Megan Rapinoe & Priyanka Chopra are part of Victoria’s Secret’s big rebrand

US President Joe Biden participates in an event to mark Equal Pay Day

Last year, the NY Times had a somewhat epic story about the fall of Victoria’s Secret. Everything was coming to a head for VS and for the company which owned the label, L Brand. L Brand is owned by Leslie “Les” Wexner, who had very close ties to Jeffrey Epstein, ties which still have not been examined thoroughly. But the Epstein connection to VS was just one part of the horror show – a culture of sexual harassment, sexism and objectification was pervasive at every level of the company for many years. The big-name models and celebrities attached to the brand were leaving in droves. So now, roughly sixteen months after that NYT piece, Victoria’s Secret announced that they have made a huge re-brand for their image. They still, improbably, own a large (but declining) share of the lingerie market. So instead of just throwing more thongs on size-0 models, VS has put together a line-up of new “real woman” brand ambassadors.

The Victoria’s Secret Angels, those avatars of Barbie bodies and playboy reverie, are gone. Their wings, fluttery confections of rhinestones and feathers that could weigh almost 30 pounds, are gathering dust in storage. The “Fantasy Bra,” dangling real diamonds and other gems, is no more.

In their place are seven women famous for their achievements and not their proportions. They include Megan Rapinoe, the 35-year-old pink-haired soccer star and gender equity campaigner; Eileen Gu, a 17-year-old Chinese American freestyle skier and soon-to-be Olympian; the 29-year-old biracial model and inclusivity advocate Paloma Elsesser, who was the rare size 14 woman on the cover of Vogue; and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, a 38-year-old Indian actor and tech investor.

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.

Will women buy it? An upcoming spinoff, more than $5 billion in annual sales, and 32,000 jobs in a global retail network that includes roughly 1,400 stores are riding on the answer.

The seven women, who form a group called the VS Collective, will alternately advise the brand, appear in ads and promote Victoria’s Secret on Instagram. They are joining a company that has an entirely new executive team and is forming a board of directors in which all but one seat will be occupied by women.

Rarely has a company so dominant in its sector been exposed as trailing so far behind the culture as Victoria’s Secret was in the wake of the #MeToo movement. It was, Ms. Rapinoe said bluntly, “patriarchal, sexist, viewing not just what it meant to be sexy but what the clothes were trying to accomplish through a male lens and through what men desired. And it was very much marketed toward younger women.” That message, she said, was “really harmful.”

[From The NY Times]

People on social media are, like, mad about Rapinoe specifically. Dudes are mad because Rapinoe isn’t the VS model of their fantasies. Personally, I think there must have been huge changes at an executive and advertising level to even get Rapinoe in the room. She’s not going to “yes” if there’s only a superficial change in the label. She won’t lend her name or her authentic, personal brand to Victoria’s Secret if they’re just going to try to make her “sexy” to straight men. (Rapinoe is already sexy to everyone though, so joke’s on her.)

As for the rest of it… we’ll see. I mean, this change is better than no change at all. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won’t. I wonder if there will be big changes in the product though – less itchy lace, more support? Will they expand their bra sizes? Will they offer more shapewear? I do have to say this as well: Savage X Fenty and Skims has got ‘em shook. What Rihanna and Kim Kardashian have done with their entrances into the lingerie/shapewear/underwear market is really big.

SOCCER : USA vs Netherland - Final Women s world cup - 07/07/201

Actress Priyanka Chopra wearing a Nicolas Jebran gown, Bvlgari jewelry, and Stuart Weitzman shoes while carrying a Jimmy Choo clutch arrives at The Recording Academy And Clive Davis' 2020 Pre-GRAMMY Gala held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 25, 202

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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69 Responses to “Megan Rapinoe & Priyanka Chopra are part of Victoria’s Secret’s big rebrand”

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  1. Lala11_7 says:

    Ain’t NO WAY as a humane human being…that I would associate myself with Victoria Secret…PERIOD!

    I don’t truck with corporations whose owners gave money & power to a man who used that money & power to decimate women & children…

    Nope….

    • Jax says:

      Do you drive a car? Because the fossil fuel industry has been responsible for countless deaths, wars & global warming. You should boycott that too.

      • Lala11_7 says:

        @Jax…transportation and oil which I need in order to EXIST since this country has a decrepit public transportation infrastructure and ALMOST EVERYTHING we use to have a viable life has oil in it…AIN’T bras & pannies…

        So…stop….

