Flagging Victoria’s Secret announces new lingerie CEO

US lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret announced Monday that it had appointed John Mehas, a longstanding fashion businessman as new lingerie CEO, hoping to boost its ailing fortunes.

Mehas will take over in the New Year, replacing Jan Singer, who resigned with the brand under fire for slumping sales, idealized glamazonian feminity and reluctance to put larger and transgender models on the catwalk.

His appointment was announced as Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie market leader in the United States, reported third-quarter results with a net loss of $42.8 million compared to net income of $86 million last year.

“Our number one priority is improving performance,” said chairman and chief executive officer Leslie Wexner of parent company L Brands.

“Our new leaders are coming in with a fresh perspective and looking at everything… our marketing, brand positioning, internal talent, real estate portfolio and cost structure,” he added.

“I am confident that, under John’s leadership, Victoria’s Secret Lingerie…will continue to be a powerhouse and will deliver products and experiences that resonate with women around the globe.”

Mehas comes to Victoria’s Secret from Tory Burch, where he is currently president. He previously led Club Monaco for 13 years as president and CEO. He has also worked at The Gap and Bloomingdales.

Singer had been on the job since September 2016. No reason has been publicly announced for her departure.

Earlier this month, Victoria’s Secret marketing director Ed Razek provoked uproar on social media for telling Vogue that there was no need for transgender or plus-size models in this year’s fashion show.

“No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special,” he said.

Razek subsequently issued a public apology. Victoria’s Secret hired some of the world’s most famous models and filmed their annual fashion show in New York on November 8. It will be aired globally next month.

In the United States, it provoked ire for its uniform use of slender models at a time when US women feel increasingly empowered by the #MeToo movement and with lingerie brands that promote all shapes and sizes — such as Rihanna’s new Savage X Fenty line — making inroads.

Heidi Zak, co-CEO of one such rival brand, ThirdLove, published an open letter in The New York Times saying she was “appalled” by Razek’s “demeaning comments” in the Vogue interview.

“You market to men, and sell a male fantasy to women,” she said.

“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.

“Haven’t we moved beyond outdated ideas of femininity and gender roles? It’s time to stop telling women what makes them sexy — let us decide.”

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  1. Avatar Mazzdark July 27th, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Because Jubilee did all the campaigning for Mutula Jnr…………

    1. Avatar Naturalsceptic July 28th, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Because Jubilee respects the will of the people, unlike cord.

      1. Avatar Mazzdark July 29th, 2013 at 9:57 am

        By doing everything possible to block the “people’s choice’…..?

        1. Avatar Naturalsceptic August 14th, 2013 at 5:12 am

          Because they are faithful to their oath to uphold the constitution and law? That candidates must be registered voters?

          Watermelons in the house?

          1. Avatar Mazzdark August 14th, 2013 at 1:26 pm

            Do you understand the usage of irony in literature my friend?

  2. Avatar ahmed hanad July 27th, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I thought Uhuru should have gone to funerals to mourn just like the way the Cord mindless leaders do.

  3. Avatar Liz Charlotte July 29th, 2013 at 10:59 am

    congrats to jnr. I hope he does a good job, all eyes on him


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