These before-and-after photos show how Victoria’s Secret turned lingerie into a $6 billion business.

Victoria's Secret old
An older Victoria’s Secret photo. Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret has figured out how to turn lingerie into a $6 billion business.

A huge reason for the company’s success is its very successful marketing strategy. It’s known for being the beacon of all things sexy.

But sexiness was depicted differently when Victoria’s Secret was born in 1977 when it was founded by Roy Raymond.

Here’s how the brand has changed — in photos.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-victorias-secret-actually-resembled-a-boudoir-1″
title=”Then: Victoria’s Secret actually resembled a boudoir.”
content=”‘Raymond imagined a Victorian boudoir, replete with dark wood, oriental rugs, and silk drapery. He chose the name ‘Victoria’ to evoke the propriety and respectability associated with the Victorian era; outwardly refined, Victoria’s ‘secrets’ were hidden beneath. In 1977, with $80,000 of savings and loans from family, Raymond and his wife leased a space in a small shopping mall in Palo Alto, Calif., and Victoria’s Secret was born,’ Naomi Barr wrote on Slate.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028c4d91058422008ba710″
source=”Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-hints-of-its-past-are-occasionally-present-in-its-facebook-photos-2″
title=”Now: Hints of its past are occasionally present in its Facebook photos.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5702ac8f52bcd023008ba9c6″
source=”Victoria’s Secret/Facebook”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/victoriassecret/photos/pb.79775744089.-2207520000.1459792985./10153971344819090/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-you-would-have-been-able-to-find-this-sort-of-image-in-a-victorias-secret-ad-3″
title=”Then: You would have been able to find this sort of image in a Victoria’s Secret ad.”
content=”The overtly provocative nature of Raymond’s Victoria’s Secret was slightly altered when Les Wexner took the helm of the brand — but make no mistake, lingerie still abounded.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028c4d9105842a008ba8c0″
source=”Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-the-companys-hugely-athleisure-business-vs-sport-is-probably-as-covered-up-at-it-gets-4″
title=”Now: The company’s hugely athleisure business, VS Sport, is probably as covered up at it gets.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028e8152bcd01b008ba9b5″
source=”Facebook/Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/victoriassecretsport/photos/a.270937512917323.80033.243080815702993/1164876786856720/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-victorias-secret-definitely-relied-on-its-angels–even-if-the-ads-were-a-little-cheesy-5″
title=”Then: Victoria’s Secret definitely relied on its Angels — even if the ads were a little cheesy.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028c4d91058436008ba865″
source=”Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-victorias-secret-works-on-balancing-total-sexiness-with-being-relatable-in-fact-this-photo-appears-to-be-less-photoshopped-than-other-recent-photos-6″
title=”Now: Victoria’s Secret works on balancing total sexiness with being relatable. In fact, this photo appears to be less Photoshopped than other recent photos.”
content=”Moreover, the company is very particular with who it chooses to cast as Angels; they need to not be threatening to women.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/56f147dd52bcd021008b7eac”
source=”Facebook/Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/victoriassecret/photos/ms.c.eJwzNDA0NTGwsDQztzA2MDGwNNAzRIhYoosABTDUAAVR1RgagkQAKewSDQ~-~-.bps.a.10154089670709090.1073742153.79775744089/10154089678904090/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-dont-forget-the-quintessential-bathrobe-7″
title=”Then: Don’t forget the quintessential bathrobe.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028c4d910584716f8ba47c”
source=”Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-victorias-secret-is-constantly-looking-for-new-ways-to-provoke-8″
title=”Now: Victoria’s Secret is constantly looking for new ways to provoke.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028f2652bcd01d7b8ba58e”
source=”Victoria’s Secret/Facebook”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/victoriassecret/photos/a.102351319089.87426.79775744089/10154122061804090/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-a-full-on-body-suit-and-a-sexy-position-was-all-the-brand-needed-9″
title=”Then: A full-on body suit and a sexy position was all the brand needed.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028c4d91058428008ba826″
source=”Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-this-photo-actually-came-under-fire-for-being-too-sexy-people-said-it-catered-to-men-rather-than-women–the-group-that-actually-purchases-the-apparel-at-victorias-secret-10″
title=”Now: This photo actually came under fire for being too sexy. People said it catered to men, rather than women — the group that actually purchases the apparel at Victoria’s Secret.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/56b246962e526519008b48bb”
source=”Facebook/Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/victoriassecret/photos/a.102351319089.87426.79775744089/10153944607469090/?type=3&comment_id=10153946589324090&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22%7D”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-the-iconic-angels-promoted-the-companys-nearly-as-iconic-sales-11″
