(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Heidi Zak, co-founder of Third Love, was so upset by a recent interview (in which a Victoria’s Secret’s executive discussed the company’s famous fashion show) that she took out ads in November in the New York Times (one a full page) to protest.
“Dear Victoria’s Secret,” she began the open letter, “I was appalled when I saw the demeaning comments about women your chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, made to Vogue last week. As hard as it is to believe, he said the following: “We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.” “It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.” I’ve read and re-read the interview at least 20 times, and each time I read it I’m even angrier.”
Razek covered a lot of ground in the long Vogue interview, and in addition to the quotes found offensive by Zak, spent a lot of time listing the many things VS has done to support women’s causes and issues, how it supports diversity, how the fashion show audience is huge and growing and why the event is designed the way it is.
But it is fair to guess what really angered Zak the most in the piece were Razek’s dismissive comments directed squarely at her company. The VS executive declared, “we’re nobody’s third love. We’re their first love. And Victoria’s Secret has been women’s first love from the beginning.” Later in the interview, after insisting that “we’re not competing against small lingerie competitors,” and declaring “we’re the 800-pound gorilla in the space,” he pointed to a particular logo bra. “How do we have this one bra that outsells the [entire offering] of this noisy little competitor on its own? One bra that happens to have a Victoria’s Secret strap on it? What that tells me: Women want the brand to win. They want to buy the brand. And it is their first love and their first choice.”
Zak, in her letter, countered, “I founded ThirdLove five years ago because it was time to create a better option. ThirdLove is the antithesis of Victoria’s Secret. We believe the future is building a brand for every woman, regardless of her shape, size, age, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation. This shouldn’t be seen as groundbreaking, it should be the norm.”
She closed her ad stating, “As you said Ed, “We’re nobody’s ThirdLove, we’re their first love.” We are flattered for the mention, but let me be clear: we may not have been a woman’s first love but we will be her last. To all women everywhere, we see you, and we hear you. Your reality is enough. To each, her own.” — NM
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