Victoria's Secret Has Hired Its First Male Model
The company is reshaping its image in the face of declining sales.
Victoria's Secret is on a mission to reshape its brand image after years of criticism and slumping sales. The company's strategy took a turn few might have expected on Tuesday, with the announcement of its first-ever first male model: actor and producer Darren Barnet, best-known for his starring role in the Netflix series Never Have I Ever.
The 30-year-old will be a brand ambassador for PINK's gender-free collection, which includes shorts, tees, sweat sets and accessories. In his new role, Barnet will further PINK's commitment to inclusivity, promoting mental health and empowering young adults.
"Filming Never Have I Ever definitely brings me back to my high school days and reminds me of the insecurities and issues that we face as young adults. I know how it feels to not fit in, and how important it is to feel supported and accepted for who you are," Barnet said in a statement from the company. "I love the work that PINK is doing – especially their focus on community and mental health – so I'm really honored to be a part of this team."
In the announcement, PINK CEO Amy Hauk said the company is excited about the partnership with Barnet, because he serves as "a positive role model for teens and young adults."
Adding Barnet to its roster is the latest move in the company's significant rebrand. Back in 2021, the company did away with its trademark models, the Victoria's Secret Angels, replacing them with the VS Collective, which includes inspiring women in a variety of fields: actor Priyanka Chopra, model Adut Akech and soccer player Megan Rapinoe, among others.
At the time, some questioned the pivot, saying it could turn off loyal customers, but only time will tell if the brand's revamp proves successful. Currently, Victoria's Secret continues to see declining sales; revenue fell 28% to $5.4 billion from $7.5 billion the year before, per CNBC.
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