Victoria's Secret needs a new Angel strategy

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesKarlie Kloss recently announced she’s leaving her Angel post.

Victoria’s Secret’s Angels might be going out of fashion.

The lingerie giant hires about 10 models to act as “Angels” that represent the brand.

The exposure put supermodels like Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, and Adriana Lima on the map.

Victoria’s Secret controls a whopping 35% of the lingerie market, far more than any other retailer.

But several key Angels including Miranda Kerr, Karlie Kloss, and Doutzen Kroes have vacated their positions.

It’s rumoured that the schedule Victoria’s Secret puts models on isn’t worth the pay, which is a fraction of what it used to be.

“Older contracts like Alessandra Ambrosio were in the millions, now they’re like $US100,000,” according to Stephanie Smith at Page Six.

There’s also been increasing consumer backlash against the perfectly toned and tanned Victoria’s Secret image.

The brand faced widespread backlash for its “Perfect Body” ad last year, which featured a row of stick-thin Angels dressed in lingerie.

“There is a line between aspiration and thinspiration, and this campaign clearly oversteps the mark,” columnist Sarah Vine wrote in The Daily Mail. “As for their use of the word ‘perfect’, it’s not only offensive to the 99.9% of the female population who don’t share the models’ ‘perfect’ proportions, it’s also deeply irresponsible, if not downright cruel.”

Victoria's Secret under fire Victoria’s SecretThe ‘Perfect Body’ ad enraged customers.

Victoria’s Secret eventually apologised for the ad, which was recently spoofed by competitor lingerie brand Curvy Kate.

Curvy kate perfect bodyCurvy KateCurvy Kate spoofed the Victoria’s Secret ad using ‘real’ women.

Consumers are also pressuring Victoria’s Secret to offer larger sizes.

The largest panty size it offers is XL, or equivalent to a size 16. The fashion industry defines plus-size clothing as sizes 12 to 24, though many retailers offer up to a size 28 to meet demand.

Bra sizes are inconsistent. Some styles are offered up to a D, while others go up to a DDD.

Still, many women feel they don’t have a good selection at Victoria’s Secret.

“My money and my credit are good enough for them, but the fact that I can only buy items like perfume, lotion, and body spray sends the message that my body is not,” said Dana Drew, a California woman who launched a petition against the brand. “Every year I watch the Angel fashion show and would love to purchase the items I see on my screen but can’t because Victoria’s Secret doesn’t sell plus sizes.”

Victoria’s Secret is the undisputed leader of the lingerie world.

But if it wants to stay there, it might have to change its Angels strategy.

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