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.
Yes, the gorgeous FLL x Victoria’s Secret collection is more “frivolous than functional” writes WaPo. But hey — the images are fresh with none of the sexy Sports Illustrated, Playboy, I’m such a sexy thing vibe. Grace Elizabeth is, of course, in these wonderful images, but it’s her business. Note that both of those brands are also trying to refocus on “by her, for her”.
It’s relevant that our two biggest articles this week are the new Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott Playboy shoot and interview — in which Travis leaves his own ego at the door, interviewing Jenner with all the accolades she deserves. Earlier in the week Paulina Porizkova’s Sports Illustrated shot took off, celebrating her status as “The Hot Old Lady”. AOC wrote plenty in both articles — especially Porizkova’s piece — so these shares aren’t just guys looking for sexy eye candy. If they are, come on in, then with your own new male mindset. Because we write commentary woven into the images, those posts aren’t particularly voyeur-friendly.
Victoria’s Secret is off and running under John Mehta, who has a big hill to climb to recapture $16 billion in lost market capitalization. I wrote last month that Mehta’s off to a great start, and I still feel that way. If everybody just gets out of his way — and with Ed Razek gone, the biggest obstacle is removed — VS might recapture the special relationship we had with American women when I left the business years ago now.
For me, our one-on-one connection to women around their sexuality was sacred in such a right-wing, Christian, sexuality-be-damned country. VS was trusted then to free women’s sexuality, not to exploit it. Note that I’m not referring to the earliest days of VS, but our evolution as the brand as we skyrocketed from 200 stores to 800. It was all about her then, too— and then the temptations of Las Vegas style fashion shows, Angels and the world of supermodels in skimpy lingerie for Wall Street guys — the Ed Razek formula of cheap thrills became too much for VS to resist. It was time for me to exit stage left.
Victoria’s Secret is the queen. And I — for one —- want her to earn back her crown among America’s women. Women’s sexuality and gender-based politics are totally under attack in the Trump administration. The Handmaid’s tale is moving a warp speed, and just as Jeff Bezos laid out Amazon’s blueprint for massive environmental action on Thursday, VS can prove that big business can successfully nurture human sexuality in the #MeToo era.
Goddess knows, we need the health-related, positive benefits that intimacy brings to women, men and all the gender-bending variations of human sexuality. If a woman cares nothing about the lingerie she’s wearing, fine. Do your thing. But for me, beautiful lingerie has always been empowering for the woman in the mirror.
In the days of Trump’s global chaos, a beautiful bra is a welcome bit of self-pleasure. So great job, Victoria’s Secret. Let’s all give the world’s biggest lingerie brand a bit of runway to self-correct here, okay?
Clearly, we have an ally at the helm in CEO John Mehas. If Tory Burch was smart enough to hire him — and look at Burch’s “for her, for her” credentials — we need to give VS room to rise like the Phoenix out of the ashes.
I would say it’s a Biblical moment, but Trump’s right-wingers think the Phoenix should be burned at the stake again, every time she tries to rise from the ashes. So it’s a pre-monotheism, goddess moment, VS. Now “Just Do It”. ~ Anne