Victoria’s Secret stores will be getting a whole new look soon, with the famed Angels being replaced by “curvy” mannequins
After announcing last month that they’re officially rebranding, Victoria’s Secret is giving a glimpse into what the in-store shopping experience will soon look like for customers. Along with bringing on a slew of new brand ambassadors like soccer star Megan Rapinoe, Olympic skier Eileen Gu, inclusivity activist Paloma Elsesser, actor Priyanka Chopra, and others, the company will soon debut a new store look that represents a “more inviting” atmosphere for women, according to the brand’s new creative director, Raul Martinez.
Martinez told the New York Post that about half of Victoria’s Secret’s 1,400 stores around the globe have begun swapping out the brand’s signature Angel imagery in a move to help “empower” women instead of objectifying them — a longstanding critique of the brand that came to a head in 2018 when one of the company’s top execs publicly made transphobic and fatphobic comments. In 2019, more than 100 models penned an open letter to VS executives, first making public multiple instances of sexual harassment and abuse, which was corroborated in a 2020 New York Times report confirming the retailer’s “culture of misogyny, bullying and harassment.”
Along with seemingly diversifying its models recently (likely to, you know, save Victoria’s Secret from sinking altogether), the brick-and-mortar makeover will swap black store walls for a “softer shade of pink,” velvet furniture for more modern vibes, and mannequins of varying body shapes and sizes — a first in the brand’s 44-year history, per the New York Post.
CEO Martin Waters has reportedly updated employees on the progress in recent company-wide meetings, sharing that they’re “moving from what men want to what women want; We are going from a look to a feeling, from excluding most women to including all women, from mostly unattainable to grounded in real life.” (OK!)
Though the Angel imagery is being phased out, it seems several of the brand’s current faces will remain on board, including Valentina Sampaio, who has served as the brand’s first and only trans model to date.
Only time will tell if the shift helps bring shoppers back to the fledgling brand, which has been bested in sales and public opinion for several years by more inclusive competitors like Savage x Fenty, Knix, ThirdLove, and others. If done right, Victoria’s Secret 2.0 will cater to lingerie and fashion lovers of all shapes, sizes, abilities, and gender identities — undoubtedly a tall order for a brand that has historically ignored or shut out so many from their offerings and marketing strategy. Stay tuned, shoppers!