Victoria's Secret Rolls Out Grace Elizabeth In For Love and Lemons Campaign by Zoey Grossman

Victoria's Secret Rolls Out Grace Elizabeth In For Love and Lemons Campaign by Zoey Grossman

Victoria's Secret celebrated their For Love & Lemons Lingerie collaboration with founders Laura Hall and Gillian Rose Kern and Collection Muses Devon Lee Carlson and Solange Van Doorn. at a FLL x Victoria’s Secret launch party Thursday night

Victoria’s Secret Chief Executive Officer John Mehas delivers another major signal about his vision for a revitalized Victoria’s Secret, one that is “by her, for her” and that includes LA-based photographer Zoey Grossman shooting VS Angel Grace Elizabeth in the first release of campaign images.

Russell James Portraits New VS Model Lorena Duran as Sensual Phoenix Teases Rise from Ashes

Lorena Duran by Russell James Victoria's Secret Aug 2019 (6).jpg

Russell James Portraits New VS Model Lorena Duran as Sensual Phoenix Teases Rise from Ashes

VS needs all the support we can muster in our own USA economic interest, so let’s give the formerly great lingerie brand a break. AOC applauds its new hire model Lorena Duran and putting Russell James (who I’ve always adored) behind the lens to photograph her.

Russell James has an impeccable reputation with the VS models for decades. And few contemporary photographers have a better grasp of photographing upscale female sensuality — transgender, bisexual, gay or straight. Russell James respects and appreciates women. (Whatever group I forgot, please forgive me. Surely you get my point.)

Over 100 Top Models + Time's Up Join Model Alliance In Open Letter to Victoria's Secret

victorias-secret-#Time4RESPECT.jpg

On Tuesday morning, over 100 models, including Christy Turlington Burns, Edie Campbell, Karen Elson, Milla Jovovich, Doutzen Kroes, and Gemma Ward, signed an open letter addressed directly to Victoria’s Secret. The letter petitioned the lingerie brand to take concrete actions in protecting models against sexual misconduct.

The letter was properly addressed to Victoria’s Secret’s CEO John Mehas and it pulled no punches:

We are writing today to express our concern for the safety and wellbeing of the models and young women who aspire to model for Victoria’s Secret. In the past few weeks, we have heard numerous allegations of sexual assault, alleged rape, and sex trafficking of models and aspiring models. While these allegations may not have been aimed at Victoria's Secret directly, it is clear that your company has a crucial role to play in remedying the situation. From the headlines about L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner’s close friend and associate, Jeffrey Epstein, to the allegations of sexual misconduct by photographers Timur Emek, David Bellemere, and Greg Kadel, it is deeply disturbing that these men appear to have leveraged their working relationships with Victoria’s Secret to lure and abuse vulnerable girls.

L Brands CEO Les Wexner (l) and former CMO Ed Razek (r) in happier times.

L Brands CEO Les Wexner (l) and former CMO Ed Razek (r) in happier times.

The letter then proceeds to invite Victoria’s Secret to join the RESPECT Program —a program of the Model Alliance—is the only existing anti-sexual harassment program designed by and for models.

Signatory companies make a binding commitment to require their employees, agents, vendors, photographers and other contractors to follow a code of conduct that protects everyone’s safety on the job, and reduces models’ vulnerability to mistreatment. Models have access to an independent, confidential complaint mechanism, with swift and fair resolution of complaints and appropriate consequences for abusers. Further, RESPECT includes a robust training program aimed toward prevention, to ensure that everyone understands their rights and responsibilities.

“Corporations tend to treat the discovery of abuses as public-relations crises to be managed rather than human-rights violations to be remedied,” says Sara Ziff, the founder and executive director of the Model Alliance. “The RESPECT Program provides Victoria’s Secret an opportunity not only to right the wrongs of the past but also to work towards prevention.”

Ziff recently penned an essay for the Cut detailing her own encounter with Epstein as a young model. She highlighted just how long an imbalance of power and lack of protections have “plagued” the industry. She wrote: “Now, we need the support of agencies, publishing companies, and fashion brands who want to do better by the talent who they purport to protect.”

In November, the Model Alliance issued a statement following disgraced L Brands Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek’s infamous Vogue interview in advance of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Razek retired from Victoria’s Secret on Monday.

Valentina Sampaio Shoots Pink Campaign for Victoria's Secret, As Ed Razek Steps Down from L Brands

Valentina Sampaio Victoria's Secret.jpg

We have the welcome news that Victoria’s Secret Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek has retired in the wake of growing fallout around Jeffrey Epstein’s connections to L Brands chief and major stockholder Les Wexner. The plot has thickened so deep that even I — who worked in the business for a decade and knew both men well — am waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Razek was riding high — not in terms of VS revenues and profits, which were clobbered last year — but in an interview with Vogue in advance of the now cancelled, annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Among the tough questions fielded to Razek was one about using ‘transsexual’ models in the fashion show.

