Victoria’s Secret’s Pride Celebration Was A Massive Fail – Here’s Why

Published on June 8, 2019

Victoria’s Secret is facing backlash—once again—at the hands of its own mistake’s after its own CMO, Ed Razek, spoke ill of transgender and plus-sized models while promoting the company’s annual fashion show last November. While the winds have died down for the PR nightmare of an interview, things got hectic again when the company posted a pride month celebration post on its social media accounts last week. It’s clear that consumers haven’t forgotten about the massive faux pas last fall, but the question remains whether the company will speak out about the issue once again.

What Happened?

In celebration of pride month, which marks the anniversary of the famed riots at the Stonewall Inn in 1969, Victoria’s Secret’s offshoot brand, PINK, tweeted out a post honoring its LGBTQ+ associates and employees. However, in the wake of Razek’s comments regarding trans models last fall, Twitter users were quick to remind the brand that it wasn’t out of hot water over the situation.

“Here at PINK, we’re proud to celebrate our LGBTQ associates & customers that make an impact in their communities,” said PINK on Twitter on June 4, at the start of pride month. “Inclusion makes us stronger and we’re committed to giving everyone a voice. We’ll be sharing Pride stories from associates, Campus Reps and PINK fans all month long!” The post went alongside a pride flag graphic of the brands logo.

It didn’t take the internet long to bring up Razek’s comments, which may be a defining reason as to why the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will no longer be televised (I can’t help but grin). “dear Victoria’s Secret, you said trans women can’t sell the “fantasy” so here i am as a TRANS WOMAN selling the FANTASY!” wrote trans makeup mogul, Nikita Dragun on her Twitter account in the weeks following the 2018 fashion show disaster. Fans were quick to bring Dragun’s tweet up again when Victoria’s Secret attempted to voice support for the LGBTQ+ community during pride month, nearly a half-year later.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2019

Speaking of the end of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show’s televised history, we can’t help but wonder if it has everything to do with Razek’s comments about trans and plus-size models in an interview with Vogue that was released last November. “It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this?” said Razek. “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,” he said.

In the months following the interview, Victoria’s Secret saw a massive decline in sales around the world. The company, which dramatically pivoted out of the swimwear industry in 2016, announced just a few months ago that it would be selling swimwear again. Unfortunately, companies like Target and other online startups have honed in on the massive market opening in its place. Just a few months after that, it was revealed that the company would no longer be televising it’s highly publicized annual fashion show, which has, in the past, featured appearances from models like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid.

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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