Victoria’s Secret was the main lingerie store that everyone went to. No other lingerie company could compete with them. Since 1995, there has even been a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show that would see all the top models in the world participate, and the top musicians perform along with A-list celebrities in attendance. If you were a model booked for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and part of the Victoria’s Secret campaign, you know you made it. The lingerie giant was on top of the world. That is until 2019.
Hulu’s upcoming documentary Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons will explore the rise and fall of Victoria’s Secret, which included the cancellation of the annual fashion show in 2019. The three-part series will consist of interviews with former models and employees of Victoria’s Secret who will discuss billionaire CEO Les Wexner. It will also shed light on Wexner’s connection to notorious convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and uncover new information about how Wexner made Victoria’s Secret the way it is and the cultural shift the lingerie giant experienced.
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During an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, director Matt Tyrnauer gave a sneak peek of what to expect with Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons, saying:
“It’s a very complex story that’s about not only fashion but the world of power and influence and what I like to call the fashion industrial complex. It’s about the design [of the] era: the world of design and marketing, fast-fashion, but also the people behind it and the power and influence that they wielded. So it’s a story of fashion, power, influence and the [company’s] culture.”
Here is everything we know about Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons, which will be released on Hulu.
Victoria’s Secret: The Rise and Fall
The upcoming documentary Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons promises to cover how Victoria’s Secret became the biggest lingerie company in the world. As mentioned in the trailer, the company was worth $7.5 billion, the largest ever for a lingerie company. Not only did it have top entertainment modeling for the company year after year, but the company also knew how to market its brand to women (and men).
Along with releasing the trailer, Hulu also provided the following synopsis for the documentary:
Investigated with journalistic rigor by director Matt Tyrnauer, this documentary tells the searing and provocative story of Victoria’s Secret brand and its longtime CEO, the larger-than-life, enigmatic billionaire Les Wexner. The underworld of fashion, the billionaire class, and Jeffrey Epstein are all revealed to be inextricably intertwined with the fall of this legendary brand in Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons.
In 2012, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was viewed by 12.4 million people. It became what some people viewed as a mainstream show, something to look forward to watching, especially when viewers knew who would be walking the runway and who would be performing. The show’s talent drew consumers into the stores wanting to buy the same lingerie that these top models wore in the fashion shows.
However, in 2018 when the #MeToo movement began, and sex offenders were called out, consumers began to understand that Victoria’s Secret didn’t cater to everyone but instead glorified women as sex objects. Wexner said Victoria’s Secret was a “lady’s paradise that had nothing to do with men.” While the brand was supposed to make all women feel empowered and sexy in their lingerie, it clearly only catered to certain-sized women for men to objectify. The advertisements for Victoria’s Secret only showed thin models and did not offer a variety of sizes. The once go-to destination for lingerie began to crumble.
Victoria’s Secret: Les Wexner’s Empire & Connections
Hulu’s Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons also promises to go behind the scenes of how this company was run and strategized by Wexner. As said in the trailer, everyone knows the Victoria’s Secret brand, but no one knows anything about the guy running the business. Wexner started his business empire with the clothing brand The Limited and then expanded his empire by acquiring Bath and Body Works, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Victoria’s Secret, which collectively became the L Brand.
While Wexner is the genius behind corporations becoming successful, nothing else was known about him, especially his connection to Jeffrey Epstein. Wexner hired him to handle his business finances, eventually granting him power of attorney. Because of this, Epstein could access all of Wexner’s businesses, eventually leading to Epstein abusing his power. Not only did Epstein misappropriate vast amounts of sums from Wexner leading to his termination in 2007, but he also took advantage of aspiring Victoria’s Secret models.
The New York Times reported that according to L Brand executives, Epstein began posing as a recruiter for Victoria’s Secret in the mid-1990s, leading to complaints and allegations. Wexner claims to have had no knowledge of the allegations until Epstein’s arrest in 2019 when Wexner wrote to employees in an email obtained by The Columbus Dispatch:
“I would never have guessed that a person I employed more than a decade ago could have caused such pain to so many people. My heart goes out to each and every person who has been hurt. I severed all ties with Mr. Epstein nearly 12 years ago. I would not have continued to work with any individual capable of such egregious, sickening behavior as has been reported about him.”
Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons is expected to expose if Wexner knew the truth about Epstein’s abuse of power and the mystery behind the face of the success of the famous brand. Through interviews and prepared statements, we also know the documentary will expose the culture of Victoria’s Secret and what it will do now to shift from its troubled past.
Everything Else We Know
Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons’ three-part documentary will premiere on July 14, 2022, only on Hulu.