The founder of an inclusive lingerie company is slamming Victoria’s Secret for an executive’s “shocking, derogatory” comments about women.
Heidi Zak, co-CEO of the lingerie startup ThirdLove, recently wrote an open letter to Victoria’s Secret, responding to some inflammatory comments made by Ed Razek, chief marketing officer for L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret.
In a recent Vogue interview, Razek suggested that people aren’t interested in seeing plus-size models on the Victoria’s Secret runway.
“We attempted to do a television special for plus sizes (in 2000). No one had any interest in it, still don’t,” he said.
He also said that in his view, transgender women should not be cast in shows. (He has since apologized for that comment on Twitter, and clarified that he would be fine with casting transgender models.)
Razek also seemed to take a jab at ThirdLove, which specializes in making lingerie for women of all shapes and sizes.
“We’re nobody’s third love. We’re their first love,” Razek said. “And Victoria’s Secret has been women’s first love from the beginning.”
Zak fired back with a full-page ad written as an open letter to Victoria’s Secret in The New York Times.
“How in 2018 can the CMO of any public company — let alone one that claims to be for women — make such shocking, derogatory statements?” she wrote. “You market to men and sell a male fantasy to women. … Your show may be a ‘fantasy’ but we live in reality. Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country.”
“Haven’t we moved beyond outdated ideas of femininity and gender roles?” she added. “It’s time to stop telling women what makes them sexy — let us decide. We’re done with pretending certain sizes don’t exist or aren’t important enough to serve. And please stop insisting that inclusivity is a trend.”