Lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret is reportedly ditching its woke, feminist makeover of recent years as it hasn’t translated to business success.
Since the brand decided to move away from its “hyper-sexualized” image – as BusinessOfFashion.com described it in a recent article – Victoria’s Secret has seen a significant revenue drop.
As such, it has looked to revamp itself and bring back “sexiness,” the outlet noted in a piece that was also published by editorial partner CNN on Tuesday.
Cathaleen Chen reported that the brand’s efforts to promote inclusivity – which included making LGBTQ pro women’s soccer player and outspoken leftist Megan Rapinoe, as well as a transgender woman, brand spokesmodels and getting rid of its famous “Angels” supermodels – gained “favorable reviews from online critics [but] never translated into sales.”
According to the numbers, the lingerie brand’s projected revenue for 2023 is $6.2 billion, which is 5% lower than it was last year, and even lower than 2020, when the brand’s revenue was $7.5 billion.
The drop in Victoria’s Secret’s sales also followed the company’s move to make its board of directors mostly female.
In 2021, Rapinoe called out what the brand had been before the revamp, claiming it had sent out a “really harmful” message that was “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,” the U.S. Women’s soccer star added at the time.
In the fashion outlet, Chen noted that the lingerie company’s attempt to stop the financial drain body-positive marketing was causing was to bring back its runway show format, and blend the sexiness the brand had become famous for with some of its more inclusive initiatives.
She described the Victoria’s Secret: The Tour ’23 as a display that “fell somewhere in between the personification of male lust of the brand’s aughts-era heyday and the inclusive utopia promoted by its many disruptors.”
Victoria’s Secret and Pink brand president Greg Unis summed up this new direction for the company, reportedly telling investors, “Sexiness can be inclusive.” He explained that “Sexiness can celebrate the diverse experiences of our customers and that’s what we’re focused on.”
Chief executive Martin Waters also reportedly admitted that the inclusivity initiatives were not profitable for the company, stating, “Despite everyone’s best endeavors, it’s not been enough to carry the day.”
According to BusinessOfFashion, the company’s new goal is to “Improve profitability and cross back over $7 billion in annual sales.” To meet this objective, the brand plans to roll out activewear and swimwear, update its existing stores and open up 400 new ones outside the United States.
Victoria’s Secret did not immediately respond to Fox Business’ request for comment.