What is Victoria's Secret?

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Chinook Centre

“Hmmmm. Victoria’s Secret show is in London this year?” I thought to myself. “Does anyone care about that?” I pondered.

Oh yes, many people do.

Global reports “tens of millions of viewers” will watch the show December 9. Another article by Global notes 47 models walked. Many of those models were top names, and Canada’s own Grace Mahary walked the show for the first time. She was the only Canuck in this year’s show.

Opulence and extravagance were on display. Skin too, of course. Feathers, rhinestones, cleavage and hand blown kisses were all included. One remarkable inclusion was the the jewel-clad bra reportedly worth $2 million. So while one model was wearing seven-figure frosting the other models had to settle for wings made of gold. GOLD.

Those staggering numbers and details are impressive, sure. But they do not interest me one bit from a style stance. I am not denying the U.S. brands retail strength. I am however questioning it’s place in advancing the world of fashion.

I understand the draw: beautiful women with beautiful bodies in lingerie. Pretty simple. Pun intended. Mix that with pop mega stars such as Taylor Swift, Ed Shernan, and Arianna Grande and you’ve got a television (and social media) event. Oh I forgot to mention the sparkles. But that’s it. It’s not a secret.

Perhaps I am foolish for wanting something more.

A quick review of their corporate website and subsequent Google search sheds very little light on the brand’s philanthropic efforts. The parent company, L Brands, mentions work in the communities where they are in but no specifics. I ask myself, “How are there no details?” I then ask the important consumer purchasing power follow up question, “Does the Victoria Secret customer care?” I may be saddened by the answer.

Regardless, I would suggest a partnership with young girls education and positive self-image efforts may be suitable. Maybe they are keeping such energies a secret. Is that it?

Perhaps I can’t let go of drastic errors in judgment from the brand.

Do you remember the 2012 show’s inclusion of a Native American headdress as a costume and the brand’s subsequent apology? For those who ask what’s the big deal the following quote says everything required.

"We have gone through the atrocities to survive and ensure our way of life continues," Navajo Nation spokesman Erny Zah said in an interview Monday. "Any mockery, whether it's Halloween, Victoria's Secret -- they are spitting on us. They are spitting on our culture, and it's upsetting."

How Victoria’s Secret executives approved this is unfathomable to me. Multiple people would have not only reviewed the proposed use of the cultures artifacts, they would have had to approve it. After the backlash, the brand was quick to say, “We are idiots,” (really it was along in the lines of, “We didn’t intend to insult any culture. We are sorry that we did.”) 

Earlier this year critics scoffed at the “perfect body” advertisements promoting the brands latest product. If you follow my blog, you’ll know how I feel about that word. An inclusion of “perfect” regarding a woman's body in lingerie is bad taste. Speaking from personal experience it’s hard enough to feel good in your skivvies let alone feel perfect. Too far.

We should celebrate (and sell well-fitted lingerie to) all human bodies not just the societal perceived ideal body type. It is potentially damaging for women’s self esteem, positive self worth and it’s equally harming to men. The notion of a perfect anything is confusing, unattainable and entirely subjective. I’m disappointed. 

So two huge strikes for me. Do you think the brand will give me a third?