Razek claimed that “transsexual” models should not be cast “because the show is fantasy.” We know he meant “male fantasy” which is among the many reasons for the decline of VS. Former Victoria’s Secret Angel Karlie Kloss and current Angel Lily Aldridge clapped back online, stating that trans and gender non-conforming lives are not up for debate.

In a bit of poetic justice, Razek is out and transgender beauty Valentina Sampaio, a 22-year-old model hailing from Brazil, has shot a new campaign for Victoria’s Secret Pink.

I find Sampaio’s sultry, intoxicating images to be more conducive for the VS mothership, but whatever role she plays, we say kudos.

Hiring Sampaio won’t begin to solve Victoria’s Secret’s problems, but at least we know that new VS CEO John Mehas is putting his foot down. Mehas most recently was president of Tory Burch and from all we know, his thinking is much more advanced in terms of today’s women and also the attitudes of young shoppers than either Razek’s or Wexner’s.

Diet Prada Takes Victoria's Secret To Task For Ripping Off Fleur du Mal Lingerie

In May 2019, Fast Company profiled the highly-influential Diet Prada’s work calling out copycat fashion designers and championing new ones. Diet Prada cofounders Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler are among Fast Company’s Most Creative People of 2019.

Victoria’s Secret can’t seem to stay out of the news. Not only has VS landed on Diet Prada’s front page Instagram for knocking off their former design director, but the post gave Diet Prada the opportunity to slice a bit of VS flesh over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

First, the VS knockoff of Fleur du Mal’s “appliquéd Lily bras and panties, dupes of which unsurprisingly showed up for sale on VS’ website and Instagram two days ago (at half the price),” writes Diet Prada. The Columbus, Ohio-based lingerie company placed a $12,656 web order from Fleur du Mal online. As a former design and fashion director head at VS,

I agree that brand knocked off Fleur du Mal. In fact, with a knock off that literal, who needs a design staff?

I agree that brand knocked off Fleur du Mal. In fact, with a knock off that literal, who needs a design staff?

Having been the VS Design Director from 2008-2011. Jennifer Zuccarini, Fleur du Mal’s founder, who previously co-founded the lingerie brand Kiki de Montparnasse in 2005, perhaps wondered what was happening with an order that size. I’m assuming that multiples were ordered — perhaps even enough for a test in a store or two.

Not only does Victoria’s Secret not need more bad publicity of any kind right now, but Diet Prada took the opportunity to discuss the Victoria’s Secret - Jeffrey Epstein connection.

But their troubles don’t stop there (The Fleur du Mal accusation). The recently exposed ties between L Brands’ CEO Les Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein Epstein, sent stock shares of VS’ parent company tumbling to the lowest they’ve been in nearly a decade. Epstein, a close friend and former financial advisor to Wexner, has of course been making headlines after being indicted on child sex trafficking charges. The day of his arrest last weekend, a trove of naked photos of underage girls was uncovered in his Upper East Side mansion, a home that was formerly owned by Wexner and reportedly transferred over to Epstein for $1. Hella shady and creepy, if we’ve ever seen it. Supermodels, it might be time to really rethink your contracts with Victoria’s Secret. Here’s to L Brands’ shares and VS’ profits tumbling even deeper lol.

I covered the latest Victoria’s Secret Epstein problems on July 12 as well. It’s difficult to process all the negative publicity VS has gotten in the last year. My in-depth comments were attached to the newest VS ad campaign. I just checked one VS Angel’s Instagram and she still hasn’t posted her campaign shots. She’s been out of the country but I say it’s no accident. On the 12th, two of the five models didn’t post the new campaign.

Victoria's Secret Releases Gorgeous Pre-Fall 2019 Ad Campaign As Stock Falls Under Epstein Scandal

Victorias-Secret-Pre-Fall-2019-Lingerie-Campaign-Adam-Franzino- group.jpg

Victoria's Secret Releases Gorgeous Pre-Fall 2019 Ad Campaign As Stock Falls Under Epstein Scandal

Embattled lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret releases its pre-fall 2019 campaign, with product and an editorial vision under new CEO, former Tory Burch president John Mehas.

The campaign is shot by Adam Franzino, very much in the style of my Victoria’s Secret vision and features VS Angels Elsa Hosk, Jasmine Tookes, Romee Strijd, Martha Hunt and Taylor Hill joined by Rubina Dyan.