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Victoria's Secret.
Type Subsidiary
Founded 1977
Headquarters Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Key people CEO of the MegaBrand: Sharen Jester Turney
CEO of Victoria's Secret Stores: Lori Greeley[1]
Industry Apparel
Products Bras, panties, sleepwear, hosiery, women's clothing, fragrances and beauty products
Revenue $3.222 billion (FY 2006)[1]
Parent Limited Brands

Victoria's Secret is an American retailer of women's wear, lingerie and beauty products.[2] It is the largest segment of publicly-traded Limited Brands with sales surpassing $5 billion USD and an operating income of $1 billion in 2006.[2] Victoria's Secret is known for its fashion shows, most notably the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, and for its catalogs, both of which feature top fashion models.



Victoria's Secret was started in San Francisco, California, in 1977 by Stanford Graduate School of Business alumnus Roy Raymond,[3] who felt embarrassed trying to purchase lingerie for his wife in a department store environment. He opened the first store at Stanford Shopping Center, and quickly followed it with a mail-order catalog and three other stores.[3] The stores were meant to create a comfortable environment for men, with wood-paneled walls, Victorian details and helpful sales staff. Instead of racks of bras and panties in every size, there were single styles, paired together and mounted on the wall in frames. Men could browse for styles for women and sales staff would help estimate the appropriate size, pulling from inventory in the back rooms. In 1982, after five years of operations, Roy Raymond sold the company to The Limited. Raymond's next business venture ended in bankruptcy. Raymond killed himself by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.[4]

The Limited kept the personalized image of Victoria's Secret intact. Victoria's Secret was rapidly expanded into the U.S. malls throughout the 1980s. The company was able to vend a widened range of products, such as shoes, evening wear, and perfumes, with its mail catalog issued eight times annually.

By the early 1990s, Victoria's Secret had become the largest American lingerie retailer, topping one billion dollars.[5]

Beginning in 1995, Victoria's Secret began holding the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, which is broadcasted primetime on American television. The show is a lavish event with elaborate costumed lingerie, varying music, and set design according to the different themes running within the show. The show attracts hundreds of celebrities and entertainers, with special performers and/or acts every year.

On July 10, 2007, Limited Brands sold 75% of The Limited clothing chain to firm Sun Capital Partners to focus and boost sales growth on Victoria's Secret lingerie stores and Bath & Body Works units, which provided 72% of revenue in 2006 and almost all the firm's profit.[6] There are 1,000 Victoria's Secret lingerie stores and 100 independent Victoria's Secret Beauty Stores in the US, mostly in shopping centers. It sells brassieres, panties, hosiery, cosmetics, sleepwear, and other products. Victoria's Secret mails more than 400 million of its catalogs per year.[1] Under pressure from environmentalist groups, Victoria's Secret's parent firm and a conservation group have reached an agreement to make the lingerie retailer's catalog more environmentally friendly in 2006. The catalog will no longer be made of pulp supplied from any woodland caribou habitat range in Canada, unless it has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The catalogs will also be made of 10 percent recycled paper from post-consumer waste.[7]

Victoria's Secret is now attempting to build its image with a fairly conservative, middle-class shopper in mind, avoiding any connotations of sleaziness that lingerie might carry.[5]

The company gained notoriety in the early 1990s after it began to use supermodels in its advertising and fashion shows. Throughout the past decade, it has turned down celebrity models and endorsements.[8]

For men, Victoria's Secret launched a "Very Sexy For Him" set, which includes cologne and aftershave.

Victoria's Secret makes use of a rigorous customer service model, stressing upselling, frequent staff attention, and signing up customers for a store credit card that provides discounts for frequent shoppers in the way of coupons by mail and free merchandise.[citation needed]

Victoria's Secret Angels

Victoria's Secret Angels on a commercial for the Secret Embrace line.

The Victoria's Secret "Angels" are a small group of models contracted to the company, and as such are the brand's most visible models and spokeswomen. The Angels from the original television campaigns beginning in 1998 were Tyra Banks, Stephanie Seymour, Karen Mulder, Daniela Pestova, and Helena Christensen. The Angels made their runway début in the fourth annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, with Chandra North filling in for Christensen. In May 2007, the Victoria's Secret Angels, including Adriana Lima, Selita Ebanks, Alessandra Ambrosio, Izabel Goulart, and Karolina Kurkova were chosen to be part of People Magazine's annual "100 Most Beautiful People in the World" issue.[9]

On November 13, 2007, the Victoria's Secret Angels became the first trademark awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[10] The Angels are among the world's best-paid models.[8]


"PINK" spokesmodels

  • Alessandra Ambrosio – (2004–2005)
  • Miranda Kerr – (2006-2008)
  • Behati Prinsloo - (2008-present)

The models started working for the company before being contracted as Angels. Listed below are the years the current Angels started shooting and working for the company. Their first runway show for the company is the second year listed below. The years the models were contracted into Angels are listed above.

