Vogue Magazine recently sat down with two Victoria’s Secret execs, who also happen to be the chief architects of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, to discuss what changes to expect when the show airs on December 2nd. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Chief Marketing Officer of L Brands, Ed Razek and Executive Vice President of Public Relations at VS, Monica Mitro, touched on diversity within their models, Rihanna and Fenty X Savage as well as incorporating plus size or transgendered models in their shows.
When the pair was asked if they were putting more emphasis on diversity, Mitro said, “This year—it’s kind of hard to believe, because we only have 60 women—we have 19 new faces who have never walked Victoria’s Secret before.” Razek said, “By the way, in 1999, 2000, after we’d done the show for a few years, none of the designers who did shows would use any of our girls. They were too “fat” was the prevailing wisdom of fashion at the time. You probably remember that. At the time the conversation was “they’re too big for us, we can’t possibly put them in our show.”
He continued, “Progress gets made, and part of what’s happened in our show is that the girls have just continued to get more physically fit. We don’t tell them to; they compete with one another and they work hard, they work in pairs, they work in threes. Many of them work out at the same gyms; they have complex routines. They shouldn’t have to apologize for that.”
Razek brings R&B superstar and fashion icon, Rihanna into the conversation when he stated, “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.”
They were then asked if VS feels the need to address the way the market is shifting in regards to the younger generation being turned on by the multiple sizes of women and upstart brands putting trans and size 40 women in their advertisements.
Again, Razek took the floor stating, “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, #LaneBryant. 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.”
Mitro interjected, saying, “We call it logo love. Whatever we put a logo on sells. Regarding change, I feel it’s not so much about what the competitors are doing. What we’re thinking about is where is our customer? Where is she shopping? What does she want from us?”
The Instagram generation was another topic discussed during the Vogue interview, in which Razek expressed that he has been off of the platform for a few months because of “people trying to beat up on the models.” He mentioned how Sara Sampaio is constantly being criticized for being “too fat.”
Razek said, “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.”
How do you feel about the changes in diversity with VS models throughout the years? Are they changing with the times or sticking to the norm?