No more angels: Actress Priyanka Chopra, footballer Megan Rapinoe among celebs in Victoria's Secret radical revamp

·3-min read
Indian actress Priyanka Chopra is among the personalities who will front the Victoria’s Secret brand. — Reuters file pic
Indian actress Priyanka Chopra is among the personalities who will front the Victoria’s Secret brand. — Reuters file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 ― Lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret is bidding farewell to its iconic Angels as part of a rebranding exercise.

Set to replace the group of leggy supermodels clad in sexy lingerie and heavy wings is The VS Collective, led by celebrity activists who will promote important causes and create products for the company, US media outlets reported.

Personalities who will front the brand include Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, US football star Megan Rapinoe, Chinese skier Eileen Gu, Los Angeles-based photographer Amanda de Cadenet, South Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech, British model and body activist Paloma Elsesser and Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, who is Victoria’s Secret’s first transgender model.

The new line-up of spokeswomen comes after the brand cancelled its legendary fashion show in 2019 and embarked on a marketing revamp.

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The VS Collective is “an ever-growing group of accomplished women who share a common passion to drive positive change,” the brand said in a press release.

Rapinoe, a vocal women’s pay equity advocate said she decided to join The VS Collective because it wasn’t your typical brand ambassadorship.

The pink-haired football player will have a consulting role in shaping the company’s language, the types of products offered and the brand’s narrative.

“So often I felt myself on the outside looking in with brands in the beauty and fashion industry, and I’m thrilled to be creating a space that sees the true spectrum of ALL women,” Rapinoe said in a press release.

“Through social, cultural and business relationships, The VS Collective will work to create new associate programs, revolutionary product collections, compelling and inspiring content, and rally support for causes vital to women.”

The company also launched another initiative on June 16, The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers.

After years of being criticised for promoting sexist stereotypes and a non-inclusive definition of sexy, Victoria’s Secret is finally taking big steps to change its brand identity.

The company was also plagued by accusations of misogyny and harassment by current and ex-staff and faced heavy scrutiny in recent years for its owner’s relationship with the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

To top it all off, it suffered financial losses due to fierce competition from inclusive brands such as Aerie and Savage x Fenty, E! News reported.

Victoria’s Secret chief executive officer Martin Waters told The New York Times that he knew the brand needed to change for a long time and that the Angels are no longer culturally relevant.

“When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond.

“We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want,” he said.

Waters said the “dramatic shift” is perhaps the “most extreme and unabashed attempt at a brand to turnaround in recent memory”.

Launched in 1977 as a “store where men could feel comfortable shopping for lingerie”, Victoria’s Secret is the largest retailer of lingerie in the US.

Former Victoria’s Secret Angels include the likes of Miranda Kerr, Tyra Banks, Doutzen Kroes, Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Gisele Bündchen.

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