Victoria's Secret Executive Who Gave Disastrous Interview Finally Leaves the Company

Illustration for article titled Victorias Secret Executive Who Gave Disastrous Interview Finally Leaves the Company
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Back in November, I wrote that if Victoria’s Secret really wanted a new generation of customers, those who are disinterested in their bodies being curated by old men, “they should consider booting Razek.” Well, as of today, Razek has quit the company.

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The New York Times reports that Razek’s departure was confirmed in a memo sent to employees. The news follows a controversial interview Razek, chief marketing officer for the brand and an integral part of casting the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, gave to Vogue last year in which he doubled down on the fact that the brand is disinterested in diversifying its ad campaigns or even the clothing it sells to customers.

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Victoria’s Secret is currently in a period of blatant rebranding. Just yesterday it was reported that the brand had hired its first openly trans model following transphobic comments Razek made and another model told press that the show this year was canceled for rebranding.

Beyond the fact that Victoria’s Secret has suffered dwindling sales and falling ratings for its televised runway show, the company is also working to distance itself from reports that connect Jeffrey Epstein to Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands. In July the New York Times reported that Epstein had tried to pitch himself as a model recruiter for the brand, using the opportunity to allegedly attack women, and eventually became close friends with by L Brands’ chief executive Leslie H. Wexner.

But it will take a lot more than one man stepping down at the company to get Victoria’s Secret back in the good graces of its customer base, who are much more interested in comfortable, size-inclusive underwear made by women as opposed to the lacy atrocities Victoria’s Secret peddles. In May the company trademarked the phrase “First Love” for a line of underwear, which seemed like a dig at their successful competitor ThirdLove. But I’m not sure pivoting, finally, to what women actually want to buy when it comes to bras will save Victoria’s Secret at this point.

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

“ . . . if Victoria’s Secret really wanted a new generation of customers, those who are disinterested in their bodies being curated by old men . . .”

This is a vast, vast oversimplification. Claiming “old men” are the problem here is taking the easy way out. Anyone who has spent five minutes in front of a flat screen in the last 10 years watching reality shows about modeling, clothing design, beauty contests, dance competitions, bachelor / bachelorette drama, wedding dress hunts or kiddie pageants knows old men are hardly the issue.

The modeling and fashion industry is an ENTIRE ECOSYSTEM that includes brand moguls, designers, photographers, executives, fitness trainers, coaches, marketers, manufacturers and even parents—many of whom are female, and many of whom are not old. These Victoria’s Secret bodies you claim are being “curated by old men” are being curated by literally anyone who thinks they can make money from them. And in all seriousness, if you had to actually rank body image offenders top to bottom on a scale, the former models who made millions before retiring are right at the top of the list—Tyra Banks, Cindy Crawford, Yolanda Hadid, Elle Macpherson, they all know exactly how damaging what they did for a living was to girls and young women . . . yet to this day they continue to leverage their past success to shill yet more beauty products, anti-aging remedies and ego-destroying reality shows about ‘beauty’ so they can continue to line their pockets.

This whole industry sucks and it’s not worth discussing anymore.