title=”Then: The iconic Angels promoted the company’s nearly as iconic sales.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028c4e91058427008ba6e1″
source=”Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-just-two-girls-in-lingerie-sitting-on-a-log-in-the-middle-of-the-ocean-you-know-the-usual-12″
title=”Now: Just two girls in lingerie sitting on a log in the middle of the ocean. You know, the usual.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5702a02152bcd044008ba9c8″
source=”Victoria’s Secret/Facebook”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/victoriassecret/photos/ms.c.eJwzNDA0NTEwNjI0NzcwtTSwNNAzRBIxM0EXMUFXY2gJUgMA~_xYOHg~-~-.bps.a.10154032176819090.1073742149.79775744089/10154032177059090/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-the-bras-offered-full-coverage-13″
title=”Then: The bras offered full coverage.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028c4e910584e73c8ba585″
source=”Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-the-company-is-famous-for-its-t-shirt-bra-but-the-retailer-frequently-shows-off-lacier-undergarments-in-its-imagery-still-not-every-photo-shows-a-nearly-naked-woman-14″
title=”Now: The company is famous for its T-shirt bra, but the retailer frequently shows off lacier undergarments in its imagery. Still, not every photo shows a nearly-naked woman.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57029f5952bcd026008baa29″
source=”Victoria’s Secret/Facebook”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/victoriassecret/photos/a.102351319089.87426.79775744089/10154073460599090/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-the-companys-catalog-was-critical-15″
title=”Then: The company’s catalogue was critical.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028c4e9105842b008ba797″
source=”Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-the-companys-instagram-and-facebook-page-serve-as-the-main-source-of-imagery-16″
title=”Now: The company’s Instagram and Facebook page serve as the main source of imagery.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5702b39f91058422008ba7fc”
source=”Getty Images/John Parra”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/victoriassecret/photos/ms.c.eJwzNDA0NTGwsDQztzA2MDGwNNAzRIhYoosABTDUAAVR1RgagkQAKewSDQ~-~-.bps.a.10154089670709090.1073742153.79775744089/10154089678304090/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-heres-a-photo-from-a-2001-fashion-show-17″
title=”Then: Here’s a photo from a 2001 Fashion Show.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028db052bcd05b008ba8a8″
source=”George De Sota/Getty Images”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-every-year-the-company-has-to-impress-audiences-with-outrageous-costumes-18″
title=”Now: Every year, the company has to impress audiences with outrageous costumes.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57029ef752bcd020008ba884″
source=”Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-the-leggy-models-showed-off-a-particular-depiction-of-sexiness-19″
title=”Then: The leggy models showed off a particular depiction of sexiness.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028c4e910584cc5e8ba611″
source=”Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-last-year-a-similarly-styled-photo-came-under-fire-the-company-later-ditched-the-ad-after-angry-consumers-spoke-out-20″
title=”Now: Last year, a similarly styled photo came under fire. The company later ditched the ad after angry consumers spoke out.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/545b9375eab8ea806fd0d995″
source=”Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-the-company-left-some-things-to-the-imagination-21″
title=”Then: The company left some things to the imagination.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028c4d9105841d008ba858″
source=”Victoria’s Secret”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-the-models-are-occasionally-covered-up–but-note-the-bare-leg-in-this-image-theres-usually-a-level-of-flirtatiousness-in-the-photos-22″
title=”Now: The models are occasionally covered up — but note the bare leg in this image. There’s usually a level of flirtatiousness in the photos.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5702a05852bcd044008ba9cd”
source=”Victoria’s Secret/Facebook”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/victoriassecret/photos/ms.c.eJwzNDA0NTE0NDe0NDM1sTSwNNAzRIiYGaGLmFpiqDFHFzE3NsEQAakBAIirFYY~-.bps.a.10154117196484090.1073742154.79775744089/10154117196549090/?type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#then-victorias-secret-has-always-walked-a-fine-line-of-sexiness–sure-it-titillates-men-but-it-still-has-to-get-women-to-purchase-lingerie-23″
title=”Then: Victoria’s Secret has always walked a fine line of sexiness — sure, it titillates men, but it still has to get women to purchase lingerie.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57028df152bcd044008ba94b”
source=”George De Sota/Getty Images”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#now-though-the-brand-is-occasionally-subject-to-criticism-for-its-narrow-portrayal-of-sexiness-and-beauty-sales-are-still-soaring-according-to-ibis-world-it-holds-a-whopping-618-of-the-market-24″
title=”Now: Though the brand is occasionally subject to criticism for its narrow portrayal of sexiness and beauty, sales are still soaring. According to IBIS World, it holds a whopping 61.8% of the market.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/56fab9ee52bcd05c658b94a5″
source=”Getty Images/Jamie McCarthy”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]