Yesterday, I read an L Brands company memo where Les Wexner stated it was important for Victoria’s Secret’s annual televised fashion show to “evolve”. The article begs the question, who wants to watch a fashion show on television anyway? Personally, I think the yearly parade of panties is the least of VS’s issues.
I remember Victoria’s Secret of yore and I loved how grown-up I felt as soon I walked into the store. I was still a girl, but not yet a woman, when I first shopped there at the Mall St. Matthews in Louisville. Obviously, my mom only allowed me to get the 100% cotton high-waist glorified versions of granny panties. But having a personal article of clothing available for a young girl to buy in a store that felt so mature is what would make someone like me a lifelong customer. Especially since their cotton underwear lasts forever. The five for $25 made them affordable enough to spend my hard earned babysitting money. However, everything started to go downhill once PINK rolled into stores. I wish Victoria’s Secret had never tried to emulate Juicy Couture. Ladylike went out the window when they replaced well-made dresses and coats with sweatpants emblazoned with logos on the butt.
When was the last time you stepped into a Victoria’s Secret? I was shocked when I walked in a few years ago and felt like I had been transported into some nightclub that had been decorated by Snooki. Everything was black and hot pink. The carpet had been replaced with cold black tile. Where were the creamy, pastel walls with products that had hints of gold? Why is the music hurting my ears? Why do the saleswomen look like they would rather strangle me with their tape measure than help me get fitted for a bra? I realized Victoria’s Secret was trying to compete with Agent Provocateur but had failed miserably. This felt more like Frederick’s of Hollywood than Eyes Wide Shut.
Incase an executive of L Brands reads this, I could solve all your company’s woes. Go back to the original aesthetic! Don’t be forward thinking here. You need to conduct a complete overhaul of your stores and catalogue (do they still send a catalogue?) that is the ultimate blast from the past. People love nostalgia! I guarantee you lost customers by going from tasteful to tawdry.
So, LES, bring back the creamy walls. Bring back the comfortable furniture. Bring back the original scents and soft packaging! There are plenty of ladies in the streets that are freaks in the sheets that don’t want to buy underwear while overhearing tweens argue with their parents over loungewear with logos in less than desirable places. In fact, just get rid of your loungewear altogether.
If I ever have a daughter, Victoria’s Secret would be the last place I would take her to get her first bra. It’s not an environment that makes that rite of passage feel special. Unfortunately, it makes that moment feel cheaper than the reject bin at a VS semi-annual sale.
Do you miss the old Victoria’s Secret?
Feel free to send me a DM on IG @reinesoleillesoin