As many people know, this week the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was filmed live in New York City and will air sometime around December on TV. The show, which features new and upcoming lines in the lingerie company, has for years been a popular staple in the fashion industry.
While the show has not aired on CBS yet, and has only been filmed, there has been immense controversy surrounding the company and the show due to comments that were made by chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, during an interview with Vogue. For years, Victoria’s Secret has been scrutinized by women around the world for deciding to forgo inclusiveness and only fixate on one particular body type and style. When asked about this, Razek gave an offensive and controversial answer saying:
Sara Sampaio is constantly being criticized for being too fat. Sara Sampaio? Seriously? Where does it end? Do I think about diversity? Yes. Does the brand think about diversity? Yes. Do we offer larger sizes? Yes. So it’s like, why don’t you do 50? Why don’t you do 60? Why don’t you do 24? It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us. And they carp at us because we’re the leader. They don’t talk about each other. I accept that. I actually respect it. Cool. But we’re nobody’s third love. We’re their first love. And Victoria’s Secret has been women’s first love from the beginning.
When asked about diversity and bringing up Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty line, Razek said:
Progress gets made, and part of what’s happened in our show is that the girls have just continued to get more physically fit. We don’t tell them to; they compete with one another and they work hard, they work in pairs, they work in threes. Many of them work out at the same gyms; they have complex routines. They shouldn’t have to apologize for that. Everybody keeps talking about Rihanna’s show. If we had done Rihanna’s show, we would be accused of pandering without question.
And, when asked to elaborate on this, Razek said:
Because the brand has a specific image, has a point of view. It has a history.
Obviously, many people online who read the article and heard Razek’s words were incredibly offended.
Victoria’s Secret is that she’s transphobic and hates fat people. https://t.co/NTRrrGCjsu— Okay. 3, 2, 1, Let’s Jam! (@radiofreemars_) November 11, 2018
literally fuck victoria's secret trans people and plus size women don't want you or your business either. https://t.co/bTSIYRrMsf— em (@emolytucci) November 12, 2018
I was hired to work seasonal for Victoria’s Secret last week. I put in my letter of resignation today. No amount of money is worth working for a brand that discriminates not only against me as a plus size woman, but more importantly the trans community that keeps them in business— jocelyn ???? (@shessoIucky) November 11, 2018
victoria’s secret out here saying they won’t employ trans or plus size models yet they keep employing the same model year after year who can’t even walk straight. lmao let’s leave them to it girls n gays.— Grey Jarvis (@grey_jarvis) November 11, 2018
Honestly? FUCK Victoria's Secret. As a plus size girl I've always felt left out but I felt that was the "price" I had to pay for overeating while depressed and one day I'd be "normal" and fit in their products. But the exclusion of trans people? FUCK THAT SHIT.— #PRIDESOS IS BACK ON @WEAREQUEERSOS (@pridesosproject) November 10, 2018
Victoria's Secret refuses to have have trans models so think before you waste your money there.— old face magenta (@gratefulghost) November 10, 2018
A lot of people online also mentioned that Rihanna’s lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, does not discriminate and welcomes all women of all communities—having pregnant women and trans women walk her runway show.
I love how they bring up rihanna’s line too - saying they’re “amused” by it. you sound salty as fuck because rihanna knows what she’s doing and she’s doing it WELL. the average woman doesn’t go to victoria’s secret for lingerie anymore because they aren’t represented.— maddy. (@Iilac_) November 9, 2018
Imagine Rihanna buying Victoria’s Secret and actually reinventing/taking over the lingerie industry— sorceress supreme ???? (@anjibaby_) November 12, 2018
We do not claim victoria's secret when rihanna gives us a show with plus size, trans and pregnant women https://t.co/dF2ROSETlD— Rihanna Nepal (@RihannaNepal) November 11, 2018
Rihanna watching Victoria's Secret getting boycott all over the Internet pic.twitter.com/b6te0dQTEQ— Baby (@Jaycee_babes) November 10, 2018
Honestly the Victoria’s Secret brand became irrelevant after Rihanna ATE this runway. Long live SAVAGE X FENTY. https://t.co/LQ7rVlPI5O— venus fly trap pussy (@Malloshy) November 11, 2018
i read an article where the owner of victoria’s secret was super transphobic and racist, and that’s why you should give your money to rihanna and buy savage x instead rihrih please sponsor me— the bones are their money (@dumpsterfresh) November 11, 2018
FUCK victoria's secret! To all my fat ladies: Savage x Fenty is doing 5 for 35$ panties right tf now. They got stuff for my skinty queens too. Also Rihanna designed them so you know they're lit.— Lauren Hilton (@thicneytears) November 11, 2018
Oh and also FUCK vitoria's secret
The truth is, they either bring the changes people want to Victoria’s Secret products AND show or they die. ????????♀️— Leta Lestrange ???????? (@elbafuenmayor) November 10, 2018
The other truth is: if they die, no one will really miss them. Rihanna made sure of that. So change is imminent.
why go to victoria’s secret when u could go to aerie or even better ... rihanna’s lingerie line !— ☁️ ???????????????????????? ☁️ @ anext! ✨ (@LIGHTS__OW) November 11, 2018
Obviously, the company made Razek issue a statement apologizing for his comments, as boycotting for any cause hurts the brand and its reputation.
Please read this important message from Ed Razek, Chief Marketing Officer, L Brands (parent company of Victoria’s Secret). pic.twitter.com/CW8BztmOaM— Victoria's Secret (@VictoriasSecret) November 10, 2018
And, if you’re wondering what Rihanna herself has to say about all the drama surrounding the jabs that Victoria’s Secret took at her line—and her personally—look no further. Luise O’Reilly made a comment about why companies should always be careful of who they allow sitting in the high ranks of their board and directors—especially in how they voice their personal beliefs.
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. Thank god @rihanna brought us @SavageXFenty this year with genuine attention & love of diversity in her branding ???? https://t.co/pdCk2ueSGq— Louise O'Reilly (@StyleMeCurvy) November 11, 2018
Someone online screenshotted the tweet and posted it to Twitter, and RiRi herself gave it a sweet, shady little like.
And, that’s the tea, sis. Rihanna has been speaking out about diversity in not just fashion, but makeup and beauty, too. With her Fenty makeup line, she has included shades and textures that were unavailable to many women worldwide prior to its launch. And, with Savage X Fenty’s launch, women of all shapes, sizes, and communities are able to find reasonably priced bras, underwear, and lingerie that not only fit but also, represent values we all stand by.
That’s a true legend.