Victoria’s Secret CEO Jan Singer Steps Down After Fashion Show Controversy

Published on November 22, 2018

It’s been a rough couple of months for Victoria’s Secret. The women’s lingerie company has been in the press for both controversial comments and a major decline in sales.

Jan Singer, the CEO of Victoria’s Secret has stepped down amid the highly publicized controversy that happened this month. It is unclear whether or not Singer’s resignation is officially due to the controversial Vogue interview published earlier this month or if it’s because the fashion giant’s sales have been declining steadily. Singer officially resigned this week on Monday. Singer is currently a part of the brand’s parent company called L Brands. The parent company is also responsible for companies like Henri Bendel and Bath and Body Works.

Why?

Just a couple of weeks ago Vogue published an interview with Ed Razek, the Chief Marketing Executive of the fashion brand. In the interview Razek was asked why the company has never ventured from their usual model body type or even hired a trans model. His response sparked controversy when he claimed that the company sells a certain “fantasy” and that trans or plus-sized models don’t fit that fantasy.

In the days following the publishing of the interview Razek and, by default, Victoria’s Secret, received a lot of negative criticism online. The company released a statement on its twitter account with an apology written by Razek. However, many aren’t taking the apology to heart as the company continues to receive a lot of negative criticism online. The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion show aired just a few weeks ago.

The Future of the Company

Victoria’s Secret’s sales have been declining steadily for quite some time now. Forbes published a detailed account about the company’s loss in sales in February of this year. Over the next few months, the brand began cutting prices and promoting massive sales, like the company’s famous semi-annual sale. Still, Victoria’s Secret continued to decline in both sales and online traffic to the stores website. Studies are showing that consumers are moving on to more affordable brands with better marketing. For example, American Eagle’s Aerie brand garnered huge praise when it announced that it would no longer retouch images of its models just a few years ago.

Jan Singer previously worked as the head of Spanx, the shapewear company that became a household name. Singer served as the CEO of Spanx and, before that, was an executive at Nike. Running household brands is no new feat for Singer, who hasn’t yet announced what her next move will be. L Brands made the official announcement of Singer’s resignation on Monday. For now, the iconic lingerie brand seems to be hanging on by a thread in the eyes of the general public.

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Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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