Victoria’s secret is suffering from image problems
Victoria’s secret recently lost market share
Due to the deteriorating operating margins at Victoria’s Secret, US ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded L Brands’ outlook form stable to negative. The lingerie brand has been suffering from image problems related to its promotion of unrealistic body images and recently lost market share to more inclusive brands like American Eagle’s Aerie and Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty line.
L Brands Inc. (LB) said Victoria’s Secret struggled in the most recent holiday shopping season, as same-store sales fell and margins suffered a significant declined.
The retailer reported a 6% decline in same-store Victoria’s Secret sales in December. That compares with the 1% fall the company reported for the brand in December 2017. Results include sales from company owned stores in the U.S. and Canada and other direct-to-consumer sales.
About Victoria’s secret :
Victoria’s Secret is an American designer, manufacturer, and marketer of women’s lingerie, womenswear, and beauty products. Founded in 1977 as a response to packaged underwear, which the company’s founder considered to be “ugly, floral-print nylon nightgowns”, the company is now the largest American retailer of women’s lingerie.
Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
Kelly Gale at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, 2014.
In 1995, Victoria’s Secret began holding their annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which is broadcast on primetime American television. Starting with the 1995 fashion show, they are “a combination of self-assured strutting for women and voyeuristic pleasures for men—and lingerie becomes mainstream entertainment.”
Ken Weil, vice president at Victoria’s Secret, and Tim Plzak, responsible for IT at Victoria’s Secret’s parent company Intimate Brands, led Victoria’s Secret’s first-ever online streaming of their fashion show in 1999. The 18 minutes webcast streamed February 2, 1999, was at the time the Internet’s “biggest event” since inception. The 1999 webcast was reported as a failure by a number of newspapers on account of some user’s inability to watch the show featuring Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, and Stephanie Seymour as a result of Victoria’s Secret’s technology falling short being able to meet the online user demand resulting in network congestion and users who could see the webcast receiving jerky frames. In all, the company’s website saw over 1.5 million visits while the Broadcast.com’s computer’s were designed to handle between 250,000 and 500,000 simultaneous viewers. In total, 1.5 million viewers either attempted or viewed the webcast.
The 1999 webcast served to create a database for Victoria’s Secret of over 500,000 current and potential customers by requiring users to submit their contact details to view the webcast. The next spring Victoria’s Secret avoided technical issues by partnering with Broadcast.com, America Online, and Microsoft. The 2000 webcast attracted more than two million viewers.
By 2011, the budget for the fashion show was $12 million up from the first show’s budget of $120,000.
Victoria’s Secret Angels
Victoria’s Secret started working with renowned models in the early 1990s, with the hiring of Stephanie Seymour, Karen Mulder, Yasmeen Ghauri, and Jill Goodacre.
These models helped the brand gain notice and soon enough were featured in televised commercials. Veronica Webb is one of the original Victoria’s Secret models.
Angels is one of Victoria’s Secret’s lingerie lines, which was launched in 1997, with a commercial featuring Helena Christensen, Karen Mulder, Daniela Peštová, Stephanie Seymour, and Tyra Banks as well as pop star Tom Jones. The commercial was a major success and the Angels began to be featured in various commercials, alongside other contract models for the brand such as Yasmeen Ghauri, Inés Rivero, and Laetitia Casta. From then onwards, the term Angel started to become synonymous with being a contracted spokesmodel for the brand and in February 1998, the Angels made their runway debut at Victoria’s Secret’s 4th annual fashion show, with Chandra North filling in for Christensen.
Seymour, Mulder, Pestova, Banks, and Casta were all featured in both of Victoria’s Secret webcast and took part in the promotion as the brand’s contract models. Starting 2001, the show has been televised and usually features the year’s Angel line-up at the start of the show, starting with Pestova, Banks, Klum, Adriana Lima and Gisele Bundchen In 2004, due to the Super Bowl controversy, instead of a televised show, Victoria’s Secret sent its five contract models (Banks, Klum, Bundchen, Adriana Lima, and Alessandra Ambrosio) on a tour called Angels Across America, as by then, the word had become synonymous with Victoria’s Secret spokesmodels. The last original Angel, Tyra Banks, departed the following year, as Karolina Kurkova, Selita Ebanks, and Izabel Goulart were hired.
