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.)

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

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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.

Karlie Kloss Talks Leaving Victoria's Secret + Joining Judaism In British Vogue August Cover Story

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Karlie Kloss Talks Leaving Victoria's Secret + Joining Judaism In British Vogue August Cover Story

Superstar Karlie Kloss covers the August 2019 issue of British Vogue, lensed by Steven Meisel. Karlie wears a Versace sweater and Bulgari jewelry styled by Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, who chooses a fabulous gown by Marc Jacobs for one preview shot and Dior checks for another.

Now for the real story, which is Karlie delivering a loving gut punch to Victoria’s Secret, its second in two days. On Monday, NIKE made it known that they now sell more bras in North America than any other retailer.

VS Angel Taylor Hill Launches 'Tease Dreamer' Fragrance To Celebrate California, Coconut-Lovin' Lifestyle

VS Angel Taylor Hill Launches 'Tease Dreamer' Fragrance To Celebrate California, Coconut-Lovin' Lifestyle

VS Angel Taylor Hill Launches 'Tease Dreamer' Fragrance To Celebrate California, Coconut-Lovin' Lifestyle

Victoria’s Secret Angel Taylor Hill launched the new Victoria’s Secret fragrance Tease Dreamer in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The limited-edition sister to the original VS Tease fragrance, channels the Hollywood Hills, Malibu, surf-loving California lifestyle.

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Alexina, Elsa, Sara + Taylor Stock Up On Victoria's Secret Valentine's Day Sexy Lingerie

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Victoria’s Secret celebrates Valentine’s Day with red and pink pjs and sexy little nothings worn by all-stars like Alexina Graham, Elsa Hosk, Sara Sampaio, and Taylor Hill.

“Valentine’s Day is about celebrating all the love in your life. Whether you are shopping for yourself or buying a gift for someone special, you can’t go wrong with Victoria’s Secret,” says Romee Strijd. “This year, I am all about being a little bit daring. I gifted myself the new neon Very Sexy Push Up Bra to wear for a fun night out.”

Supermodel Adriana Lima Hangs Up Victoria's Secret Angel Wings After 2018 VS Fashion Show

Adriana Lima  announced her retirement from Victoria’s Secret after walking her 18th and last fashion show at Manhattan’s Pier 94. Her  Instagram post  was a sweet goodbye.

Adriana Lima announced her retirement from Victoria’s Secret after walking her 18th and last fashion show at Manhattan’s Pier 94. Her Instagram post was a sweet goodbye.

Victoria’s Secret Angel, Brazilian beauty Adriana Lima is hanging up her wings after two decades and 18 fashion shows with the brand. Lima shared the news on her Instagram following Thursday night’s taping of the annual show.

The name Adriana Lima is almost synonymous with the Victoria’s Secret brand, and Lima is so devoted to its success that she famously walked the runway in 2012, just five weeks after giving birth.

"Dear Victoria, Thank you for showing me the world, sharing your secrets, and most importantly not just giving me wings but teaching me to fly. And all the ❤️ to the best fans in the 🌎! Love, Adriana 💖"

Victoria’s Secret sent Adriana out with a bang, devoting a whole segment of her final VS runway walk to her. Making a solo walk down the runway against the backdrop of a video montage of her spectacular VS career, tears broke when Victoria’s Secret gave her a sign to carry that read, "Thank you to the best Angel of all time." 

Victoria’s Secret Angel Adriana Lima says goodbye.  via Vogue.com

Victoria’s Secret Angel Adriana Lima says goodbye. via Vogue.com

Lima’s departure comes a year after the retirement of fellow Brazilian sister Alessandra Ambrosio, who retired her wings after 17 years after the 2017 fashion show. With multiple challenges for the brand dominating its current status, the departure of Adriana Lima is one more data dot in projecting the Victoria’s Secret future.

The early read on VS execs Ed Razek and Monica Mitro’s online Vogue interview “We’re Nobody’s Third Love, We’re Their First Love”—The Architects of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Are Still Banking on Bombshells is not great. The Cut wrote: This Interview With the Minds Behind Victoria’s Secret Is . . . Really Something.

I know both Ed and Monica and have articulated my own thoughts on Victoria’s Secret many times. It’s a moment for reflection before saying anything else right now about Victoria’s Secret. Meanwhile, we share a look back at Adriana Lima’s career to date. There’s no doubt that she has an exciting future ahead of her.

Adriana Lima Model Archives @ AOC