Victoria’s Secret executive Ed Razek had a meltdown last week when in an interview with Vogue, he carped about the status of his brand versus competition. He dismissed Savage X Fenty‘s embrace of plus-size models as a move that didn’t make sense for Victoria’s Secret, an established brand with a specific point of view, for which it’s known globally.
He used the same reasoning to explain why the brand doesn’t cast plus-sized models and he then waffled on casting trans women. At first he said the brand was open to casting trans models but then he walked back the idea later in the interview. After two days of uproar in response to his comments, he issued an apology through the brand’s Twitter account.
Rihanna didn’t respond with a statement, but she did let her opinion be known through the like function on Instagram. On @celbsloverih, which reposts celebrities who show appreciation for Rihanna, she liked a Instagram Live post in which trans actress Indya Moore of “Pose” fame stated, “So apparently Victoria’s Secret doesn’t want transexuals and plus-size women on the runways. They just want us on the sidelines, watching. Divest. So I’d like to challenge you to invest in brands that love our bodies like Savage X Fenty, for example. Invest in them.”
Rihanna also liked @nathalieg4l’s post of plus-size model Louise O’Reilly’s criticism on Twitter of Razek, about whom she wrote, “Prime example of why brands need to be careful of casting directors opinions. Especially when it’s a 70 year old man who’s living in the past. Thank god @rihanna brought us @SavageXFenty this year with genuine attention & love of diversity in her branding.”
While Savage X Fenty is less than a year old and sells through a website and just four U.S. doors versus Victoria’s Secret with 1,100 retail locations globally, clearly Rihanna’s little brand that could is holding up a mirror that’s making the Goliath of the lingerie industry feel very uncomfortable.
Check out both Instagram posts below.
Indya Moore, liked by Rihanna
Louise O’Reilly, liked by Rihanna