Fashion

10 Models Who Have Spoken Candidly About Working With Victoria’s Secret

From Rihanna to Karlie Kloss.

Whatever your opinions on Victoria’s Secret or its divisive annual show, no one can deny its global pull.

For decades, the lingerie giant has dominated the fashion consciousness, launching models’ careers and influencing an entire generation to associate lingerie with giant wings, diamond-encrusted bras and OTT costuming.

So it’s no surprise it’s drawn a wide range of reactions from models and entertainers who have worked closely with the brand.

For some, it’s an empowering company that helps promote fitness, health and no small amount of glamour and sex appeal. But for others, it’s been associated with a lack of diversity and an outdated viewpoint.

After Karlie Kloss revealed she chose to end her contract as one of the company’s ‘Angels’ because it wasn’t “truly reflective of who [she is] and the kind of message [she wants] to send to young women,” we’re looking at 10 famous faces who have shared their candid opinions about VS.

Kate Upton

Kate Upton

Appearing recently on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, model Kate Upton was questioned about what she thought of the rumoured cancelling of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. She responded: “You know what, we’re sick of seeing the same body type. You have to be body inclusive now. Every woman needs to be represented… Otherwise it’s a snoozefest.”

Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss

In a cover interview with British Vogue, Kloss revealed she ended her contract as an Angel in 2015 because she no longer felt working with the brand was “truly reflective” of who she was.

“The reason I decided to stop working with Victoria’s Secret was I didn’t feel it was an image that was truly reflective of who I am and the kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful,” Kloss told the publication. “I think that was a pivotal moment in me stepping into my power as a feminist, being able to make my own choices and my own narrative, whether through the companies I choose to work with, or through the image I put out to the world.”

Gisele Bündchen

Gisele Bündchen

After serving as one of the brand’s most well-known Angels for years, Gisele Bündchen split from the company in 2006. She wrote in her book, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, that she began to feel “less and less at ease being photographed walking the runway wearing just a bikini or a thong. Give me a tail, a cape, wings—please, anything to cover me up a little!”

When she ended her contract, she wrote it was because she was “at a different place in my life, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue working there.”

Halsey

Halsey

After Victoria’s Secret exec Ed Razek made comments that the Victoria’s Secret show would not cast trans models, singer Halsey—who performed at the 2018 show—responded on Instagram.

She wrote, “I have adored the Victoria’s Secret fashion show since I was young. Performing this year alongside other amazing artists and hard working models/friends was supposed to be the best night of my year. However, after I filmed the performance, some comments were made regarding the show that I simply cannot ignore.”

“As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have no tolerance for a lack of inclusivity. Especially not one motivated by stereotype,” she wrote. “If you’re on my page because you watched my performance tonight, please allow me to instead direct your attention to GLSEN: An organisation that offers services aimed at protecting LGBTQ+ youth. And with respect to those youth targeted by these comments in a world where they have been made to feel “other,” I have made a sizeable donation in their honour.”

“If you are a trans person reading this, and these comments made you feel alienated or invalidated please know that you have allies. We stand in solidarity, and complete and total acceptance is the only “fantasy” that I support…”

Bella Hadid

Bella Hadid

While model Bella Hadid didn’t say anything outright, she caught the attention of fans and media by reposting Halsey’s post with a heart in support.

Bella Hadid
Rihanna

Rihanna

Although Rihanna’s comment about Victoria’s Secret was much more subtle, it didn’t go unnoticed by her legion of fans.

In 2018, Rihanna liked a tweet from blogger Louise O’Reilly about Ed Razek, which read: “Prime example of why brands need to be careful of casting directors’ opinions. Especially when it’s a 70 year old man who’s living in the past. Thank god [Rihanna] bought us Savage x Fenty this year with genuine attention and love of diversity in her branding.”

Rihanna had previously performed at the show in 2012.

Jourdan Dunn

Jourdan Dunn

Model Jourdan Dunn echoed Rihanna’s opinion, writing (and then deleting) on Twitter: “Feeling so much better about not doing BS… sorry I mean VS now that Rihanna isn’t doing it also.”

Erin Heatherton

In an interview, Erin Heatherton revealed she stopped working with the company when it allegedly pressured her to continually lose weight.

“My last two Victoria’s Secret shows, I was told I had to lose weight. I remember staring at my food and thinking maybe I should just not eat. I realised I couldn’t go out into the world—parading my body and myself in front of all these women who look up to me—and tell them that this is easy and simple and everyone can do this.”

Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham

2017, Ashley Graham made two statements about Victoria’s Secret and their lack of size inclusivity. Posting a photoshopped photo of herself with VS’ iconic Angel wings on her Instagram, she wrote: “Got my wings! 🦋💐🌈😜 .. my #AdditionElle wings! #thickthighssavelives.”

In another instance, she appeared in an advert for label Lane Bryant, where she declared, “I’m no angel.”

Robyn Lawley

Australian model and activist Robyn Lawley has spoken openly about the lack of diversity in the show. She told Who Magazine in 2019,”I think all bodies should be represented. I think diversity is beautiful and I think it’s boring to have one body-type that everyone aspires to be.”

“I was told that I was not good enough for too long and I just felt it wasn’t right because I would see these women, I’m like, you’re so beautiful I don’t understand what’s going on? Like why do you have to be this ridiculous size—it just makes no sense.”

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