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Victoria’s Secret Launches VS&Co-Lab to Highlight Other Brands

by News Desk

Victoria’s Secret is highlighting some new friends. 

Pieces from lingerie brand For Love & Lemons, which is available on Victoria’s Secret’s website.
Courtesy Photo

The lingerie and beauty brand has launched a new platform — called VS&Co-Lab — on its website that features the third-party brands and partners that the retailer loves, many of them female-founded companies. 

“We’re excited to launch this platform where we will showcase, market and create consumer engagement with such exciting, unique and relevant businesses,” Martin Waters, chief executive officer of Victoria’s Secret & Co., said in a statement. “In addition to the growth we are driving through our core business, we see important growth potential through partnerships with innovative, relevant brands that can help us extend our reach into category and consumer segments where we have historically been underrepresented.”

Patti Cazzato, head of emerging businesses for Victoria’s Secret & Co., added: “As one of the world’s most recognizable companies among women and with nearly 90 percent of our store associates worldwide identifying as women, we have a responsibility to ensure women can advance and thrive in every aspect of their lives. VS&Co-Lab evens the playing field for unique brands that speak to the modern consumer. Through leveraging the strength of Victoria’s Secret & Co. and our passionate customer base, we are meeting consumers where they are while simultaneously partnering with small business to drive economic empowerment for women and people of color.” 

At present, 19 brands are featured across the platform. But a Victoria’s Secret & Co. representative said others will be added over time. For now, the list includes Black, female-founded swimwear brand Bfyne; swimwear and lifestyle brand Frankies Bikinis, in which Victoria’s Secret owns a minority stake; shapewear brand Leonisa, and plus-size intimates brand Mindd Bra. 

“In a sea of sameness, it is crucial for any partnership to be with a business that aligns with our values,” said Buki Ade, Bfyne founder and designer. “VS&Co-Lab’s mission to provide a platform for breakthrough voices, like Bfyne, is vital to push forward diverse perspectives.” 

Helena Kaylin, founder of Mindd, added: “As women, we are multidimensional. Our past experiences define how we want to feel today and inform our future. Our partnership with VS&Co-Lab has strengthened our mission to drive the intimates industry forward through our obsession with continuous innovation. We harness cutting-edge support technologies in order to blend style and comfort for the fuller-figure consumer.” 

The company said the platform represents its continued commitment to promoting inclusion and diversity throughout the market. Seventy-five percent of the brands featured are founded or led by female entrepreneurs.  

Victoria’s Secret’s marketing now includes images of pregnant women.
Courtesy Photo

But the platform is also Victoria’s Secret’s latest transformation efforts. The company — which includes the Lingerie, Beauty and Pink brands — has undergone a massive makeover to curb revenue losses, which were fueled by changing consumer preferences, the #MeToo movement and backlash over Victoria’s Secret’s unattainable beauty standards.  

In 2021, the retailer formed the VS Collective to showcase a diverse lineup of models, including plus-size, disabled and transgender models, such as Emira D’Spain, the first Black transgender woman to be used in its ads, and Sofía Jirau, the first model with Down Syndrome to represent the brand. In April, Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Camila Cabello was featured in Victoria’s Secret Beauty’s first bilingual campaign. 

Camila Cabello stars in Victoria’s Secret Beauty’s latest Bombshell campaign.
Courtesy Photo victoriassecret.com

The board of directors was also overhauled in an effort to make it majority women (six out of seven); stores were updated, and changes were made to the broader assortment. Victoria’s Secret reintroduced swimwear online in 2019 (and in stores in 2021), and now carries things like maternity bras, shapewear and an extended collection of activewear. In April, Victoria’s Secret launched Happy Nation, a gender-neutral innerwear, loungewear and cosmetics brand for tweens. 

So far the plan seems to be having at least some success. Top-line revenues increased 4 percent in the most recently reported quarter, although the company warned of continued supply chain headwinds, forecasting down for the following quarter. In addition, shares of Victoria’s Secret & Co. are up about 5 percent, year-over-year. 

Victoria’s Secret will release its latest earnings report May 31, after market close.

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