Victoria's Secret, one of the best-known brands in the industry, may not be the only name in the spotlight at the underwear giant's Herald Square location. Sprinkled among the racks in the two-story retail post (and in all of the stores' top doors) are garments bearing an extra hangtag stamped with the words "Designer Collection."
Victoria's Secret executives were unable to offer their comments on the collection, but sales associates at the Herald Square store confirmed that these partnerships bring in a kaleidoscope of new products from across the globe, while at the same time, broadening the store's customer base. Members of the VS Designer Collection rotate from month to month and vary in quantity and floor space. BODY spotted designs from the New York-based (and manufactured) Flora Nikrooz, Yes Master of the U.K., Aussie brand Pleasure State, Fishbelly by Berlin designer Jutta Teschner and the Italian-made Fichissima. Betsey Johnson intimates took up, by far, the most designer floor space with bra sets, chemises and babydolls displayed throughout the store.
According to these companies, VS buys directly from their regular season line and sets prices on target with the MSRP.
These designers are happy to represent a new element of the company's business and keep no secrets about the success they have had with the store. The Flora Nikrooz brand, mostly known as a source for bridal lingerie, is now able to fit securely into the young contemporary category.
"The Flora brand is presented next to top European designers and the tourist trade embraces the product," said Lynn LaCava, national account executive for Flora Nikrooz.
"Victoria's Secret carries the Flora Nikrooz Collection product-short, flirty, trend-right items that appeal to a younger, more forward customer-to date only [otherwise] available at Bloomingdale's."
Could this influx of European brands be a reaction to the company's criticism for being "too sexy?" BODY reported in April that CEO Sharon Turney was looking to take the brand back to its roots.
"I really feel so strongly about us getting back to our heritage and really thinking in terms of ultra-feminine and not just the word sexy," she said.
Current product on the floor represents both the femininity and sensuality Turney spoke of, and may be the perfect balance consumers are searching for. Racks of VS brand bra sets feature on-trend animal prints and contemporary shapewear items, while silk chemises from Flora Nikrooz and Betsey Johnson showcase a softer and more feminine side. Upstairs, the Pink brand calls to college-aged dorm dwellers and Intimissimi attracts the city's fashionistas.
While the company kept tight lipped about its strategy with the Designer Collection, the reason behind this new approach is clear-Victoria's Secret has its aim set on not just one demographic, but all of them.