(Bloomberg Business) — Lane Bryant isn’t pulling punches with its latest advertising campaign. In an effort to redefine sexiness and challenge society’s orthodox beauty standards, the fashion retailer has one target squarely in its sights: Victoria’s Secret.
In new ads, models pose in Lane Bryant’s lingerie line Cacique, championing a push against body-shaming with the hashtag #ImNoAngel, a jab at the title given to Victoria’s Secret’s most prominent supermodels. Lane Bryant sells women’s clothing in sizes ranging from 14 to 28.
Lane Bryant’s new campaign wants to redefine the “traditional notion of sexy.”
“Our ‘#ImNoAngel’ campaign is designed to empower ALL women to love every part of herself. Lane Bryant firmly believes that she is sexy and we want to encourage her to confidently show it, in her own way,” Chief Executive Officer Linda Heasley said in a statement. The ads will be seen in Lane Bryant stores, on television, in print, and on billboards, and will be used on the brand’s social media accounts.
The ads, which feature popular models such as Ashley Graham, Marquita Pring, and Candice Huffine, look a lot like a Victoria’s Secret campaign from 2014. In it, Victoria’s Secret touted exclusively thin, toned models under the banner “The Perfect ‘Body,’” attracting public ire and an online petition accusing the lingerie label of “irresponsible marketing” by setting unrealistic body expectations. Representatives for L Brands, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The term “plus-size” is absent from Lane Bryant’s marketing materials, too, perhaps an effort to migrate away from the expression. There’s a debate swirling around the phrase, seen by some as a label that’s damaging to girls’ self-esteem.