Get All Access for $5/mo

Victoria's Secret abandons its scantily dressed Angels, saying they're no longer 'culturally relevant.' Activists and entrepreneurs will be the new faces of the brand, it says. Victoria's Secret has been working to overhaul its brand image after years of criticism.

By Mary Hanbury Edited by Emily Rella

This story originally appeared on Business Insider

NurPhoto | Getty Images

Victoria's Secret is abandoning its Angels.

The lingerie giant said on Wednesday that it was partnering with a group of inspirational women including activists and entrepreneurs to promote a new brand image and shape its turnaround.

These women, who include the Indian actor and entrepreneur Priyanka Chopra Jonas and the pro soccer player and gender-equality activist Megan Rapinoe, will become the face and voice of the brand, Victoria's Secret said.

Related: Up And Coming Stocks To Buy Right Now? 3 Retail Stocks In Focus

Victoria's Secret's Angels have been synonymous with the brand since the late 1990s. These women, who have included some of the world's most famous models over the years — Gisele Bündchen, Tyra Banks, and Heidi Klum, to name a few — were the face of Victoria's Secret through its marketing campaigns and annual runway shows.

In an interview with The New York Times published on Wednesday, Victoria's Secret CEO Martin Waters said the Angels were not "culturally relevant."

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Victoria's Secret's runway show had a powerful role in defining "sexy." More recently, it has been criticized as outdated.

Related: Naked Brand Group vs. L Brands: Which Intimate Apparel Stock is a Better Buy?

Ed Razek, a longtime marketing chief at Victoria's Secret's parent company, L Brands, was the brains behind the fashion show. Razek was considered one of the most influential people in modeling in the early 2000s, helping launch the careers of famous models.

He stepped down in August 2019. The fashion show was canceled that November, a year after he'd made controversial comments about featuring transgender and plus-size models.

Waters told The Times that the brand's overhaul was long overdue.

"In the old days, the Victoria brand had a single lens, which was called 'sexy,'" he said.

He added: "I've known that we needed to change this brand for a long time, we just haven't had the control of the company to be able to do it."

Related: How Will Covid-19 Impact the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs?

Mary Hanbury

Editorial Intern

Mary is an editorial intern at Business Insider

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.


ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

AI can be instrumental in building your brand and boosting awareness, but the right approach is critical. A custom GPT delivers tailored collateral based on your ethos, personality and unique positioning factors.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

Business News

Apple Reportedly Isn't Paying OpenAI to Use ChatGPT in iPhones

The next big iPhone update brings ChatGPT directly to Apple devices.

Business News

You Can Now Apply to Renew Your U.S. Passport Online — But There's a Catch

The U.S. State Department officially launched the beta program this week.