Victoria’s Secret Lingerie CEO Jan Singer To Step Down Amid Backlash From Controversial Comments

The brands's chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, said that they were not looking to cast plus-sized or transgender models for their shows.

Candice Swanepoel, Behati Prinsloo, Rita Ora, and Adriana Lima prepare backstage during 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York at Pier 94 on November 8, 2018 in New York City.
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

The brands's chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, said that they were not looking to cast plus-sized or transgender models for their shows.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Victoria’s Secret CEO Jan Singer is stepping down from her post. The company has been in hot water ever since the brand’s chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, offended people with remarks which he made last week.

In an interview with Vogue, Razek said — on the company’s behalf — that they were not likely to have any transgender or plus-sized models. He especially sparked controversy after using the controversial term “transsexual” at one point during his remarks.

“Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy,” he said. “It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. 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.”

Razek later admitted that his comments came off as “insensitive,” but the damage was already done. Many people took to social media to announce that they were no longer supporting Victoria’s Secret — and that they would refuse to shop there. A large portion of these critics were significant influencers with substantial followings. Some of these notable influencers included Tess Holliday, Gigi Gorgeous, and Carmen Carrera.

Gigi Gorgeous, who herself is transgender, uploaded a new video to her YouTube channel on Monday, broadcasting to over 2 million of her subscribers that the brand had “lost a customer.” She recalled how much the company meant to her when she was transitioning, and how much she loved their products. She then removed the Victoria’s Secret bra which she was wearing.

“I just wanted to say that this is the last time that I’m going to be wearing a Victoria’s Secret bra,” she said.

As for Singer, the outrage over Razek’s comments may not be the sole reason that she’s leaving. Victoria’s Secret has been struggling commercially in recent years, and Singer was brought onto the team in September 2016. With other lingerie brands like ThirdLove and Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty line beginning to thrive, Victoria’s Secret has had a hard time keeping up.

This year, Victoria’s Secret same-store sales dropped by five percent.