Victoria’s Secret is bidding farewell to its Angels, in favour of a more diverse group of brand ambassadors.
The company, whose 2019 fashion show was cancelled due to criticism about its failure to embrace models of all sizes and backgrounds, is undergoing a major rebrand and launching two new initiatives: the VS Collective and the Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers.
The lingerie brand’s VS Collective now features “accomplished women who share a common passion to drive positive change,” a press release explained.
Victoria's Secret is saying goodbye to its notorious “Angel” models in a major rebrand, bringing in a more diverse group of brand ambassadors that include Megan Rapinoe and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. @ErielleReshef has the story. https://t.co/7GCLScatOg pic.twitter.com/0HNmSQ3hDD
— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 17, 2021
Adut Akech (refugee, mental wellness supporter, model), Amanda de Cadenet (journalist, photographer, GirlGaze founder & equality advocate), Eileen Gu (world champion free skier, youth & women’s sports advocate, model) and Megan Rapinoe (LGBTQIA+ activist, pay equity crusader, professional soccer player) are joining the team.
Paloma Elsesser (body advocate, community creator, model), Priyanka Chopra Jonas (actor, producer, entrepreneur), and Valentina Sampaio (LGBTQIA+ activist, actor, model) are also on board.
“At Victoria’s Secret, we are on an incredible journey to become the world’s leading advocate for women,” said Martin Waters, CEO, Victoria’s Secret.
“This is a dramatic shift for our brand, and it’s a shift that we embrace from our core. These new initiatives are just the beginning. We are energized and humbled by the work ahead of us.”
“With the VS Collective, we are creating a platform that will build new, deeper relationships with all women. Through a series of collaborations, business partnerships, and cause-related initiatives, we’re bringing new dimensions to our brand experience. In marrying our new partners’ energy, creativity, and perspectives with our network and scale, we can transform how we connect with and show up for women,” said Martha Pease, chief marketing officer, Victoria’s Secret.
Chopra shared of the honour: “I can vividly remember the thrill at 16 opening a gift from Victoria’s Secret given to me by my aunt. A new era always brings a sense of freedom, and the opportunity to play a part in shaping the evolution and future success of a heritage brand like Victoria’s Secret is so exciting to me.
“As we work together to chart the path forward in a new and impactful way, I’m not only looking forward to developing future collections that are inclusive of all people, but I am most excited for new customers and for those who have always been a customer of Victoria’s Secret to feel represented and like they belong.”
The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancer will donate “at least $5 million annually to examine and address racial and gender inequities and unlock new innovations that improve cancer outcomes for all women,” the press release stated.
Meanwhile, the VS Collective promises to work with its new brand ambassadors to “create new associate programs, revolutionary product collections, compelling and inspiring content, and rally support for causes vital to women.”
Annual grants will be awarded to individual scientists or research “dream teams” who are collaborating across institutions.
As part of its ongoing commitment to tackling women’s cancer, Victoria’s Secret also announced it was joining forces with leading designer and Breast Cancer Awareness champion Stella McCartney during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. She will “bring her experience, perspective, energy, and voice to the mission in order to educate and support,” the press release continued.
Stella McCartney said, “Breast cancer awareness has always been a cause very personal to me. It is a global issue impacting the lives of millions of women and their families every year.
“I’m hopeful this initiative will provide easier access to information, support, and services to a huge community of women around the world. I’m excited to play a small part during this pivotal moment on this vital issue.”
Tyra Banks, who became the first Black Victoria’s Secret contract model in 1995, took to Instagram after the rebranding news was announced.
Her caption included, “To the new collective of badass ROLE models, I may have cracked that door open, but y’all are charging through. Keep on keepin’ on until we all LOSE COUNT of how many are breaking through behind you.”