The sexy angels have made Victoria’s Secret a £6billion brand. Although today they are already trying to make underwear accessible to all women, they have started to promote diversity, not only the thinnest models, nothing changes that the brand is associated with bullying , several scandals and one of the most famous sex offenders – Jeffrey Epstein .
Many young girls yearn for fame, recognition and income, but Victoria’s Secret models have been through hell in the past. The life of the angels has been accompanied by a lot of demons stemming from bullying, strict body standards and also a sex scandal, which wreaked havoc on the brand years ago…
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The close link between the brand’s founder and Jeffrey Epstein
As The Sun reports, a new documentary is being created to reveal the connection between Victoria’s Secret founder Les Wexner and notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in prison in 2019.
This pair was supposed to be so close that they were selling and lending things to each other. According to reporters from The Sun, Wexner has previously described Epstein as a loyal friend, a wise man with excellent judgment and unusually high standards. Les Wexner’s legal team currently denies these claims, but he was allegedly friends with Epstein for 20 years and trusted him enough to hand him much of the authority of the business.
Victoria’s Secret in 1998 Source: Profimedia
He lured sex victims to the Victoria’s Secret brand
The brand’s huge scandal was caused by a friendship between men, and it all started when Wexner sold his private jet to Epstein at a below-market price, which the known sex offender used to traffic young people women. He abused the good reputation of the Victoria’s Secret brand to attract young girls who wanted to become models. He called them for an audition that had nothing to do with real company, and when they came he just abused them, or offered them money for it.
Cindy Fedus-Fields, former CEO of Victoria’s Secret, says: “In 1993, I was told there was a man in New York posing as a recruiter for Victoria’s Secret models. I asked for the name and they told me it was Jeffrey Epstein and immediately thought we had a problem. I asked to be called directly by Les and he said he would get it over with.” Which, in the end, didn’t happen.
With a vision of a prosperous future, he lured them into his twisted world
Epstein’s victim count rose after Cindy Fedus-Fields brought the issue to Wexner’s attention, but none of the cases were even investigated at the time. Alicia Arden, a model and actress who appeared on Baywatch, was lured to a Santa Monica hotel to meet Epstein in 1997 because he told her he worked for Victoria’s Secret. However, during a business meeting, he told her to strip down to her underwear, gave her $100, and touched her buttocks. She filed a complaint with the police, but no prosecution was even initiated.
Victoria’s Secret Source: Profimedia
Longtime Victoria’s Secret model Frederique van der Wal was surprised to learn that other girls had been invited to Epstein’s audition. “I remember I was on set and a girl said, ‘I was asked to go see Jeffrey Epstein for Victoria’s Secret.’ Why?It was never someone from Victoria’s Secret who asked the girls to go see Epstein, but he used her as a business card.
Unsurprisingly, a number of young hopefuls accepted the invitation. A contract with Victoria’s Secret could be worth millions of pounds and would guarantee them instant recognition.
He also had an affair with a modeling agency
Epstein also worked with the modeling agency MC2 Model Management, through which he reached other young girls. He works directly with the agency’s boss, Jean-Luc Brunel. Conchita Sarnoff, an anti-trafficking lawyer, says: “Brunel arranged visas for the girls and they were put up in one of Epstein’s apartments. This allowed Epstein to bring the girls to the United States legally under the guise of modeling.
Britain’s Ghislaine Maxwell, convicted in December of conspiracy to commit sexual abuse, was often the first person models spoke to. Brunel was arrested in late 2020 for rape and other child sex crimes, but like Epstein, he took his own life in February while awaiting trial.
Wexner made the brand what it is today with a fake story
Entrepreneur Wexner bought Victoria’s Secret in 1982 when it was on the verge of bankruptcy. In four years, he achieved the incredible and took the mark from bottom to top. He owes it to a false story about a refined Englishwoman, Victoria, who he claims founded the underwear brand. Magazine covers featured women draped in dresses, but that all changed in 1995 when they launched the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. And that is exactly where the angels as we know them today were born.
What is your body type? (Photo: Victoria’s Secret models) Source: Profimedia
Director Cindy Fedus-Fields said: “I realized the first Victoria was killed by angels. We moved on to more aggressive sexual images.”
Extreme weight loss has begun
With the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, difficult conditions presented themselves to the models, who began to lose weight in an extreme way. Underwear began to be produced in smaller and smaller sizes, and models were pressured to meet unrealistic expectations. If they weren’t slim enough, their bodies were then retouched to fit the Victoria’s Secret ideal.
Model Adriana Lima, who has worked for the brand the longest, says all models had to be very careful about what they ate. For some, this led to the fact that they hardly ate at all. “It was very exhausting for me personally. I was happy to finish. I went home, cried in the bathtub and thanked God it was over,” Frédérique admitted.
Harassment and sexism
After the #metoo movement emerged in 2016 to shine a light on sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, models began filing complaints with marketing manager Ed Razek, who hosted the TV specials. A 2020 New York Times investigation noted a culture of bullying and sexism under his leadership. According to sources close to him, his assistant also confirmed that he behaved inappropriately around models when she said, “If I had a dollar for every case of sexual harassment that happened to my e- emails, I would be rich.” Razek has denied the allegations.
Barbara Palvin was Victoria’s Secret’s first plus-size model. Source: Profimedia
Other members of the Victoria’s Secret team have also been implicated in the toxic work environment. It was mostly about inappropriate comments towards the models and the behavior of the photographers, who were supposed to sexually assault them, touch them, and everyone turned a blind eye.
In 2019 Ed Razek left the company and a year later Les Wexner also retired. Today, the Victoria’s Secret brand is trying to be more accessible to women of different shapes, and among the famous angels there are only extremely thin models.
The incremental changes are also noticed by the general public and they certainly make a lot of sense, but all models agree on one thing: too many bad things have happened…
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