The chief marketing officer of Victoria’s Secret has apologised over controversial comments he made regarding transgender models.
In a recent interview with American Vogue, Edward Razek claimed the lingerie brand’s annual runway shows are “a fantasy” therefore should not include transgender models.
The 70-year-old is part of the casting team and revealed that he has “considered” using transgender models in the past but concluded that the company does not “market to the whole world”.
In response to widespread backlash, Razek released a public apology via the lingerie brand’s Twitter page earlier today.
Please read this important message from Ed Razek, Chief Marketing Officer, L Brands (parent company of Victoria’s Secret). pic.twitter.com/CW8BztmOaM
— Victoria’s Secret (@VictoriasSecret) November 10, 2018
In the post, he wrote: “My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Show came across as insensitive.”
“I apologise. To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We’ve had transgender models come to castings… And like many others they didn’t make it.”
“It was never about gender,” he continued. “I respect and admire their journey to embrace who they really are.”
Unsurprisingly, the apology failed to impress Victoria’s Secret customers as social media users took to Twitter to call out the brand.
One wrote, “As a transwoman who has spent quite a bit of money in your stores throughout the years, I will be reconsidering my shopping. If you don’t want us as part of your ‘fantasy’, I won’t have you as part of my reality.”
You’re certainly welcome to do and say as you please.
However, as a transwoman who has spent quite a bit of money in your stores throughout the years, I will be reconsidering my shopping.
If you don’t want us as part of your “fantasy”, I won’t have you as part of my reality.
— Jade Morgan (@AsWeAllArise) November 10, 2018
Another took to the digital platform to tweet: “Tone deaf person running a tone deaf company.
Thank you, next.”
“remember Victoria’s Secret?haha”
“they were this underwear company and get this – they aired a lingerie fashion show for skinny models they called angels on TV…”
“lol wut. Mom your generation smh”
— ppl talking abt VS in 5 years
— Claire Downs (@clairecdowns) November 10, 2018
Tone deaf person running a tone deaf company.
Thank you, next.
— Jinath Hyder (@JinathHyder) November 10, 2018
Others were quick to note that the Victoria’s Secret boss failed to apologise for other divisive comments he made on plus-size models during the same interview.
Where’s the apology for the plus sized remark?
— Layla💋 (@loveleegirll) November 11, 2018
In a now-viral quote, Razek said: “If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have. We invented the plus-size model show in what was our sister division, Lane Bryant.”
“Lane Bryant still sells plus-size lingerie, but it sells a specific range, just like every specialty retailer in the world sells a range of clothing. As do we. We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world.”
To conclude, he claimed: “We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.”
This year’s Victoria’s Secret show took place on November 8 in New York with the likes of models Adriana Lima, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner gracing the runway.
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