Victoria's Secret last month revealed that it would be cutting ties with its Angels in a shift to be more inclusive, but it has since emerged that the brand will continue to work with some of its former models.
Many thought the lingerie company had done away completely with using images and videos of its scantily dressed models after the retailer announced it would instead be introducing high-profile women known for their achievements to represent the brand.
However, creative director Raúl Martinez told the New York Post that at least three former Angels, including 25-year-old Taylor Hill, 24-year-old Grace Elisabeth, and 52-year-old Helena Christensen, would still model for the brand.
"The word Angel is retired but that doesn't mean the women we worked with as Angels are retired," Martinez said.
There has been mounting pressure for Victoria's Secret to include women of all shapes and sizes in its marketing material and it has slowly been doing so. However, at the start of the year, the brand decided to do a complete overhaul and revamp its image to empower women rather than objectify them.
A spokesperson told the New York Post that CEO Martin Waters said the company was "moving from what men want to what women want."
"We are going from a look to a feeling, from excluding most women to including all women, from mostly unattainable to grounded in real life," Waters added.
In its most dramatic move, Victoria's Secret announced that it will be introducing high-profile women known for their achievements to represent the brand. Among those ambassadors are soccer star Megan Rapinoe, actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, transgender model Valentina Sampaio, freestyle skier Eileen Gu, model and refugee Adut Akech, and model Paloma Essler.
Elaborating on what the campaign, known as the VS Collective, entails, Victoria's Secret said, "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."
Rapinoe, meanwhile said that the brand's previous focus was "patriarchal, sexist, viewing not just what it meant to be sexy but what the clothes were trying to accomplish through a male lens and through what men desired. And it was very much marketed toward younger women," according to Yahoo! Sports. The message, she said, was "really harmful."
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