic body-types, of encouraging a certain look, we want to take a new approach and to celebrate beauty in difference. We believe in the beauty and integrity of every person,” the UK-based brand wrote on its website. “So we created #loveyourself, a campaign to encourage self-love, self-respect and self-worth. Because everybody is worth celebrating.”