Highsnobiety

Naomi Osaka is officially a member of the VS Collective, an initiative Victoria's Secret launched in June as part of its aggressive rebrand.

VS Collective effectively replaces the literally and figuratively canceled Victoria's Secret Fashion Show — an extravaganza that the lingerie giant's "Angels" would prepare for by engaging in extreme dieting, according to a new podcast on the culture of misogyny that former owner Leslie Wexner helped perpetuate.

Osaka joins fellow VS Collective members including Megan Rapinoe, Paloma Elsesser, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas in helping facilitate the brand's dramatic transformation from bastion of male gaze to inclusive and empowering, à la competitors such as Savage X Fenty and Parade.

"I remember going into [Victoria’s Secret] stores when I was a kid and wondering why none of the women on the wall looked like me," Osaka admitted in an interview with WWD. "Now, as a Collective, we can inspire the next generation from all different backgrounds, cultures and sizes. That represents such progress to me."

In the wake of misconduct allegations against Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek, as well as revelations regarding Wexner's ties to Jeffrey Epstein, Victoria's Secret seems to have avoided total cancelation, in part thanks to its internal and external overhaul.

Aside from doing away with Victoria's Secret's Angels, the company has added plus-size mannequins to stores, its C-suite has been expanded to include senior-level hires, and its board is now almost entirely comprised of women.

Martha Pease replaced Razek and Martin Waters was named CEO after the company cut ties with L Brands, the conglomerate that Wexner founded and stepped down from in May of 2020.

As checkered as Victoria's Secret's past is, the brand's bold revamp is an undeniably wise move. Even more wise is its decision to recruit celebrities of-the-moment — such as Osaka — who are outspoken advocates for all the values that, at one point, Victoria's Secret seemed to eschew (or at least gloss over).

In fact, Victoria's Secret serves as a prime example of how a company can take its fate into its own hands and rise from the depths of near total cancelation, born anew.

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