Another entry from the “go woke, go broke” files. According to CNN, Victoria’s Secret CEO Amy Hauk has resigned, effective in March, after less than a year on the job.
“Victoria’s Secret has struggled in recent years as some customers rejected its marketing replete with supermodels and ‘Angels’ fashion shows and switched to niche bra brands,” CNN reported on Tuesday.
“Victoria’s Secret also become embroiled in turmoil over founder Leslie Wexner’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein, its clothing went out of fashion among some longtime buyers.”
It’s true that Victoria’s Secret long featured as models of its products a cadre of incredibly beautiful and scantily clad women, such as Gisele Bündchen, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Stephanie Seymour, and Kendall Jenner.
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Yet that seemed to be only part of the story involving Hauk.
The conservative website The Blaze filled in the gaps left by CNN.
“Many of the company’s recent brand decisions were far cries from the traditional image Victoria’s Secret previously held with consumers, perhaps most notably ending its Victoria’s Secret ‘Angels’ brand, opting for a more inclusive advertising approach,” The Blaze noted.
“In February 2022, the company hired its first plus-size model, a TikTok influencer, as it expanded the sizes of its garments.”
“Hauk called the move empowering and remarked that she thought the model pushed boundaries,” The Blaze noted.
“In April 2022,” The Blaze continued, “Hauk hired the first the male model in Victoria’s Secret history, a move that was intended to promote mental health and empower young adults.”
“At the time, Hauk said that the male model served as ‘a positive role model for teens and young adults’ amid declining sales of 28% when the move was made.”
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Yes, sex sells. But it apparently doesn’t sell when you promote the sexiest women’s lingerie using overweight women and men.
The Blaze added that also last April 2022, Hauk hawked a “sustainability initiative” at the company that was designed to reach Gen Z customers.
She noted Gen Z customers specifically are “so passionate about caring for the planet.”
“Knowing this, we’ve coined the term ‘cause-merce’ because PINK strives to do so much more than just sell product; we’re combining commerce and causes so that our customers know that in supporting PINK, they are also supporting the causes they care about,” Hauk added.
The Pink clothing line was supposed to be “gender-free” and that first male model, Netflix star Darren Barnet, was also brought on board to spotlight mental health issues among teenagers.
“As we focus on expanding our gender-free offerings and continue to evolve as a brand, we want to ensure our partners not only represent the diversity of our customers, but also embody individuality and self-confidence,” Hauk said at the time.
On Wednesday, Victoria’s Secret stock ended the trading day at $34 a share, down 26% from a month ago and nearly half of its high over the past year, $63 in February 2022.