If Victoria’s Secret CMO Ed Razek thought sending an all-black choir down his lauded runway last year was enough to keep his job – and deflect from his shocking comments he blurted out about transgender models – he was mistaken.
You see, the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was already coming in on the back-foot. The travelling juggernaut sent its taut physiques down its coveted runway the same week as a history-making, unprecedented amount of women of all races, ages and sizes entered U.S. congress. Social media commentary was split; some in awe, some screaming the show was anachronistic. In 2018, in the big business of smalls, was less really more?
I remember spotting Razek in-person backstage in New York’s Pier 94. Nestled in between angels Josephine Skriver and Jasmine Tookes, Razek – awash in a Hefe filter – basked in a type of glow only a adolescent boy would sport after his mates saw his hanging with the pretty girls. It was mere minutes after he claimed “transsexual models” would never be cast in his show “because the show is a fantasy”.
This was coming a from a man who previously gave an interview with Vogue where he said plus-size models didn’t fit the VS mould and audiences had “no interest” in seeing them. So many outraged viewers boycotted the show after those remarks that the 2018 fashion show suffered some of its worst ratings ever, despite it being Adriana Lima’s final runway for the brand.
Razek later apologised for his insensitive remarks.
On Tuesday, Razek, 71, resigned from his position just days after the lingerie brand hired its first openly transgender model.
Twenty-two-year old Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio shared a picture of herself taking part in the brand’s youth-aimed line, Pink. “Never stop dreaming,” Sampaio posted.
We wonder if the brand would have picked itself up and out of its regressive hole has Razek left sooner.
Last week it was reported that 2019’s catwalk show would be cancelled. Victoria’s Secret declined to comment. And we’re sure that schoolboy glow is nowhere in sight.