      • Jax says:

        You’re all for boycotts that are convenient. I get it. How about products that are made with sweatshop labour? Do you boycott those? Or do you also need them to exist?

      • Lala11_7 says:

        @Jax…glad you think the need for me to live on this planet is deemed a convenience…HOWEVA…we are discussing Victoria Secret…SPECIFICALLY! I have too much respect for this blog to drag you… …but good for you for caping for a company as abhorrent as VS who makes & sells underwear…cause some of your faves are getting some change to herald their …checks notes…rebranding effort when VS ain’t said or done barely ANYTHING about the complicity they had in destroying children’s lives…

        Kudos for you Boo….

      • Meg says:

        Lol @jax What do you boycott?

      • Barbiem says:

        @jax so she can’t not support VS unless she boycotts everything else. Sound reasoning.

      • Ashley says:

        Yeah @jax, step RIGHT off of that high horse. Lala, you’re the only one making sense here.

      • Jaded says:

        @Jax – We’re talking about VS here and what a disgusting POS Lex Wexner is, not global warming. Take that chip off your shoulder.

        @Lala11_7 – keep making sense!!

    • Sasha says:

      Seriously wondering if my older sister is Lala11_7

  2. Cait says:

    Priyanka Chopra is colorist as hell and supports skin lightening in her native country. I know it’s a billion dollar industry in Asia but adding her and all her surgeries does not scream inclusion.

    • Haylie says:

      Wasn’t Priyanka one of those “get over racial discrimination in Hollywood” people until it affected her career?

      I won’t be rushing to VS anytime soon.

      Plus, too much lace and too many rhinestones. All that stuff shows up under clothing like boob herpes and if I’m going to spend $$$ on underwear, I better be able to wear it somewhere other than the bedroom.

    • GrnieWnie says:

      maybe they added her less for her colour and more for her body type/profile in the Indian market.

  3. Rose says:

    I was the target market for VS and they were the only place to get nice underthings when I was in high school and college. What other places are there? Agent Provocateur and La Perla are too expensive for me.

    • Lala11_7 says:

      @Rose…that isn’t the case anymore..
      you can get VS like underwear at damn near EVERY store now…

    • Haylie says:

      Fenty. Soma. Third love. Bare Necessities. Aerie. There’s more out there, but I can’t remember. You are right that it was basically VS and Gap Body back in the day for affordable stuff for high schoolers.

      Plus, you can go to Nordstrom, get a proper fitting, and get nice bras/underwear. I like Natori and Chantelle.

      • Lara says:

        Half of those are only for skinny women, especially aerie. I’m 40DD and not a single thing there has ever fit me.

      • Maria says:

        Yes, this is my problem as a 36DDD. And the places that do sell bras in my size never have straps or structure that are supportive enough, I’ve tried most of the brands recommended. Obviously while their styles now go up to a 44 band size that doesn’t mean VS is the most inclusive brand in the world size-wise so I am not trying to pretend to give them props for that, but unfortunately for my beliefs they have always had bras that gave me proper support. I recognize this is an individual thing and I haven’t bought new bras in a while trying to find a more ethical place to support.
        I’ve done the fittings at Nordstrom too. Nothing ever fit me there, and when they did, they were utilitarian and ugly and certainly not anything that made me feel pretty.

      • readingissexy says:

        Yes, I am a 36 DD, and I love the VS knockout sports bra that clips in the front and zips. Really supportive and comfortable. It’s the best sports bra I’ve found that gives me BOTH comfort and support! (To give context, I’ve probably tried at least 3-5 name brand sports bras.)

      • SurelyNot says:

        @ Reading — my favorite as well because you can get them ON. I can’t tell you how many sports bras (36DDD) that I’ve bought and almost dislocated a shoulder trying to get them on or worse, off when they are damp. The front clip and zip are awesome and the straps are wide, padded and comfy.

      • dawnchild says:

        Enelle makes the the ultimate high impact sports bra for larger breast sizes. In all my decades, never found one better!

      • lucy2 says:

        I highly recommend the fitting at Nordstroms.
        I’m a 40DDD and Soma has been a life changer.

      • D-Wiz says:

        Laura,

        I am a 46DDD and shop at Torrid, they have really nice lingerie for women with a bigger breast size.

      • Sigmund says:

        Aerie is DEFINITELY not just for skinny women. Checkout the subreddit A Bra That Fits. The bralettes in particular have a lot of sizes. I wear a 36H (UK size) and comfortably wear an XL bralette from Aerie. And Bare Becessities and Nordstrom both carry size ranges that are much better than VS.

