Their image and who they market to is drastically different today from when I became a young woman. Let me explain...
I didn't step a foot inside the Victoria's Secret store at the local mall until I was in college. Any younger than that would have seemed a bit wrong to me, because back in the 80s and 90s, VS was definitely marketed towards adult women. All this teeny bopper "PINK" crap that you see in their stores, online, and in the catalogs didn't exist. Victoria's Secret was for grown up women only.
That isn't to say that teenage girls never ordered from them or weren't allowed in their stores, but I can honestly say that up until about ten years ago when they expanded their product lines towards a younger demographic, I never saw pre-teens in their stores.
Victoria's Secret stores circa 1990 used to be mature and classy, like a French woman's boudoir. Classical music was softly piped through the racks, the walls were cream and pastel colored, and the stores smelled like lavender and other hints of whatever fragrance they were selling at the time. The salesladies were professional-sometimes to the point of coming across as a little bit snooty-but always helpful.
And the clothes were classy and romantic as well (I had that multicolored flowered print robe at the top.) I always thought there was a distinct difference between VS and the more tarty Frederick's of Hollywood. Frederick's of Hollywood was for women who wanted one night stands, while Victoria's Secret was for women who wanted a committed relationship. Maybe that analogy is too broad but needless to say, I was always a VS woman.
I used to love their regular clothing - which was only available through their catalog. I bought several dresses, skirts, and suits from them back in the day which were suitable for work - sexy and flattering, but remarkably never revealing. At the risk of sounding gay, their models were pretty, too. Jill Goodacre (Harry Connick Jr's wife), Stephanie Seymour, Elle MacPherson and other big names regularly modeled their clothes and while they were thin, I never thought of any of them as anorexic.
Anyways, the point is I don't recognize Victoria's Secret anymore. I only visit a store now to get my free underwear when I get a card from them in the mall (call me cheap, but the one good thing I can still say about VS is that their cotton panties seem to last forever.)
Everything about the store and how they market themselves has been completely overhauled. The music and interior design is all techno, there are tacky plastic mannequins, and the salespeople I've encountered are mostly a bunch of bubbleheads. But the worst part is the fact that every time I go in there, I'm nearly overrun by a bunch of giggly, gum popping 12 year-olds. No doubt they were drawn in by the PINK line despite the fact that PINK is geared towards the collegiate crowd. I'm sorry but they don't belong there. They're still kids. The PINK line attracts them and from there they start exploring other areas of the store where adult women are shopping for thongs, bras, and other garments that don't belong on a 12 year-old. Yes, I know adolescents are going through puberty earlier these days, but still...something about the whole thing bothers me. It's bad enough that society pushes sexy toys and clothing to grade schoolers.
|VS today: um, seriously???|
Everyone is marketing towards a younger demographic today because they know they have greater buying power and influence over their parents, but do you have to change the entire store image to attract one age group?
The company that I used to know and love is gone. Long live the memories.