Victoria’s Secret launches online marketplace dominated by women-led brands
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Victoria’s Secret on Thursday announced that it has launched an inclusive marketplace, available via VictoriasSecret.com and dubbed VS&Co-Lab, which “will showcase brands that align with its values of innovation and inclusivity.”
VS&Co-Lab features 19 brands, 75% of them founded, owned or led by women, according to an emailed press release.
Victoria’s Secret recently acquired minority stakes in two of the featured brands, For Love & Lemons and Frankies Bikinis. Others found on VS&Co-Lab include D+ lingerie brand Mindd and Nigerian-American designer Buki Ade’s BFyne swimwear.
The Victoria’s Secret rehabilitation continues with this curated marketplace, which gives up-and-coming brands, including many “founded, owned or led by women,” an opportunity to market under the best-known lingerie banner in the world.
“Through leveraging the strength of Victoria’s Secret & Co. and our passionate customer base, we are meeting consumers where they are while simultaneously partnering with small business to drive economic empowerment for women and people of color,” Patti Cazzato, head of emerging businesses at Victoria’s Secret, said in a statement.
The marketplace helps even the playing field for emerging brands, according to Cazzato.
The effort aligns with Victoria’s Secret new marketing approach, a radical departure from the sexualized marketing it depended on for years. Other initiatives include a female-empowerment collective of big-name influencers and more inclusive merchandising.
“VS&Co-Lab’s mission to provide a platform for breakthrough voices, like BFyne, is vital to push forward diverse perspectives,” Ade said in a statement.
In March, Victoria’s Secret CEO Martin Waters brushed aside any notion that the marketing about-face lost it any fans, despite some warnings that it could. While Victoria’s Secret experienced falling sales and loss of market share in recent years, it has remained the global leader in lingerie.
The retailer plans to expand VS&Co-Lab, saying in its release that it’s “committed to investing further with minority ownership in diverse brands that offer a differentiated view of the marketplace, customer and category.”