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Victoria’s Secret Indian Costume Makes Feathers Fly

11/13/2012

Victoria’s Secret has apologized for putting a Native American-style headdress on a model for its annual fashion show, after the outfit was criticized as a display of ignorance toward tribal culture and history.

The company responded to the complaints over the weekend by saying it was sorry to have upset anyone and that it wouldn’t include the outfit in the show’s television broadcast next month, or in any marketing materials.

But wait a second – the Victoria’s Secret fashion shows are theatrical productions, not a cultural/historical lesson. The secret to Victoria’s Secret’s marketing is about fantasies.

Victoria’s Secret spends nearly $300 million each year on advertising and catalogues, essentially defining beauty and packaging it for consumers. Thousands of newspaper ads, catalogues, and televised fashion shows convince women that buying Victoria’s Secret products will boost their confidence and enhance their appeal.

A Victoria’s Secret product represents fun, romance, fantasy, desire and love all in one. As long as they don Victoria’s Secret lingerie, women can be transformed like Cinderella from the ties of domestic life to one of the angels seen on the walkway.

While other big brand retailers try to hone their social-media skills, Victoria’s Secret is creating buzz with a network TV holiday fashion show featuring young women wearing Swarovski-crystal-decorated lingerie strutting down a runway in 6-inch heels. The show, now in its second decade, is essentially an hour-long commercial and serves as the cornerstone of an efficient marketing machine. Last year, the special received its highest rating since at least 2002, with 11.5 million viewers. Most viewers are women.

The approach is paying off. Victoria’s Secret’s sales have risen 7% in the past three quarters to $4.33 billion after posting a record $6.1 billion in revenue for the year through Jan. 28. It’s the biggest of Columbus, Ohio-based Limited’s brands, followed by Bath & Body Works.

The Victoria’s Secret fantasy is escapism, not realism. Keeping the two separate will make the day go better.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. chica permalink
    11/15/2012 6:34 pm

    The pictures are disgusting! What’s next, a similarly naked “Chink”, just imagine that long, long braid down her back entwined in her VS crotch. Or a zaftig woman with a VS bra adorning each roll of fat. How about an Inuit with a fur hood and VS panties out of blubber. This sad anorexic woman selling her body for money and men. It’s absolutely creepy and sick.

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