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👚 The downfall of Victoria's Secret
AND: Aliens, YEEZY Gap & Dior
Victoria’s Secret ain’t so “secret" anymore. Wild connections to Jeffrey Epstein, distasteful marketing practices, and difficulties tackling the e-commerce market have caused a free-fall of a once-coveted brand.
So what actually happened?
So. Many. Things.
At this point, it’s hard to count. I did some digging to summarize what happened to the company that, at one point, was doing billions of dollars in sales a year.
Check out the story after the jump… and don’t forget about those upcoming product drops! There’s a ton out there as we’re starting to see fall collections pop up.
brand of the week
the downfall of Victoria’s Secret
what’s in my closet
what’s on the coffee table
upcoming product drops
interested in advertising? click here
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🧺 brand of the week: Off Hours
The label ‘loungewear’ has always felt uninspired by founders Rebecca Zhou and David McGillivray. They wanted Off Hours to be much more than just “sleepwear.” So they decided to make their own category: “inactive-wear.”
The focus is really comfortable clothes for wearing at home. We all know being active is an important part of a healthy happy life. But with more attention being spent on recovery, they've decided to tackle the underrepresented: rest and self-care. Their goal is to help you switch off, whatever that looks like for you.
The first product they’ve developed is their signature ‘The Homecoat’. It’s a quilted robe that’s the closest you can get to actually wearing your comforter without cutting a couple of arm holes in it. The Homecoat was born from an obvious realization that we’re not just sleeping in our sleepwear. When we come home after a long day we want to put on something comfortable. Yet, most options are either ugly and frumpy, extra lacey and frilly, or just some ancient thing that’s managed to survive multiple Good Will clear-outs. So they set out to create their own––something which was super soft, practical, yet also had a design sensibility to it (something you wouldn’t mind being seen in by the delivery guy).
👚 the downfall of Victoria’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret was founded in 1977 by American businessman Roy Raymond after he had a terrible experience shopping for his wife. The inspiration for the name of the brand derived from the Victorian era in England. By 1982 the company was making more than $4 million in annual sales but was nearing bankruptcy. That’s when Les Wexner took over.
Les Wexner had a very prominent history at the time. Under his parent company L Brands, he’d already acquired Express and Lane Bryant. He flipped Roy Raymond’s vision, creating a store that was more focused on women than men. And it worked. By the early 1990s, it had become the largest lingerie retailer in the US with 350 stores nationally and sales reaching over $1 billion.
The brand began to cement itself in 1995 when the famous Victoria’s Secret annual show was born. Around the same time, the idea of the Victoria’s Secret “Angel” came into play. Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, its commercials featured heavily made-up and risque-dressed Angels.
Soon the runway show would become more lavish, as model Gisele Bündchen in 2000 walked the runway in what was the most expensive item of lingerie ever created; a $15 million diamond and ruby-encrusted “Fantasy Bra.”
That same year, Sharen Jester Turney come on as CEO, heading up the catalog business. She became CEO of the brand in 2006. And under her nine-year tenure, the company thrived. Sales increased to $7.7 billion. Then Turney abruptly stepped down in 2016 and was succeeded by Wexner as interim CEO (hmmmm did she know something?)
L Brands has long staked its fortune on the American shopping mall. The company doubled down on malls in the 1980s and 1990s. The plan worked and helped transform the brand. But that strategy has recently backfired as consumers have moved towards online options - and revenue has declined in 12 of the last 13 quarters.
Between 2015 and 2018, sales began to drop significantly, as more body-positive brands came out such as Aerie, ThirdLove, and Lively.
The retailer has been destroyed by its ties to Jeffrey Epstein, a millionaire sex offender who once managed billions of dollars for Les Wexner. Although they have sought to distance themselves, it hasn’t worked at all.
In addition to managing Wexner’s money, Epstein was a trustee for the Wexner Foundation and two other family trusts, including one named for Wexner’s four children. Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, which authorities seized, was once owned by Wexner.
“People have said it’s like we have one brain between two of us: each has a side,” Epstein said of Wexner in a 2003 Vanity Fair interview.
Wexner called Epstein “very smart with a combination of excellent judgment and unusually high standards.”
out of touch marketing
Victoria’s Secret has built a brand around male desire and sex appeal. Although it worked for some time, it’s completely outdated because of the shift in how people, especially young women, think about beauty and desire.
For nearly two decades, Victoria’s Secret relied on its annual fashion show to drum up buzz for the brand. But women are buying fewer push-up bras and more sports bras, creating new problems for a company known for its glamourous and strappy styles.
Bra shopping is a dreaded chore for many women. But a growing amount of start-ups promise an easier process and an experience that’s more enjoyable and diversified.
Victoria's Secret is attempting a comeback under new leadership while hiring transgender employees and leveraging female entrepreneurs as the face of the brand.
Has it worked? Not really. Too much damage has been done in my opinion.
👖 what’s in my closet
Boxer brief multipack by Nike with soft stretchy jersey material that’s lightweight and breathable.
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Meet Steph Shiu: The jewelry designer redefining luxury with Vault by Vans READ MORE HERE
Global stocks waver after Fed's Powell says surging US inflation will fade READ MORE HERE
☕ what’s on the coffee table
Alien Of Extraordinary Ability is a humorous look at art and culture as told through the lens of the multi-award-winning comedian and creative. Presented by Dover Street Market New York, and named after Kheir's current US visa classification, Alien Of Extraordinary Ability uses comedy as a vehicle for sharing a textured array of artistic imagery and pieces.
🙏 aesthetically pleasing
Fraser Island, Australia - Scotty Pass
💧 upcoming product drops
HUF Fall 2021 Collection [NOW]
KAWS x sacai “Wearable Art” Collection [JULY 17TH]
See you next Friday,
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