It’s no surprise that the sales of Victoria’s Secret plummeted in 2017. In fact, it was a long time coming. The lingerie giant has thrived on the insecurities of women, pushing an image of perfection that is unrealistic. Its dominance was marked in 2012 when the company sold $6 billion USD of product, making it the largest American retailer of women’s lingerie.
The Internet gave rise to its success, and now it will be a part of its downfall. The brand’s annual fashion shows showcase specialty items on mannequin-figured women that don’t represent women at large. With the growth of social media, the voice of the masses has been amplified and thereby deflating VS’ overwhelming presence. Women are calling for products that actually fit them and imagery that empowers figures that should be universally celebrated.
Its formula has stopped working and competitors smell blood. The brand’s collaboration with Balmain was not enough of a distraction. If Victoria’s Secret doesn’t make a change, it will be phased out like retailers before it. Many credit the decline to the discontinuation of its swimwear and apparel, but it’s clear the problem runs much deeper.
In an effort to provide some much needed feedback – with the help of our readers – we’ve come up with three changes the brand can make to appeal to a generation of smart and informed consumers.
Redesign Products and Expand Sizing
So much has changed in fashion but VS has not adapted its stock to reflect this shift. Its bra silhouettes maintain the structured, restrictive shape that is dated and premodern. Garment technology has reached a place where women with larger busts should not feel like their bras are cumbersome and uncomfortable. Innovation is a must and a company of VS’ size definitely has the resources to make some changes. Taking a step back and carefully approaching its stock is a must. Brands like Good American and Frank and Oak took their time creating products that make women feel like their bodies are being honored and not simply accommodated by ill-fitting wares.
Update Imagery to Reflect Women More Realistically
The imagery that Victoria’s Secret produces is monotonous. The same type of bombshell, vixen women are portrayed as the pinnacle of beauty. The brand doesn’t skew even in the slightest to incorporate fuller figures or women of different shapes. Accepting difference is now the new standard. VS needs to diversify, in every sense in the word, in order to sustain their business. It can learn a thing or two by way of Ashley Graham and Les Girls Les Boys that both make inclusion a center focus.
This point is the most salient. As Victoria’s Secret begins to rethink marketing it also needs to reformat its identity without pulling from others. VS has been involved in a slew of lawsuits for allegedly stealing inspiration from artists and brands alike. Victims range in size from Pat McGrath to indie lingerie brand, Love Made. Hiring fresh, new designers who have a passion for lingerie will make a world of difference in the creation of a more forward-thinking company.