- Simone Preuss |
In what has now become a viral campaign, premium plus size retailer Navabi has tackled lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret. Outraged by its CMO publicly stating that no one is interesting in seeing plus size women wearing lingerie, Navabi put together its tongue-in-cheek answer in a spontaneously produced video clip that reveals Victoria’s secret: When it comes to diversity, the lingerie giant is still living in the stone age.
Navabi’s video spoofs the typical format of a Victoria’s Secret fashion show: five models showing off lingerie in seductive poses, only that Navabi’s ‘angels’ are not size 0 but the curvy, confident models Salome, Tash, Isadee, Rae und Jennifer who laugh at the idea that only slim women are worthy to be lingerie models.
“Your secret is - you don’t care about us” they say, “You don’t care about most women”. “Nobody is interested in plus size?” they ask mockingly, affirming that “I am” and “we are”, finally proclaiming “The secret is: you don’t care about diversity”.
As outraged by Victoria’s Secret’s chief marketing officer Ed Razek’s statement "We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t", social media responses show that women worldwide disagree with Razek and agree with Navabi: In only two days after posting the video on 4th December, it garnered more than 107,000 views on Twitter and more than 2,000 likes and about 600 retweets; almost 4,000 views on Instagram and almost 700 likes and about 7,000 views on Facebook.
In response to Navabi’s video, Victoria’s Secret posted its own clip on 5th December, showing more of the same: slim models trying to convey the message “Strong. Sexy. Confident. What is Victoria’s Secret? It’s THIS, right here.” Apparently, nobody is fooled as the comments to the video show: “Lol sexy? start including all types of bodies to make the show more diverse and interesting instead of having 890 girls with the same body and just different outfits on”, requests one man.
“Sooo, Victoria’s secret is a ‘one size fantasy’?”, asks one woman. “It’s 2018, everyone is beautiful. Y’all are stuck in the past glorifying one body shape. Embrace all body types”, she demands. One user even puts her finger on the wound: “Young girls do look up to you, which is why your brand should REFLECT those young girls and inspire them to love themselves. There’s a reason why your sales are plummeting.”
And this is certainly true; Victoria’s Secret is struggling to keep its market share: Two years ago, the lingerie brand cut its swimwear and fashion businesses, and last August it announced it would close 20 stores due to poor performance. Maybe the brand should starting listening to potential customers rather than their CMO?