Bella Hadid may have cut her angel wings off last year, but now she’s back at Victoria’s Secret in a whole new role!
Hadid and her famous friends Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Karlie Kloss were the “sex appeal” faces of the brand for many years, strutting the runway in the company’s annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. But that all came to a halt in 2020 when Bella and other supermodels accused former executive Ed Razek of inappropriate conduct. In a scathing New York Times article titled Angels in Hell: The Culture of Misogyny Inside Victoria’s Secret, it was revealed that Razek made unwanted sexual advances on the women. He also repeatedly commented on their bodies, such as telling Bella she had “perfect titties.”
In 2018, Razek also claimed that nobody wanted to see transgender or plus-size models on the runway. He was promptly asked to leave — which he did in 2019 — and trans model Valentina Sampaio was hired. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was canceled for good after 23 years.
Obviously the company has a complicated past. So why the f**k would the 25-year-old want to team up with a brand that caused her (and others) so much pain such a short time ago?? Well, Hadid believes VS has truly “changed.”
Speaking to Marie Claire about the decision on Thursday, the supermodel admitted that becoming an ambassador — not an “angel” — was a “very complicated” offer to consider. She ultimately made up her mind after the lingerie company proved they made impactful changes based on her former criticism.
Most notably, the clothing retailer ditched their angels for The Victoria’s Secret Collective, a group of diverse women — whether that’s because of their shape, size, ethnicity, or sexuality — who will be the new faces of the evolving brand. Other ambassadors include Hailey Bieber, Priyanka Chopra, and Megan Rapinoe. On agreeing to come back, Bella expressed:
“What magnetized me to coming back was them coming to me and really proving to me that, behind the scenes, Victoria’s Secret has changed so drastically.”
Several new women have been added to the board, outnumbering the men in the high-status group. EVP and Head Creative Director at Victoria’s Secret, Raul Martinez, told the outlet:
“It is so important for the women we work with to feel safe, supported, and comfortable. And perhaps most importantly, to ensure their voice is always heard. This is the exact reason we wanted to work with Bella in this capacity.”
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Bringing her back after she slammed them does prove they’re listening — a great first step!
The fashionista also insisted the dynamic at work is much more positive, continuing:
“When we sit on set, we’re just grateful for how we feel supported now, instead of how we used to feel, when it was a lingerie company that used to be run by men for men… I just look around and I feel empowered again. I feel empowered in lingerie, instead of feeling like my body is some sort of money maker.”
Perhaps most importantly, taking on this new role is a chance for Bella to reclaim her position in the industry. She added:
“ was really about taking my power back and having the power over my body be released to myself again.”
So important! We’re sure her insight and passion for positive growth will only help the company become a safer and more inclusive place for women. But is the rebrand enough to get customers back?
Thoughts, Perezcious readers? Glad to see Bella return to Victoria’s Secret?! Let us know in the comments (below)!
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