Indian actress Priyanka, 38, and LGBT advocate and footballer Megan, 35, join a roster of other diverse ‘leading icons’ that have been recruited to ‘shape the future of the brand’, Page Six reported on Wednesday.
A source told the publication that the women won’t be posing in lingerie, but ‘instead appear on a podcast and in marketing materials for the recovering brand.’
As for whether or not the brand’s supermodel Angels squad will make a comeback in the relaunch, brand chief executive Martin Waters said: ‘Right now, I don’t see it as being culturally relevant.’
Star power: Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Megan Rapinoe have been revealed as two new spokeswomen for Victoria’s Secret; Priyanka (left) seen in 2020 and Megan (right) seen in 2019
Waters, who was appointed chief executive in February after serving as head of Victoria’s Secret’s international business, told the New York Times that the brand ‘needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.’
He added: ‘I’ve known that we needed to change this brand for a long time, we just haven’t had the control of the company to be able to do it.’
Piggybacking off Waters, former chief executive of the Victoria’s Secret division responsible for its catalog, Cynthia Fedus-Fields, expressed to the New York Times that although it was ‘probably time for the Angels to go’ the brand is going to have to find a way to ‘move forward while maintaining existing customers.’
‘If it was a $7 billion business pre-Covid, and much of that $7 billion was built on this blatant sexy approach, be careful with what you’re doing,’ she warned.
Priyanka and Megan will reportedly join Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech, freestyle skier Eileen Gu, Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio, plus-size model Paloma Elesser, and journalist Amanda de Cadenet, who is set to host a 10-episode podcast where the women will share their stories.
NO lingerie! A source told the publication that the women won’t be posing in lingerie, but ‘instead appear on a podcast and in marketing materials for the recovering brand’; Alessandra Ambrosio walking for Victoria’s Secret in 2011
No longer relevant: As for whether or not the brand’s famous Victoria’s Secret Angels squad will make a comeback in the relaunch, brand chief executive Martin Waters said: ‘Right now, I don’t see it as being culturally relevant’; Alek Wek, Karolina Kurkova, Eva Herzigova, Gisele Bundchen, Aurelie Claudel, and Heidi Klum for Victoria’s Secret
‘It’s a group of women inspiring change and positivity. It’s another step they’re taking towards transforming the brand. The entire industry thought Victoria Secret was done,’ the insider revealed.
Another source added, ‘[The Collective] is completely cause-driven … The idea is to create this community of outsiders looking in. It’s a new generation for the brand that is more about inclusivity.
‘And they [Victoria’s Secret] needed it if they wanted to stay afloat. The brand was stuck in an era that never evolved. It’s a different world now.’
Speaking to the NYT, Rapinoe said the old VS 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,’ which promoted a ‘really harmful’ message.
Priyanka is a longtime advocate for women’s rights and has worked with UNICEF since 2006.
She was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for child rights in 2010 and 2016, and supports various philanthropic efforts through her Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education.
Hard at work: She was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for child rights in 2010 and 2016, and supports various philanthropic efforts through her Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education; seen in 2020
Rapinoe has remained a vocal advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, and works with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally.
Megan has earned a host of awards and titles through her incredible career, and solidified her status as an activist when she knelt during the national anthem at an international match as an act of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
She, along with 27 of her US Women’s Soccer teammates sued the United States Soccer Federation in 2019 for gender discrimination in efforts to receive equal pay.
Former chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, left Victoria’s Secret in 2018 after claiming the public wasn’t interested in seeing plus-size or transgender models on the catwalk, admitting ‘The show is a fantasy.’
The day he left, trans model Valentina Sampaio shot her first campaign for the lingerie brand.
Champion: Rapinoe has remained a vocal advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, and works with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally
Soon after Razek’s comments, the annual Victoria’s Secret Catwalk show, which began in 1995, was cancelled.
Adding to the controversy, it revealed that Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder of Victoria Secret parent company L Brands, had ‘business ties’ to now-deceased sex predator Jeffrey Epstein.
For decades, Wexner was Epstein’s only publicly named client as a financial advisor, and the billionaire appears to be a key source of the $500 million fortune that Epstein left behind when he died in 2019.
A cloud of mystery has surrounded the two men’s relationship, and internal investigations commissioned by L Brands resulted in Wexner stepping down as CEO and then resigning from the board, though the findings were not made public.
Wexner has never been criminally accused of involvement in Epstein’s sex crimes, and despite rampant speculation, no evidence has emerged that the two men were romantically involved.
Jeffrey Epstein’s strange relationship with Les Wexner (right), the billionaire founder of Victoria Secret parent company L Brands, is the subject of a lengthy new article
Epstein wormed his way into Wexner’s inner circle through his close friend Robert Meister (above), whose firm handled insurance for L Brands
Last month, Wexner severed his last official ties with the L Brands, the retail giant that he founded in 1963, stepping down from the board after resigning as CEO.
Wexner, 83, along with his wife Abigail, did not stand for reelection to the board in May.
In January, L Brands shareholders filed a lawsuit alleging that the retail tycoon and his wife Abigail not only knew about Epstein’s conduct but allowed him to ‘use their home for liaisons with victims.’
It further claims that Wexner was so close to Epstein that he ‘knew or should have known’ that the dead pedophile was posing as a modeling recruiter for Victoria’s Secret to prey on aspiring young girls.
The bombshell allegations are part of a shareholder lawsuit brought against senior leadership at L Brands, the global fashion retailer.
Wexner and his wife Abigail stepped down from the L Brands board in May, following lawsuits and questions about his financial relationship with Epstein