Last week, that is exactly what Victoria's Secret tried to do. In an interview with Vogue about the brand's annual fashion show, CMO Ed Razek said, “We're nobody's third love, we're their first love.” It was a not-so-subtle attack on ThirdLove, a five-year-old startup founded by former Google executive Heidi Zak.
上周，维多利亚的秘密首席营销官Ed Razek在接受杂志《Vogue》采访时谈到了今年的维密秀，他说：“我们可不是别人的备胎，维密是正房。”这番话无形中攻击了谷歌前执行官Heidi Zak五年前创立的品牌ThirdLove。
On Sunday, Zak responded to Razek's zinger in a full-page ad in the New York Times, saying, “You market to men and sell a male fantasy to women . . . Your show may be a “fantasy” but we live in reality. Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country. Haven't we moved beyond outdated ideas of femininity and gender roles?”
It wasn't just ThirdLove that Razek offended. Among Razek's many inflammatory comments in the Vogue piece, he said:
“Victoria's Secret has a specific image, has a point of view. It has a history . . . Everybody had the conversation about Savage [x Fenty] having the pregnant model in the show. We watch this, we're amused by it, but we don't milk it. And all of these things that they've ‘invented,’ we have done and continue to do.”
“We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don't. Our show is the only branded special in the world, seen in 190 countries, by 1 billion 6 million people; 45% more people saw it last year than the year before.”
“Does the brand think about diversity? Yes. Do we offer larger sizes? Yes. So it's like, why don't you do 50? Why don't you do 60? Shouldn't you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don't think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It's a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”
The last comment, in particular, drew a lot of ire. The Model Alliance, a model's advocacy group, put out a statement saying it was disappointed by Razek's comments about trans and plus-size models.
This prompted Razek to apologize for his remarks. Sort of. He said, “We've had transgender models come to castings . . . And like many others, they didn't make it . . . But it was never about gender.” (It's possible Razek has never heard of the concept of unconscious bias.)