      • Jensies says:

        I really like True & Co bras. I have a bigger bust too and they fit and are super comfy. Also I refuse to wear underwire anymore and that helped a ton.

      • Amanda says:

        @Lara Check out City Chic for plus size lingerie. The prices are but they CONSTANTLY have 50% off sales, https://www.citychiconline.com/lingerie There’s a 50% sale going on right now in fact.

    • CuriousCole says:

      @Rose, Definitely check out Savage X Fenty! I’m supremely picky about my bras because my skin is stupidly sensitive, and I’ve been happy there, especially with the balconette bras. The sizes they offer are 32A-46H and you can see each bra on several different bodies/models. I don’t miss VS at all.

  4. Ersatz says:

    I’m sure there’s many brands who doesn’t have the history VS has that a celebrity could support (local, sustainable brands), so we all know what really interested them in those partnerships (and yeah that apply to Rapinoe as well).

    • GrnieWnie says:

      not to the same impact, though. VS has the structure in place for massive market reach. Working with a smaller brand is a different game entirely.

      • Ersatz says:

        Impact for what exactly ? Are you saying you’re being a good feminist while buying from a multi-million dollar empire who fucked up royally and is now trying to make everyone forget…

  5. lucy2 says:

    I suppose it’s better than continuing down their previous path, but I have no interest in any of it.

  6. Eurydice says:

    The VS branding was always ridiculous and insulting, but the main reason I stopped buying the products is they were uncomfortable – scratchy lace, wires that pinched, panties that gave me a wedgie, artificial fabrics that invited electrical shock. I don’t care how much they change their marketing – if the product sucks, I won’t buy it.

    • MF1 says:

      Me too! I used to shop there years ago until I realized that their bras are terrible! They don’t fit well, they’re not adjustable enough, they don’t look good under clothes, etc.

    • sally says:

      This. I was surprised to read upthread that people with bigger breasts found bras there, I have allegedly very desirable 34C boobs and nothing ever fit. I don’t need all the padding and stuffing, they look good on their own, but there was nothing cute that wasn’t terribly itchy, flammable, padded to hell or squished my boob in weird ways. I have never bought anything there and not even Rapinoe will make me now.

      • Haylie says:

        Right? I found my 36 DDD bras at Nordstrom like 2 weeks ago and they weren’t matronly or unsupportive. Now mind, it all depends on the quality of your Nordstrom, but mine had band and cup sizes that are even bigger. My plus sized sister whose boobs grew after pregnancy gets her bras at Soma, Torrid and Lane Bryant. I even threw out Bare Necessities, which has nice bras with larger band and cup sizes.

        VS stops at like 44DD and the larger sizes aren’t available in most bras.

        I think people just like to stick with what’s most familiar.

    • MissMarirose says:

      Same here. I don’t care who is shilling the product or what they say in the commercial. If it don’t fit my ass, I’m gonna give it a pass.

    • TaraBest says:

      I gave up trying with VS about a decade ago when I went to the store looking for a bra. Told the sales girl my size, she looked me up and down and told me that size didn’t exist. Then why was a wearing a bra in THAT SIZE?! I’ve stuck with Nordies ever since. They have a great selection and excellent sales people who are actually helpful. Some of their stores even have people who specialize in fitting women who have had mascetomies!

  7. lucky says:

    Check out Adore Me. I get their monthly box and love their product!

  8. Lara says:

    Savage x fenty lingerie is complete garbage and most women who are bigger than Rihanna will tell you that. I also don’t know a single person who has ever ordered skims. Screw that klan.

    • Gah says:

      I love the savage branding and the hype but I’m not in love w the product. That said I am bougie as hell wrt my lingerie and remember the 90s when VS had some amazing bras (I finally got rid of my last one of that era recently lol).

      I find buying lingerie hard in general and it’s always an investment-

      My fave mass brand is hands down intimissimi the Italian brand with locations all over Europe

      They have changed their assortment for the US market which is a bummer but I love love love everything they make- comfy underwear, gorgeous bras and awesome bodysuits

      My faves in general are Samantha Chang underpants but that shits $$$ and I love La Perla- best bras ever.

  9. Mchica says:

    Fallen for Soma. Not sexy but good quality and feels great on skin. Fits, sexy and supports

  10. GrnieWnie says:

    I wonder if they’ll start doing more athletic lingerie, then. Man, I would love a good sports bra/no show underwear brand that offers a lot of variety.

