Vogue Runway Director interviews two important members of Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and they clarify they do not want plus-size or trans people on the runway during the show.
Victoria's Secret is facing backlash after two members important to the big fashion show were interviewed by Nicole Phelps of Vogue. The interview was with "chief architects of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: chief marketing officer of L Brands, Ed Razek, and executive vice president of public relations at VS, Monica Mitro."
During the interview, Razek stated that there was no interest in plus size models. He stated that they did a television special back in 2000, but no one really cared about it. What that means, from a business perspective, is that there is no reason to put plus-size models in their big fashion show. If people didn't want it in the small television show, then there's no business-related reason why they would supply something that is not in demand.
Anyone with business sense knows that wasn't enough to keep people from complaining. Sure, it makes sense to someone who understands the concepts of running a successful business. But to others? It's a travesty and a social justice issue.
Razek: I think we address the way the market is shifting on a constant basis. If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have.
We invented the plus-size model show in what was our sister division, Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant still sells plus-size lingerie, but it sells a specific range, just like every specialty retailer in the world sells a range of clothing. As do we. We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world.
We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t. Our show is the only branded special in the world, seen in 190 countries, by 1 billion 6 million people; 45 percent more people saw it last year than the year before.
Our direct business is growing substantially—double digits on a monthly basis.
At some point the interview ties in Razek getting himself off Instagram because of how toxic it was with people commenting on the models and harassing them. He mentions that the brand does offer larger sizes and Mitro steps in to say what the sizes are. She says they range from 30A (very small) to 40DDD (extra big).
The chat swings over into the transsexual topic and he specifically states that he does not think they should include those types of people in the Victoria Secret's Fashion Show. The reason is that the show is a fantasy. One thing to point out is that people have grown to know the Victoria's Secret brand as being slender and beautiful women. To show trans or plus size people during Victoria's Secret show would not make any sense. Not to mention the fact that it would probably ruin the show for most people watching it.
Victoria's Secret built their brand by displaying beautiful slender women - not men dressed as women, and not plus sized women.
Razek: I’ve been off Instagram for a few months now—I just can’t take all the people trying to beat up on the models or all the people trying to tell me what an idiot I am this time of year. The hate that’s on social media, it’s extraordinarily toxic.
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.
Mitro: 30A to 40DDD is our range.
Razek: 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.
At the end of the day, it's all about money. Everything this company does has a bottom line. It's about supply and demand. There's simply no interest by the majority of people who watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion show to see plus-sized or transgender people on the runway.
People who watch the fashion show want to see the models.