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Supermodel says Victoria's Secret has 'a long way to go' before rebounding

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It’s no secret that Victoria’s Secret (LB) isn’t doing so hot.

The lingerie company, owned by L brands, saw quarterly sales fall once again in its latest reported period, slipping 7% from a year earlier.

The slipping sales come amid recent controversies — which include a Jeffrey Epstein connection, comments about transgender women and the abrupt cancellation of its iconic fashion show.

“They were going really downhill really fast,” supermodel Nina Agdal told Yahoo Finance during a recent interview.

Victoria's Secret continues to struggle amid recent controversies as the brand cancels its iconic fashion show
Victoria's Secret continues to struggle amid recent controversies as the brand cancels its iconic fashion show

To its credit, Victoria’s Secret is looking to turn things around. Controversial CMO Ed Razek stepped down, the brand hired its first openly transgender model and it seems to have full support from its parent company.

“Our number 1 priority continues to be improving performance at Victoria’s Secret,” L Brands said on its earnings call last week.

But Agdal, who’s modeled for the brand in the past, said it might just be too little, too late.

“I’m happy that they're starting to include different body types and different people and women because that is just so needed,” she said.

“Do I think it's ironic that they had to hit rock bottom before they went there? Maybe a little bit. Am I happy that it’s all happening? Yes,” she added.

A struggle with ‘sexy’

Competitors like Aerie (AEO), which brands itself as the “anti Victoria’s Secret” and uses untouched advertisements and body-positive campaigns, are adding to the brand’s struggle for relevancy. Consumer sentiment surrounding the definition of “sexy” continues to evolve.

Meanwhile, the demise of one of its biggest events means the company won’t be as prominent in the public’s eye. Agdal told Yahoo Finance she had mixed feelings about the state of affairs.

“The Victoria’s Secret Fashion show is not happening this year. I’m sad for the girls who do it because they love it so much and that’s their yearly ‘thing,’” Agdal said.

“But I can also say that the way it was promoted — with the amount of workouts and all the pressure that you have to be really toned, lean and skinny — that does create a certain perception for young girls out there that’s not healthy,” she added.

“I’m really happy they’re taking the steps towards it but there’s still a long way to go,” Agdal said.

Alexandra Canal is a Producer at Yahoo Finance.

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