Victoria's Secret chief marketing officer has apologised for saying that transgender models should not be included in their fashion shows. In an interview with Vogue, Ed Razek said that the lingerie company will not have transgenders because the company's annual shows were "a fantasy".
Razek who was part of the casting team said, "We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world." He went on to say, "Does the brand think about diversity? Yes. Do we offer larger sizes? Yes... Shouldn't you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don't think we should. The show is a fantasy. It's a 42-minute entertainment special. That's what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world." Vogue Features Kendall Jenner in ‘Afro’ Hairstyle; Apologises After Facing Backlash for Cultural Appropriation.
His statement received backlash on social media with people questioning the brand's inclusivity stand. As criticisms followed, Victoria's Secret released a statement from Mr Razek on Twitter. Apologising for his "insensitive" statement, it reads, "To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model in our show. We've had transgender models come to castings... And like many others, they didn't make it."
Here is Victoria's Secret's statement:
Please read this important message from Ed Razek, Chief Marketing Officer, L Brands (parent company of Victoria’s Secret). pic.twitter.com/CW8BztmOaM
— Victoria's Secret (@VictoriasSecret) November 10, 2018
The 2018 show took place on November 8 in New York, featuring top models Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Founded in 1977, Victoria's Secret operates in more than 1,000 stores across 80 countries. In 2017, they also opened two flagship stores in China. The company has been struggling with falling sales since 2016. In August they announced that they were shutting 20 stores as sales lagged.