Tyra Banks voiced her opinion on Victoria’s Secret historic rebranding.
Victoria’s Secret was founded in 1977 by Roy and Gaye Raymond, it is an American lingerie, clothing, and beauty retailer known for high visibility marketing and branding.
Victoria’s Secret became the largest lingerie retailer in the United States, and from 1995 through 2018, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was an essential part of the brand’s image featuring an annual runway fashion show of supermodels promoted by the company as Angels.
Tyra Lynne Banks, 47, also known as BanX, is an American television personality, model, businesswoman, producer, actress, and writer. She was a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 1997 to 2005.
She was also one of the most iconic Victoria’s Secret Angels of all time making her one of the world’s top-earning models by the early 2000s.
The American lingerie brand has now decided to move to a new era and rebrand itself in a more dramatic yet modern campaign by replacing “Angels” with prominent women activists, athletes, and actors as the brand’s new representatives.
Tyra has shared her opinions about Victoria’s Secret’s decision to rebrand itself and showcase new spokeswomen in a post shared to her Instagram account. She shared an image from her final runway show as one of the brand’s Angels in 2005, making her feelings known about the rebrand.
Banks wrote on Instagram:
“First is hard. First is lonely. But first is necessary, first is crucial so that a door can be opened for others to fit through. Within a 10-year span starting in 1995, I was the first Black @VictoriasSecret contract model ever.”
“The first Black Victoria’s Secret Cover model. The first Black VS model to do so many other groundbreaking things with the brand—as well as other brands. But after a first, must come a flow of more. A flow of different. A flow of uniqueness. A flow so strong, a flow of so many that we LOSE COUNT.”
“I retired from the runway 16 years ago — and I’m proud that in my lifetime, I’m witnessing a beauty revolution, to the new collective of bad*** ROLE models, I may have cracked that door open, but y’all are charging through.”
“Keep on keepin’ on until we all LOSE COUNT of how many are breaking through behind you. #LetsLoseCount.”
Tyra couldn’t be happier to see the “beauty revolution” happening within the modeling industry, even if it took more than a decade after her retirement to see some real change.
The reality television personality becomes a fashion mogul and also co-created the hit show America’s Next Top Model, which she currently judges. She later established her own cosmetics line, entitled Tyra Beauty, and wrote a modeling-focused young adult novel, Modelland, which was released in 2011.
This support from Tyra comes following an announcement from the lingerie company on June 16, when Victoria’s Secret revealed it would be launching two initiatives: the VS Collective and the Victoria‘s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers.
As a part of the brand’s new campaign, its Angels models will be replaced with new members to inspire diversity and change, who are not chosen for the looks alone.
Among the seven founding members selected to join the “VS Collective” include actor, producer, and entrepreneur Priyanka Chopra Jonas, US football star Megan Rapinoe, LGBTQ model and activist Valentino Sampaio, South Sudanese refugee and wellness supporter Adut Akech, British journalist, photographer, and equality advocate Amanda de Cadenet, LGBTQIA+ activist, pay equity and body positivity advocate Paloma Elsesser and World Champion freestyler skier Eileen Gu.
Sampaio is also the first transgender ever to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
This historic rebranding comes came after the criticism that the brand didn’t embrace models of all sizes and backgrounds on its runway.
In 2018, Ed Razek, former Chief Marketing Officer, made transphobic and fat-shaming comments saying that no one wanted to see transgender or plus-size models on the show, as a result, he was asked to leave, and he did.
The famous Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was officially canceled on November 21, 2019. The high-profile runway show had been “in style” for 23 years. The company said that the decision was part of a move to “evolve the messaging of the company.”
According to the press release, the Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancer will donate “at least $5 million annually to examine and address racial and gender inequities and unlock new innovations that improve cancer outcomes for all women.”
Martha Pease, the brand’s Chief Marketing Officer told People that the rebranding would start a new era for the company.
“With The VS Collective, we are creating a platform that will build new, deeper relationships with all women,” Pease said. “Through a series of collaborations, we’re bringing new dimensions to our brand experience.”
Martin Waters, the company’s CEO, also commented that the change would be for the better with the implementation of its initiatives.
“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,” he said.
The official Instagram account for Victoria’s Secret wrote:
“We are proud to announce an exciting new partnership platform, #TheVSCollective, designed to shape the future of Victoria’s Secret. These extraordinary partners, with their unique backgrounds, interests, and passions will collaborate with us to create revolutionary product collections, compelling and inspiring content, new internal associate programs, and rally support for causes vital to women.”