The Resignation Of Victoria's Secret CEO Proves Consumer Power Is Alive And Well

by: Lucy Jones | 1 year ago | News

Victoria’s Secret’s 2018 runway show. Image source.

The world has finally turned on Victoria's Secret. Last week, the brand's CMO Ed Razek casually told Vogue that Victoria's Secret would never hire "transsexuals" or plus-size models. "The show is a fantasy," Razek explained. "We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]," he added. "No one had any interest in it, still don’t."

The brand was slammed on social media for these offensive and out-of-touch comments. Victoria's Secret angel Kendall Jenner, who walked in this year's show, was among the models and celebrities who spoke out against the brand. After the show, Jenner posted a quote tile on her Instagram stories that read "Celebrate tans women". Transgender models Carmen Carrera and Leyna Bloom and plus-size model Tess Holliday all talked to Teen Vogue about how important inclusivity and diversity are. Rihanna also reportedly liked a Tweet that read: "Prime example of why brands need to be careful of casting directors opinions. Especially when it’s a 70-year-old man who’s living in the past". 

This backlash forced Razek to issue an apology for his remarks. Razek apologised for his “insensitive” comments and said that the brand "absolutely would" cast a transgender model in the show... if they were good enough. "We've had transgender models come to castings," he said. "And like many others they didn't make it."

A few days after this non-apology was issued, the CEO of Victoria's Secret stepped down. After just two years in the job, Jan Singer handed in her resignation. She might have quit because of the brand's dwindling sales or because she didn't think Victoria's Secret could recover from this PR disaster. Whatever the reason, her resignation shows that consumer power is alive and well. The way you choose to shop matters and if shallow brands like Victoria's Secret refuse to change with the times, then they don't stand a chance.

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