  11. OriginalLala says:

    VS is just doing this to save their brand, and the celebs are doing this for a paycheck. I will continue not to support them because their stuff sucks.

  12. Feebee says:

    Some dudes are very, very upset that VS is no longer catering to their gaze. Fuck ‘em. I pretty much wear VS exclusively…. not the items that they’d send an angel down the catwalk in though… the comfy, cotton backside covering stuff :)

  13. girl_ninja says:

    I’m not a Victoria Secrets fan at all. Overpriced and shabbily made is all I got from them. So if the rebranding doesn’t include better quality what is the point? I was a Priyanka Chopra fan when she initially came onto the U.S. scene with that FBI show but she’s such a disappointment. Her issues with color and wanting more euro features leave me side eyeing her. I love Megan. She really is that chick.

  14. Gobo says:

    Ah, jumping on Rhiana’s diversity train? What the hell is Leo going to do when he is looking for a new GF?

  15. Mcmmom says:

    Yeah, I’ll admit the new brand ambassadors have me intrigued. I stopped shopping there twenty years ago because their quality was terrible. If they improve their quality and genuinely promote inclusion, I’d be interested. I’m probably not their target market, though my daughters and my wallet are.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      Same regarding my 17yo daughter. At least it’s not like when I was in high school and we no longer have to contend with getting a new VS catalogue in the mail Every. Damn. Day. I wasted my skinny years feeling fat compared to those models that were shoved down my throat.

  16. Case says:

    I never have and never will buy from Victoria’s Secret.

  17. smee says:

    1. Their products suck
    2. They are obviously trying to wash off the stink from Les Wexner/J Epstein

  18. whatever says:

    It feels like they’re still missing the point. I’m not a lingerie model, so I never looked at a Victoria’s Secret Angel and thought, “oh, that’s a product for me.” But I’m not an Olympic athlete or married to a Jonas brother, either. Would it kill them to attempt to present their products as something that is appropriate or flattering or comfortable for an average human being? You know, the overwhelming majority of people that would hypothetically be BUYING their stuff?

    And “real women?” Really? That sounds like anti-trans language to me. When the trend is leaning towards less gendered clothing and they’re still presenting their products as being for “real women,” it just reinforces to me that they’re completely missing the point.

    • Mcmmom says:

      One of the women on their influencer board (whatever it’s called – this thing we are talking about) is a trans model, so I don’t read anything into the use of the word “real.”

  19. Susan says:

    As a hardcore Meghan Rapinoe Stan, I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt because I don’t think she’d jump onboard unless there were real systemic changes coming. As a large (natural) breasted thin girl, I have always had trouble finding legit high impact sports bras and I can’t imagine bringing Megan on without some kind of sports angle. I’m not sold..but I am going to be open minded because of my girl crush alone.

    • Mcmmom says:

      I know – I like Megan, too, and her involvement got me to pay attention. I was already a fan of Athleta, but their partnership with Simone Biles makes me love them even more (they are also a B Corp and they stand behind their product). I’m embarrassed how much I seem to be a marketers dream, but evidently I shop where amazing athletes tell me to. I don’t see any reason to shop at Lululemon again: overpriced, won’t stand behind their product, no world class athlete telling me to shop there.

  20. Marigold says:

    I loved VS in the 80’s and 90’s when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. They used to have the prettiest old fashioned cotton nighties. I had three for when I had my first baby. All my hospital photos were in them. And they had elegant silk ones too. And they had nice bras. Their robes have always been nice. I always got my girls their Christmas jammies from there.

    Believe it or not, but in the early 90’s they sold tailored suits in their catalogue. Those suits were DARLING. Great fit. Great colors. I wore a green silk one as my going away outfit when I got married.

    But they have been trash for years.

  21. Gertrude says:

    Can’t wipe away the Epstein stank.

  22. Jules says:

    This feels so try-hard and almost circusy. Bad move by everyone involved.

  23. Mia says:

    Yeah she’s super hot. 🤤

  24. Aimee says:

    Victoria’s Secret: Making Women Feel Bad About Their Bodies For Decades.

  25. Tursitops says:

    No, non, na. If you stand for something, then you’ll fall for anything. VS isn’t winning this consumer back even if they have a WOC and an LGBTQ person shilling for them. I’ve made my decision, and I’m not changing my mind at this point.

  26. Carol Baker says:

    I guess VS is rebranding the granny pantie when they hired Priyanka.