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Victoria’s Secret reveals “dramatic shift” in positioning with new female-focused initiatives

Gaelle Walker
17 June 2021

Victoria’s Secret has revealed a significant evolution of its brand positioning as it seeks to have a more positive impact on women’s lives.

The US lingerie and sleepwear business has announced the creation of two new partnerships: The VS Collective and The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers – both of which are designed to inspire, support and champion women through their lives.

Initially launching with seven leading icons and change-makers, The VS Collective will feature an ever-growing group of accomplished women who all share a common passion to drive positive change.

The first to join are: model and mental wellness advocate Adut Akech, journalist Amanda de Cadenet, world-champion free skier Eileen Gu, LGBTQIA+ activist Megan Rapinoe, body advocate Paloma Elsesser, actor and entrepreneur Priyanka Chopra Jonas and LGBTQIA+ activist and model Valentina Sampaio.

Through social, cultural and business relationships, The VS Collective will work to create new associate programs, revolutionary product collections, compelling and inspiring content, and rally support for causes vital to women.

One of the first initiatives will see the founding members of The VS Collective share their stories in a recurring podcast hosted by broadcaster Amanda de Cadenet.

Each episode will showcase the unique experiences and perspectives of a different member of The VS Collective, as well as reveal further details of their partnership with the brand.

The second partnership: the VS Global Fund for Women’s Cancers, will fund innovative research projects to progress treatments and cures for women’s cancers and invest in the next generation of female scientists.

In association with longstanding partner Pelotonia, the ground-breaking initiative will grant and award at least $5m annually to address racial and gender inequities and unlock new innovations that improve cancer outcomes for all women.

Annual grants will be awarded to individual scientists or research “dream teams” who are collaborating across institutions.

Victoria’s Secret will also join forces with designer and Breast Cancer Awareness champion Stella McCartney, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.

McCartney will bring her experience, perspective, energy and voice to the mission in order to educate and support.

Commenting on the developments, Victoria’s Secret chief executive officer Martin Waters said: “At Victoria’s Secret, we are on an incredible journey to become the world’s leading advocate for women.

“This is a dramatic shift for our brand, and it’s a shift that we embrace from our core. These new initiatives are just the beginning. We are energized and humbled by the work ahead of us.”

The Victoria’s Secret brand, whose sexualised imagery and catwalk “Angels” had fallen out of step in in the post-#MeToo era, has been working to present a more inclusive brand image in recent months.

Last year Next secured a joint venture (JV) deal with Victoria’s Secret parent L Brands, for the UK arm of the US lingerie business.

Under the terms of the agreement, Next owns 51% of the JV while Victoria’s Secret owns the remainder.

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