ThirdLove slams Victorias Secret in full-page NYT ad
ThirdLove's full-page ad in The New York Times this Sunday. Facebook/ThirdLove
Heidi Zak had a stern message for Victoria's Secret in a full-page ad published in The New York Times this weekend: start being a more inclusive brand.
"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," she wrote. "It's time to stop telling women what makes them sexy — let us decide."
Zak is the cofounder and CEO of ThirdLove, an online lingerie startup that was launched in 2013.
Zak's comments were made in response to a recent Vogue interview in which Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer of Victoria's Secret parent company L Brands, said that he didn't think the company's annual fashion show should feature "transsexuals" because "the show is a fantasy."
Razek also said that Victoria's Secret would not be adding larger sizes to its assortment and has no plans to feature plus-size models in its runway show.
"We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don't," he said to Vogue.
These comments sparked an outcry online, which later led to Razek issuing a formal apology.
Read more:Rihanna appears to subtly show her disapproval after Victoria's Secret exec apologizes for making 'insensitive' comment about transgender models
Ed Razek speaks to the 2019 Victoria's Secret runway models backstage during the 2019 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on November 8, 2019 in New York City. Getty Images/Dia Dipasupil
"I was appalled when I saw the demeaning comments about women your Chief Marketing Officer, Ed Razek, made to Vogue last week," Zak said in the ad.
She continued: "I've read and re-read the interview at least 20 times, and each time I read it I'm even angrier. How in 2019 can the CMO of any public company — let alone one that claims to be for women — make such shocking, derogatory statements?"
This isn't the first time Zak and ThirdLove have been openly critical of Victoria's Secret.
In the run-up to Victoria's Secret's annual fashion show this year, ThirdLove set up an online petition with model Robyn Lawley asking shoppers to boycott the show. The petition now has over 9,000 signatures.
Zak told Business Insider in an interview in September that she launched the company several years ago because she was so frustrated by the lack of appealing options for lingerie for women. The market was dominated by Victoria's Secret.
"Where do I shop?" she said, reflecting back to when she first launched the company. "I'm in my early thirties, I don't want bright pink, I don't want perfume. I just want something that is super beautiful, comfortable, and that makes me feel good about myself."
During the Vogue interview, Razek made a direct reference to ThirdLove when asked by the reporter whether the company had noticed that its customers are now looking for something new.
"We're nobody's ThirdLove," he said. "We're their first love. And Victoria's Secret has been women's first love from the beginning."
Zak finished the Times letter by addressing those very comments.
"We may not have been a woman's first love but we will be her last," she said.
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