Victoria’s Secret is failing and flailing, despite the fact that their televised fashion show continues to air. Sales for the lingerie store have been declining since 2016 and millennials, who increasingly opt for comfort rather than ’80s-era ideas of sexy leather and lace, have been turning away from the brand. And after reading a new interview in Vogue with chief marketing officer of L Brands, Ed Razek, I’m pretty sure I know who’s at fault for the brand’s falling out with young women.
The 70-year-old Razek, who is part of the casting team that chooses the models for each show, gave some bizarrely out-of-touch answers in the interview, lambasting critics as being “haters” who want too much diversity in the show and describing trans models as “transexuals.” He comes off as a complete joke and absolute asshole and is clearly the reason the company is stuck in 2005.
First, he accuses Rihanna of copying Victoria’s Secret using pregnant models, even though Rihanna’s casting of fully pregnant Slick Woods in her lingerie show doesn’t compare at all to VS casting skinny, fit, barely visibly pregnant models.
By the way, we’ve had three pregnant models walk the show. Everybody had the conversation about Savage [x Fenty] having the pregnant model in the show. We watch this, we’re amused by it, but we don’t milk it.
Then he fully admits that even though VS has considered the whole plus-size thing, it’s not who they market to.
I think we address the way the market is shifting on a constant basis. If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have. We invented the plus-size model show in what was our sister division, Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant still sells plus-size lingerie, but it sells a specific range, just like every specialty retailer in the world sells a range of clothing. As do we. We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world.
Because their specialty is skinny people, okay? And VS is just not going to give into the haters (but apparently not consider all the customers they’re losing in not expanding sizes.)
I don’t think we can be all things to all customers. It is a specialty business; it isn’t a department store. 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?
And Razek seems to think Victoria’s Secret “diversity” efforts have been astounding. But he’s not going to get too diverse, considering this show is a fantasy, and nobody wants to see anyone who isn’t a size 2 blonde woman, okay?
So it’s like, why don’t you do 50? Why don’t you do 60? Why don’t you do 24? 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. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.
Razek just can’t seem to understand why people “skinny-shame” VS models. They’re fit, you see!
Yes, they are aggressively physically fit, but the operative word is fit. Should they apologize for being fit? This is their profession, and this is the penultimate [sic] expression of their profession. And it can make models. It made Heidi’s [Klum] career.
If Victoria’s Secret is really looking to appeal to more customers, and especially to appeal to younger generations who are disinterested in their bodies being judged and curated by old men, they should consider booting Razek!