An outdated Victoria’s Secret campaign highlighted only small figures and a distinct, stereotypical look. Boycotts against the lingerie and loungewear company stopped people from shopping at their various stores around the globe. At their annual fashion shows, protestors waited outside to give backlash to the insular, uninclusive brand. In an attempt to revamp its dwindling sales, Victoria’s Secret has launched the Icon campaign.
In earlier marketing strategies, VS recruited a group of models formerly known as the Angels. They were the face of the brand, walking in shows and posing for pictures that could be seen on the world’s largest billboards. Amongst these stars were Gisele Bündchen, Naomi Campbell, Adriana Lima, and Candice Swanepoel. While these women have diverse qualities, they all have the same body type, making VS lack representation and wearability.
The Icon campaign is reuniting these models after a 5-year hiatus for the company’s rebrand. But in a marvelous and more inclusive marketing move, VS has hired Paloma Elsesser, Adut Akech, Hailey Bieber, and Emily Ratajkowski. These models showcase VS’ clothing items on a range of body types, something the company has notoriously never done before.
Akech, a newly recruited Icon shared with Fashionista that she took the job because “The campaign really is an extension of the brand's mission to empower all women and I've loved getting to be a part of such impactful moments in the brand's journey.”
Paloma Elsesser, a renowned body-positive spokesperson and successful supermodel, holds the record for walking the most high-fashion shows as a plus-sized woman. Her work has opened hundreds of positions for diverse groups of models and empowered women at large.
CR Fashion Book asked Paloma what message she wants to convey through the campaign. In a soft, yet certain way, Paloma answered “With this iconic campaign, I hope to convey a message of acceptance, and to figure out what makes you an icon. I hope to inspire all the Victoria’s Secret community to embrace their uniqueness and recognize that beauty comes in many forms, embracing the full spectrum of beauty.”
The campaign showcases all the same products loved for years but incorporates a new range of sizes. Their classic underwear is now available in sizes XS-XXXL. Their new Demi Bras are sold from A to G cups with bands that range from 34 to 44 inches. Rather than suiting one specific person, VS now accommodates any woman.
While there are still massive strides to be made in the fashion industry regarding size inclusivity, the fact that Victoria’s Secret, a massive company, is changing gives us hope. The brand seems to be going in the right direction with the Icon campaign and will hopefully influence others to do the same.