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Who founded Victoria’s Secret?

The new song by Jax have many speaking to the negative impact the brand had on their self-esteem.

Así ha sido el desfile de Victoria's Secret 2017
Kevin Mazur

Jackie Miskanic, or JAX as she is professionally known, has gone viral for her song about the negative impact Victoria’s Secret had on women and girls in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.

Some may recognize JAX from the 15th season of American Idol where she came in third place.

Her new song Victoria’s Secret, speaks to her experience being influenced by the women’s fashion brand as an impressionable teenager. Without thinking critically about the fact that the images were photoshopped and many models had undergone cosmetic surgery, she began to cut down calories and developed an eating disorder.

The chorus sings “I stopped eating, what a bummer / Can’t have carbs in a hot girl summer / If I could go back and tell myself /When I was younger, I’d say, psst,” getting to the peak, “I know Victoria’s secret / And girl, you wouldn’t believe / She’s an old man who lives in Ohio.”

The point JAX is aiming to get across is that the image and the attraction of Victoria’s Secret is not a natural creation, but the vision of an elderly man who purchased the company in the early 1980s.

Jax continues highlighting the problematic relationship many have with the owner and the company singing, “Making money off of girls like me / Cashing in on body issues / Selling skin and bones with big boobs / I know Victoria’s secret /She was made up by a dude (dude).”

Who founded Victoria’s Secret?

The women’s intimates company was founded by a couple in California in the late 1970s, but was purchased in the early 1980s by business tycoon Les Wexner. Lexner is who is referenced in the song as the “old man  who lives in Ohio.”

The husband in the couple, Roy Raymon got the idea to start the brand after feeling judged at a department store when trying to buy underwear for his wife. The Raymon’s started with a few stores in California and launched the famous catalogue. However, after just a few years the store was struggling. When the company was teetering on bankruptcy is was purchased by Wexner for one million dollars.

Sadly, Raymon would commit suicide before his brand truly took off, unable to see the success of his initial concept and idea.

What really revolutionized the brand, and the fashion industry, was the launch of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Featuring legends in the music industry and the famous Victoria Secret’s Angels, some have described the event as the “Super Bowl of the fashion world.” It is this event and the unattainable standard set by the Angles that inspired Jax’s lyrics.

The company which once dominated the women’s fashion industry dropped off the map after a series of choices made by Wexner which missed major trends in consumer preferences. While the body positivity movement was changing the ways in which people saw themselves reflected in the campaigns, VS refused to budge from their hypersexualized comercialization model.

Additionally, as the Me Too movement evolved an investigation to into misconduct at the company found the Wexner and other management had fostered a hostile workplace environment where bullying and harassment were rampant.


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