Victoria’s Secret is arguably the best known lingerie brand around the world, with stores in almost 50 countries. The brand has, however, been weathering some criticism as of late.
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show took place on December 2, and critics had some harsh words for the lingerie brand. While in recent years the brand has grown to feature models from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, critics contend that plus-sized models are still under-represented on the Victoria’s Secret runway and in the company catalog.
Considering that Victoria’s Secret runs sizes from extra small all the way to extra large in their underwear lines, and offers bra sizes up to 40DDD, a purported dearth of plus-sized models to display these product offerings seems a stark opportunity for the fashion label.
Now, U.K. plus-sized brand Navabi has hit back at Victoria’s Secret with a message — and a fashion show of their own, according to TipHero. The company took to their Twitter account with a video of plus-sized models wearing their lingerie.
Navabi’s basic message was that it was time to make fun of this “ridiculously outdated attitude,” in the realm of fashion. This statement was meant to indict Victoria’s Secret, and to provide contrast for Navabi in a social media branding push.
When @VictoriasSecret's chief marketing officer says 'nobody was interested' in plus size women, we say... what planet are you on? So 24 hours after your show, here's our own, making fun of this ridiculously outdated attitude... #VSFashionShow pic.twitter.com/Ktjy5wQj18— navabi (@navabiFashion) December 4, 2018
Over the years, Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer for Victoria’s Secret, has made it clear that he has no intention of changing the status quo when it comes to the models.
Earlier this year, he offended both the transgender community and many plus-sized women in a single statement.
“Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have. We invented the plus-size model show in what was our sister division, Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant still sells plus-size lingerie, but it sells a specific range, just like every specialty retailer in the world sells a range of clothing. As do we. We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world. We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.”
His comments resulted in Jan Singer, CEO of lingerie, stepping down from her post at the company — according to the Hollywood Reporter — after just two years at the company.
As body positivity and gender non-conforming groups have gained more public support, more and more companies are catering to plus-sized people. Victoria’s Secret has faced increasingly harsh criticism for refusing to follow this trend.