Let us go back to the mid-1970s. One day, the American man Roy Raymond walked into the department store and wanted to buy underwear for his wife. He found that the store was full of unpleasant printed dressing gowns, and the saleswoman even thought he was “perverted.”
That was the opportunity for the birth of the famous American lingerie brand Victoria (Victoria’s Secret).
Victoria’s secret has always occupied the status of the king of the underwear market, and slowly became synonymous with “sexy.” The annual lingerie fashion show is not only a major event in the fashion industry, but also attracts a global audience to focus on the feminine supermodel on the flyover. Being able to be invited to star in the fashion show and even wearing the Fantasy Bra is a major achievement in the model career.
The brand that once used to be followed by men and women has now become a “winged angel.” In February 2019, the company announced plans to close 53 stores during the year, with same-store sales falling by 3%. The 20-year-old lingerie fashion show is also inferior to the previous ones. The company said it would “reconsiderate” the fashion show and create “new types of events.”
What makes Victoria’s secrets lose the angel’s light?
Victoria’s secret is the leader of the underwear market. More correctly, the underwear market is the product of Wei Mi’s construction. Over the years, brands have shaped the market ecology and rewritten the perception of underwear. The “magic” concentrated push-up, the catalogue of soft pornographic publications, the long-legged model “angel” with half-length, the expensive dream underwear of over ten million dollars, the era of supermodel Heidi Klum… …this is all the product of Wei Mi.
It is only the success of the last century that cannot be continued for a century. Now, looking at the kingdom of Wei Mi again, it seems to be an “old and not” that has not changed from time to time.
Women’s underwear is decided by men?
Ed Razek, marketing director of VM’s parent company L Brands, was interviewed by Vogue magazine and was asked why he did not accept large-size and transgender models for auditions. Lazick, who founded the underwear fashion show, asked: “Why (underwear) don’t do 50 yards?… Shouldn’t you hire a transgender model at a fashion show? No, I don’t think we should be like this. Why? Because the fashion show It’s an illusion.”
The remarks immediately led to widespread reports. Heidi Zak, founder and chief executive of the emerging lingerie brand ThirdLove, even published a full-page advertisement in the New York Times, criticizing the remarks. She wrote: “You sell to men and sell men’s fantasies to women. We haven’t crossed the outdated femininity and gender roles? It’s time to stop telling women what makes them sexy – let’s decide.” “
The times have changed. The female affirmative movement has intensified, but Vimy has always turned a blind eye. After Lazick’s remarks, Wei Jim’s chief executive, Jan Singer, left and replaced John Mehas, the head of fashion brand Tory Burch.
The media was puzzled by this decision. All of the CEOs of Weiwei were held by women for most of the decades. Now the parent company has put the women’s underwear company in the hands of men. Of the 12 members of the parent company’s board of directors, there are only three women. It can be said that it is the principle of establishing the sale of women’s underwear from a male perspective, but it also causes the brand to bear the “natural defects” in the 21st century. The refusal to approach the mainstream voice has also become the original sin of Vimy.
Derailing from the era, “perfect body” is no longer
Wei Mi’s “original sin” does not stop there. The brand’s pursuit of “angel face, devil figure” has gradually become the infatuation of Americans, and it seems that Wei Mi is “stable away from the ground.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women’s average weight has risen 6 pounds in the past decade; the Journal of the American Medical Association also refers to 40% of American women. It is obese. The so-called “perfect body” has long since ceased to exist. People who are oversized will not find suitable underwear at the store.
In the era of shouting women’s equal rights, Wei Mi is still linked to the label of “materialized women”, and many people even feel that it is related to cultures such as sexual violence and sexual harassment. When everyone talks about racial diversity, Vimy still defines the white color of whites as “naked.” Brass without rims, chest-free pads, sports underwear and even high-waist underwear become the new trend. The concentrated underwear and t-back that Wei Wei was proud of have lost their charm.
Lost in this number game
In the era of big data, Wei Mi seems to be an old man lost in digital games. More and more consumers are shopping online, shopping malls are falling, and large chain fashion brands such as Gap are no match for the flood. All retail companies must use digital technology to make a bloody road, but the company’s chief executive, Les Wexner, disdains it. In March 2018, when he was interviewed by the Financial Times, the reporter mentioned the connection between data and algorithms. Wexner responded with a pooh-pooh.
On the other hand, the challenger of the secret, ThirdLove, makes good use of big data and uses the questionnaire to collect customer information, such as the following, cups and chests, on the one hand to help them find the right underwear size, on the other hand to analyze the data to launch more suitable products. Wei Mi’s online questionnaire ignores the chest type. Oliver Chen, an analyst at investment bank Cowen, said that Wei Mi may benefit from a better customer loyalty program and must rethink customer data.
In 2018, the sales volume of Wei Mi fell by nearly 400 million US dollars, dragging the share price of the parent company down by 44% in the past year, and falling to the low level since 2010 in the winter. In the same year, the underwear fashion show received only 3.3 million, which was a big drop from the previous year’s 5 million, and it was a quarter of the peak of 12.4 million in 2001.
After Lacyk’s “speaking out of madness”, he publicly apologized on Twitter and promised to accept a transgender model audition, but did not mention big-size models. In the face of public pressure from Barington Capital hedge fund manager James Mitarotonda, L-brand company also announced the nomination of a number of women to join the board of directors. If successfully passed, the proportion of female members will account for 40%.
Wei Mi does not want to be eliminated by the times, but it is not easy to catch up with the era of the giant wheel and board the “tail bus” to the new world. After all, large brands have to change, and the effort is bound to be greater.