So what’s Victoria’s Secret’s next move? A platform that offers more of a sexual smorgasbord or a return to the original formula of romantic interludes?
In a time of a conservative political climate, the lingerie specialist has turned to a "Make Love, Not War," philosophy. Its product assortments, visual presentation at retail, annual runway shows, and advertising flaunt sexuality through suggestive body language and scantily clad models.
That’s a sharp contrast to the image of the Victoria’s Secret catalogs in the Eighties and Nineties, where fantasies were kinder and gentler and supermodels conveyed the image of a demure-looking woman wearing lingerie in a romantic setting.
In conjunction with this new approach, the $2.4 billion retail unit of Intimate Brands Inc. embarked on a double-tiered marketing and promotional campaign in November, when it opened its largest store to date: a 25,000-square-foot, two-level lingerie playground in Manhattan’s Herald Square. The new lingerie and beauty palace is projected to generate first-year sales of $20 million, according to Victoria’s Secret officials.
While the new megastore format of cream, black and trademark candy pink makes a far more contemporary statement with candid black and white photos of supermodels taken behind the scenes at VS fashion shows, and a "grande hall" area for upscale vintage lingerie that features garters at $24.50 and runs up to $1,800 for a one-of-a-kind long tulle skirt, the boudoir nonetheless remains reminiscent of a setting of questionable virtue.
The year-old addition of high-end vintage merchandise is aimed at capturing a more sophisticated and discerning audience with lots of discretionary income. Then, there’s sub-brand Pink, aimed at 15- to 22-year-olds, another attempt at broadening Victoria’s Secret consumer base.
However, industry observers generally believe it will be difficult to woo the Park Avenue crowd into a Victoria’s Secret store or to order from its catalog or Web site, when they are accustomed to dropping $200 or more for several La Perla bras and thongs at Saks or Neiman Marcus.
As Grace Nichols, chief executive officer of Victoria’s Secret Stores puts it: "The brand has always been about special environments that are residential, feminine and romantic, but every two or three years we’re running with some new version of the design. In lingerie, what’s different or what’s sexy to people continually changes. Our customers are very interested in cleavage that really doesn’t have so much padding, which is what our Very Sexy [bra line] offers."The progression has been chronicled throughout a series of fashion shows, beginning in 1996 at the Plaza Hotel, moving to Wall Street in 1998, the Cannes Film Festival in France in 2000 and, most recently, to the New York State Armory, where a circus-like ambience featured Flamenco dancers and the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Choir, plus a fur protest.
The reason explained to the media was that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals protested because of Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen’s contract to promote Blackgama mink. The protest was cut from the broadcast on ABC.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye