“When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond,” Martin Waters, CEO of the lingerie brand told the New York Times on June 16, adding that the angels were not “culturally relevant” anymore. “We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.” The retail company will be introducing a new group called VS Collective that will take over for the angels.
The women included in the collective Priyanka, who is an actress and activist, pro US soccer player Megan, South Sudanese refugee and model Adut Akech, Chinese freestyle skier Eileen Gu, #Girlgaze founder Amanda de Cadenet, model and activist Paloma Elsesser and Brazilian trans model Valentina Sampaio, who has been modeling with VS since 2019.
Don’t expect these ladies to be only modeling the lingerie. VS’ CEO explained that the women would be appearing across platforms that don’t necessarily require visuals, such as podcasts. “To rebrand is going to take a lot of steps to ensure that they have the consumer trust, that this isn’t just inclusivity-washing,” Waters said.
For years, people have been calling out the longstanding clothing company for not being more size and body inclusive. Disinterest in the brand even led VS to cancel its annual fashion show in 2019, and there was also no fashion show in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gigi spoke about being party of the “warm community” of models during the 2018 fashion show, which turned out to be the last. “I feel so lucky to be part of this group of girls. I think every girl is so amazing and it is really great to meet all the new girls and see all my sisters-slash-friends,” the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum said at the time. “I’m just so happy for everyone. As you get to know each girl, you get to understand why they are really in the show. It’s just a really warm community feeling.”
It’s a new era for Victoria’s Secret.