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Entertainment Victoria's Secret signs Megan Rapinoe and Priyanka Chopra Jonas in brand makeover bid

08:52  18 june  2021
08:52  18 june  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Lingerie giant Victoria's Secret has signed American soccer star Megan Rapinoe and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas in an attempt to give the the flagging brand a makeover.

Rapinoe and Chopra Jones are among seven high-profile women to replace the brand's hypersexualised models, who are under scrutiny for their embodiment of male fantasy over an accurate representation of what women seek in undergarments.

The brand's new "partners" that form the "VS Collective" include photographer Amanda De Cadenet, world champion free skier Eileen Gu, as well as professional models Paloma Elsesser, Adut Akech and Valentina Sampaio.

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Sampaio became the first openly transgender model to pose for Victoria's Secret in 2019.

Victoria's Secret, which brought sexy lingerie to the masses in the 1970s and then made billions, has been responsible for super-charging the careers of supermodels such as Heidi Klum, Miranda Kerr and Gisele Bündchen.

However, in recent years the brand has been overshadowed by competitors that have openly embrace both bodily and ethnic diversity.

Criticised for its objectification of women, the US brand in 2019 abandoned its famed fashion show, a globally televised event that saw women parade down the catwalk in barely-there lingerie replete with gems, feathers and lace.

"When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond," said chief executive Martin Waters in an interview with The New York Times.

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"We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want."

No more Victoria Secret's 'Angels'

Mr Waters also flagged that the brand would no longer have "Angels" — specially selected Victoria's Secret supermodels who are spokeswomen for the brand.

“Right now, I don’t see it as being culturally relevant,” Mr Waters told the Times.

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One of the first companies to step into the void of Victoria's Secret's dimming star was Savage X Fenty, a lingerie company launched by singer Rihanna in 2018 which is now valued at $US1 billion, according to an estimate by Forbes magazine.

Victoria's Secret saw sales drop 7.7 per cent in 2019 even before the pandemic.

Its parent company, L Brands, announced in May that it had spun off the lingerie company in an attempt to separate it from its other holdings.

Victoria's Secret plans to resume its fashion show in 2022, but in a very different format, Mr Waters told the Times.

Rapinoe, a two-time World Cup champion and activist for women's and LGBTQ rights, said she was thrilled to be "creating a space that sees the true spectrum of all women".

"So often I felt myself on the outside looking in with brands in the beauty and fashion industry," Rapinoe said in a statement.

AFP/ABC

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