Among other recognitions, the Victoria’s Secret Angels were chosen to be part of People magazine’s annual “100 Most Beautiful People in the World” issue in 2007 and became the first trademark awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 13, 2007, with Klum, Lima, Ambrosio, Kurkova, Goulart, Ebanks, Marisa Miller, and Miranda Kerr at hand. Alongside new Angel Doutzen Kroes, they also took part in the grand reopening of the Fontainebleau in Miami in 2008. In 2009, it was widely reported that Candice Swanepoel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Chanel Iman, Emanuela de Paula and Lindsay Ellingson had been hired by the brand. However, De Paula was absent from the fashion show and Erin Heatherton was credited in her place, alongside the Angels (Klum, Ambrosio, Kerr, Miller, Kroes, and Behati Prinsloo, with Lima being on maternity leave). The brand also held a nationwide competition to hire a new “runway Angel” (as are dubbed all the models who walk in the show), Kylie Bisutti was crowned as the winner but soon parted ways with the brand. In the following year-and-a-half Swanepoel, Huntington-Whiteley, Iman, Heatherton, and Ellingson all were revealed as Angels.
Various tours have been held featuring the Angels, such as the Bombshell Tour in 2010 (featuring Laura Croggon, Sophia Timpano, Katie Bryan, and new recruit Lily Aldridge), a VSX tour in 2013 (featuring Swanepoel, Ambrosio, Ellingson, and Aldridge) and a Swim Tour in 2013 (featuring Swanepoel, Ellingson, and Heatherton). The Angels have been heavily featured on the brand’s social media, including on a short-lived Facebook application in 2013-2014 highlighting the Angels (then including Lima, Swanepoel, Ellingson, Aldridge, and Karlie Kloss) as well as Lais Ribeiro, Toni Garrn, and Barbara Palvin.
Ellingson, Kroes, and Kloss all departed soon after the 2014 fashion show, leaving the brand with only 5 Angels. In 2015, the Angels as well as models Elsa Hosk, Joan Smalls, Lais Ribeiro, Martha Hunt, Jasmine Tookes, Stella Maxwell, and Monika ‘Jac’ Jagaciak were featured on the brand’s first ever Swim Special. Soon after, in the brand’s biggest group hiring ever, all but Smalls were revealed as Angels, along with longtime catalog regulars Lais Ribeiro and Sara Sampaio as well as Kate Grigorieva, Taylor Hill, and Romee Strijd. The following year, Jagaciak and Griegorieva exited, while catalog regular Josephine Skriver was added to the roster. In 2017, Alessandra Ambrosio announced that the yearly fashion show would be her last.
In 2018, Chinese Models Sui He and Ming Xi received a contract, meaning they will be Victoria’s Secret Angels but only exclusive to China.
After nearly 20 years of serving as a Victoria’s Secret angel, Adriana Lima made her final walk down the runway during the 2018’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
In 2019, new Angels Barbara Palvin, Alexina Graham, Leomie Anderson, and Grace Elizabeth were added to the roster. Palvin made her fashion show debut with Victoria’s Secret in 2012, afterwards not appearing in a runway show again until 2018, while Graham had appeared in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows in 2017 and 2018. Graham became the first redhead to be named a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Anderson first began walking in 2015, while Elizabeth walked her first show in 2016 and was a PINK spokesmodel from 2016 to 2019.
Other notable spokesmodels for the brand have included: Claudia Schiffer, Eva Herzigová, Oluchi Onweagba, Jessica Stam, Ana Beatriz Barros, and Bregje Heinen as well as a handful of celebrities such as Taylor Momsen.