Priyanka Chopra Jonas is Among the Newest Faces of American Lingerie Giant Victoria’s Secret
- She is joined by four other women including U.S. soccer champ Megan Rapinoe, under the American lingerie giant’s revamped marketing model.
The Victoria’ Secret Angels are hanging up their bedazzled wings. In an effort to reinvent the brand’s image, the American lingerie giant has bid adieu to its iconic Angels and welcomed “White Tiger” actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas and pink-haired U.S. soccer champ Megan Rapinoe as the newest faces of the brand, along with five other women not known for being supermodels.
The embattled brand, which many in the industry had written off as done, when it cancelled its famed fashion show in 2019, unveiled a new roster of stars on June 16, who will represent Victoria’s Secret under its revamped marketing model, as per a company press release.
The brand launched two initiatives, dubbed The VS Collective and The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers. The first is described as “an ever-growing group of accomplished women who share a common passion to drive positive change,” per the company’s press release. “Through social, cultural and business relationships, The VSCollective will work to create new associate programs, revolutionary product collections, compelling and inspiring content, and rally support for causes vital to women,” added the release.
Inaugural members of the VS Collective will be activists, athletes and artists from around the world, as well as some models. Also joining Chopra Jonas and Rapinoe are South Sudanese-Australian refugee and model Adut Akech; Los Angeles-based photographer/journo Amanda deCadenet; freestyle Chinese skier Eileen Gu; British plus-sized model and body activist Paloma Elsesser; and Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, who made headlines in 2019 for becoming Victoria Secret’s first transgender model.
The company says its rebranding will be more comprehensive and the group of women will work with the retailer to redefine what “sexy” means. The new marketing strategy doesn’t call for Chopra Jonas or Rapinoe to put on the distinctive Angel wings and skimpy lingerie — instead the duo will appear on a podcast and in other marketing materials. All seven women will focus on advising the brand, appearing in marketing material, and share their respective stories in a new 10-episode podcast. The VS Collective will be a platform attempting to build deeper relationships with women of all backgrounds, according to the company release.
Speaking about the opportunity, Chopra Jonas said in the release, “I can vividly remember the thrill at 16 opening a gift from Victoria’s Secret given to me by my aunt. A new era always brings a sense of freedom, and the opportunity to play a part in shaping the evolution and future success of a heritage brand like Victoria’s Secret is so exciting to me. As we work together to chart the path forward in a new and impactful way, I’m not only looking forward to developing future collections that are inclusive of all people, but I am most excited for new customers and for those who have always been a customer of Victoria’s Secret to feel represented and like they belong.” The brand will also have a new executive team and board of directors which will comprise a majority of women.
Since the beginning, Victoria’s Secret’s supermodels dubbed Angels with lean, voluptuous bodies embodied a broadly acknowledged stereotype of what women should look like. However, in more recent years the brand has come under increasing scrutiny and criticism for anti-feminist practices. This rebranding comes almost three years after the company’s former chief marketing officer Ed Razek was criticized for sharing several controversial statements about the casting of plus-size models, saying audiences had “no interest in it.”
Also in 2020, scandal plagued the popular mall destination when The New York Times alleged that the company has a history of “misogyny, bullying and harassment, according to interviews with more than 30 current and former executives, employees, contractors and models, as well as court filings and other documents.” The Times also claimed, “It is a stark change for a brand that not only long sold lingerie in the guise of male fantasy, but has also been scrutinized heavily in recent years for its owner’s relationship with the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and revelations about a misogynistic corporate culture that trafficked in sexism, sizeism and ageism.”
The year prior, E! News reported that the womenswear brand was facing numerous financial obstacles, including hefty competition from inclusive brands like Aerie and Savage x Fenty, which may have impacted its declining sales.
And Chopra-Jonas and Rapinoe are no strangers to advocating for women’s rights. Chopra Jonas speaks on behalf of UNICEF, an organization she’s worked with since 2006. She also has a namesake foundation that helps sick children around the globe. As for Rapinoe, she’s championed women’s rights since finding stardom on the pitch. She’s advocated for equal pay and LGTBQ+ rights ever since she’s had a platform. In fact, earlier this year she testified before Congress, pushing for equal pay. And with this new campaign, the company and their new faces hope to take another step for women’s rights and toward change.