  • Heidi Klum – 1997, First Runway: 1997
  • Adriana Lima – 1998/1999 (disputed), First Runway: 1999
  • Alessandra Ambrosio – 2001, First Runway: 2000
  • Marisa Miller – 2001, First Runway: 2007
  • Miranda Kerr – 2005, First Runway: 2006
  • Doutzen Kroes – 2004, First Runway: 2005
  • Behati Prinsloo - 2007, First Runway: 2007
  • Candice Swanepoel - 2007, First Runway: 2007
  • Rosie Huntington-Whiteley - 2006, First Runway: 2006



  1. ^ a b c Yahoo! Finance company profile. Retrieved July 25, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Limited Brands 2006 Annual Report". Retrieved 21 April 2007. 
  3. ^ a b [1]accessed 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ Bonander, Ross (Dec 2, 2009). "5 Things You Didn't know: Victoria's Secret". Retrieved 02 December 2009. 
  5. ^ a b [2] Retrieved July 25, 2007.
  6. ^ [3] Retrieved July 23, 2007.
  7. ^ Victoria's Secret catalog no longer in pulp Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  8. ^ a b The World's Top-Earning ModelsForbes. Retrieved on 2007-06-16.
  9. ^ "The Models of Victoria's Secret," People. Retrieved on 2007-05-11.
  10. ^ Victoria's Secret angels on Walk of Famesource: Mainichi Daily News. Retrieved November 14, 2007.
  11. ^ Meet the World's Luckiest Plane Retrieved November 7, 2007.
  12. ^ [4]accessed 2007-06-13.
  13. ^ "SA's Greatest Model Exports". Cosmopolitan (South Africa). March 2010. "'I've been an Angel for almost two years now and am a brand ambassador for their younger range called Pink.'"
  14. ^ "SA's Greatest Model Exports". Cosmopolitan (South Africa). March 2010. "'VS has been my main client for about two-and-a-half years but I only became an Angel a couple months ago.'"
  15. ^ Rosie Huntington-Whiteley goes topless in new ad. Retrieved on February 25, 2010.
  16. ^ CBS Specials: Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Retrieved November 8, 2007.
  17. ^ Gisele Bundchen, Victoria's Secret Part Ways. Retrieved October 28, 2007.
  18. ^ Kurkova looses contract

External links

PINK is a sub-brand of Victoria's Secret geared towards high school students and college undergraduates and launched in July 2004. It features mainly a lineup of loungewear, sleepwear, intimate apparel and accessories such as bags, bedding, and flip-flops. PINK also includes planners, composition notebooks, sport bottles, picture frames, and most recently added, jewelry. Pink now has an exclusive PINK Collegiate Collection that features numerous colleges, including Arizona State University, University of Georgia, Boston College, Howard University, Cal, UCLA, University of Kentucky, University of Illinois, LSU, Southern University and A&M College, FAMU, University of Oregon, Penn State University, University of Michigan, USC, and Texas A&M. Currently, the website allows the public to vote for a college of their choice to be featured by PINK in the Collegiate Collection. In 2007, PINK launched a signature fragrance with a Limited Edition Summer 2007 PINK perfume, as well as three sets of lotions, body mists, shower washes, and bath soap. [1] Alessandra Ambrosio was named the line's spokesmodel, and PINK models tour the country at college campuses.[2] The company advertises through MySpace, Facebook, partnerships with MTV, and youth-oriented blogs.

PINK's mascot is a silhouetted pink dog, which appears as a logo on some clothing items from the line, such as polo shirts. The dog was made into a stuffed animal, which is available at most Victoria's Secret stores.

PINK is sold at all Victoria's Secret stores, and, more recently, some stores have been created only for the sale of PINK items. In addition to having a section on the main Victoria's Secret website, the brand also has its own website, which allows users to view pictures from PINK fashion shows, look at new merchandise, and download PINK desktop backgrounds and buddy icons to their computers.

Behati Prinsloo is the brand's current spokesmodel, replacing Miranda Kerr. Jarah Mariano has also appeared in PINK advertisement and catalog offerings.


External links

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