Bella Hadid is returning to Victoria’s Secret.
The model revealed today that she is joining the company’s VS Collective, Victoria’s Secret’s initiative that brings together a diverse group of women for collaborations, partnerships and campaigns.
Hadid was previously a Victoria’s Secret Angel, walking in the company’s fashion shows from 2016 to 2018. However, in 2020, she cut ties with the company after joining more than 100 others in accusing former L Brands chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, of inappropriate behavior. Razek has since stepped down from the company.
The model spoke about her decision to return to Victoria’s Secret in an interview with Marie Claire, stating: “It has been a few years since I’ve done anything with Victoria’s Secret. What magnetized me to coming back was them coming to me and really proving to me that, behind the scenes, Victoria’s Secret has changed so drastically.…There was a type of way that, I think, a lot of us women who used to work with Victoria’s Secret felt. And now, six of the seven [VS] board members are all female. And there’s new photo shoot protocols that we have. So a lot has changed. I feel like the world really deserves a brand like Victoria’s Secret and to also feel represented by it as well.”
Hadid stated she made her decision to work with Victoria’s Secret again after about a year and a half of conversations with the company’s executives about how Victoria’s Secret is changing and what its new mission would be.
“[Joining the VS Collective] was really about taking my power back and having the power over my body be released to myself again,” she said. “I think the beauty of what Victoria’s Secret is as a collective is about the conversation. All of us together, Paloma [Elsesser], Adut [Akech], when we sit on set, we’re just grateful for how we feel supported now, instead of how we used to feel, when it was a lingerie company that used to be run by men for men.…I just look around [on set] and I feel empowered again. I feel empowered in lingerie, instead of feeling like my body is some sort of money maker.”
Victoria’s Secret has been embroiled in several controversies over the last few years, including the allegations against Razek and the controversy around former L Brands chairman emeritus Leslie H. Wexner’s close ties with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Many speculated that Epstein used his close ties to Wexner and Victoria’s Secret to seduce young women.
The brand has also regularly been called out for its lack of diversity, in terms of race, body sizes and including the LGBTQ community, in its campaigns and its now-canceled annual lingerie fashion show.
The VS Collective is part of Victoria’s Secret’s rebrand and commitment to diversity and inclusion. The initiative was launched in June and includes prominent female figures such as professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe, actress Priyanka Chopra, model Paloma Elsesser, tennis champion Naomi Osaka and transgender model Valentina Sampaio, among others.
While Hadid’s addition to the VS Collective was announced today, she made her return to Victoria’s Secret last month in the brand’s holiday campaign.
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