Victoria’s Secret is trying to get back in the news for all the right reasons as opposed to controversial ones.
The company’s chief executive officer, Jan Singer, resigned in November in the wake of declining sales. Shares of parent company L Brands have fallen more than 40 percent over the past year, with the Victoria’s Secret brand causing most of the investor angst.
Last fall, Victoria’s Secret faced a firestorm for its tone-deaf, over-the-top runway show, which relied on va-va-voom showgirl style lingerie that struck many as not only dated, but oblivious to the women’s empowerment movement that has been gaining force since the 2017 Women’s March. Last month, newly installed ceo John Mehas highlighted a comeback plan that will include reintroducing swimwear, new lingerie and less promotional activity.
To try to woo more of the 18 to 25 set, Victoria’s Secret’s Pink launched the Pink GRL PWR Project to foster female entrepreneurialism in February with the Pink Nation app. Now the company has unveiled an all-female jury of entrepreneurs, philanthropists, content creators and industry leaders. Launched in February on the Pink Nation app, the initiative is now in stage two, which calls for 20 young women to receive $10,000 to accelerate their respective GRL PWR goals. More than 5,000 entries were received in the first three weeks.
Alli Webb, founder of Drybar and cofounder of Squeeze; Allyson Ahlstrom, founder of the nonprofit Threads for Teens; Aya Kanai, fashion director of Hearst Media; YouTube star and designer Bethany Mota; Caitlin Crosby, founder and ceo of The Giving Keys; Heather Hall Galle, Victoria’s Secret Pink Campus Rep Alumni and cofounder of the social media and promotion service for weddings Maid of Social; Cylla Senii,”Situationships” creator on BET.com and YouTube development manager at Nickelodeon; Nichole BarnesMarshall, chief diversity and inclusion officer at L Brands, and Payal Kadakia, founder and executive chairman of ClassPass.
Members of the Pink Nation will have the chance to attend events and lectures featuring the Pink GRL PWR Project judges. In the meantime, the judges will review applicants’ submission videos, which highlight how each applicant would use the $10,000 windfall to empower themselves or others, before the winners are selected.
Pink’s ceo Amy Hauk said in a statement Monday, “These women embody many of the attributes we are looking to celebrate with the Pink GRL PWR Project — including an entrepreneurial spirit, drive and a passion for creating change. Each of the women on the panel will serve as a role model for our customer and how she can have an impact on her world.”