Everything You Want to Know About Victoria’s Secret – Literally

2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Paris - Show
Related Article
Celebrities & Influencers
Gigi Hadid on Jordan, Jewelry, and Life's Little Luxuries
Read Article

When Victoria’s Secret first opened its doors in 1977, the world had no idea that it was the start of a globe-spanning lingerie company unlike any that had ever existed before. Originally, the concept of the store focused on making men feel more comfortable when shopping for intimate items for their wives, but it later pivoted to become an exclusively female-facing brand when it was bought out by Limited Brands Inc. Victoria’s Secret is now the largest retailer of lingerie in America, but its influence first reached the Middle East in 2014 when it opened a standalone store at Marina Mall in Kuwait.

In this comprehensive guide to everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Victoria’s Secret, we cover all the bases – from the company’s history and its famous model crew to the inventory and fan favorites it stocks across all of its product categories and lines.

The Company

Victoria’s Secret was founded in Palo Alto, California in 1977 by Roy Raymond and his spouse Gaye after Raymond experienced embarrassment at a local lingerie shop when he was trying to buy gifts for his wife. Reportedly, he was uncomfortable with how the shop people treated him and was underwhelmed by the unattractive selection of undergarments. Raymond aimed to change the lingerie shopping experience, making it comfortable for both men and women. He decided on his muse, “Victoria”, in reference to the sartorially conservative Victorian era, with her “Secret” relating to the beautiful undergarments she wore beneath her extravagant Victorian clothes. Victoria’s Secret is now owned by parent company L Brand, which also owns Bath & Body Works. L Brand is on the Fortune 500 list of top companies.

As an original blueprint that completely revolutionized the lingerie industry and shopping experience, Victoria’s Secret quickly sparked competitor launches by brands like La Perla, Agent Provocateur, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Adore Me, and department store brands by JC Penney, Macy’s, and Nordstrom.

A large portion of Victoria’s Secret garments are manufactured right here in the Middle East, in Jordan to be exact. Jordan has a surprisingly huge garment industry, which makes up 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Much of the cotton used in Victoria’s Secret clothing is sourced from Burkina Faso, while other materials are sourced from the United States, Sri Lanka, China, and India. These countries represent 5 percent or more of the company’s global order volume.

Victoria’s Secret is so popular because of its broad product categories, which include loungewear, pajamas, sportswear, perfume, makeup, and more. In addition to shopping for lingerie, women who visit Victoria’s Secret can purchase a whole range of products to suit a versatile array of lifestyle needs. It is also popular because of highly trained employees who can help shoppers find the right size, shape, and look for their bodies, and because it prides itself on staying ahead of trends.

If you want to keep up with Victoria’s Secret on social media, follow the brand on Snapchat @VSPink and on Instagram @VictoriasSecret.

Victoria's Secret Interior
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Victoria's Secret Perfume

Victoria’s Secret began selling fragrances like perfume, lotion, and mist in 1989, and the earliest scent was called ‘Victoria’. Some of the early body-care product scents, like ‘Pear Glace’ are still sold in Victoria’s Secret stores today. While fragrance preferences are subjective, some customer favorites include the ‘Pure Seduction’ fragrance mist, the new ‘Tease Flower’ scent released in 2017, ‘Back to Pink’ which is very youthful and fresh, and ‘Bombshell in Love’ lotion, which is long lasting. Victoria’s Secret ‘Bombshell’ and ‘Breathless’ perfumes are other popular fragrances, but given the high quality of the brand’s scents, you really can’t go wrong with any of the smells that strike your fancy. Visit Victoria’s Secret online for a complete breakdown of all of the fragrance mists, lotions, and perfumes that they have available.

Unfortunately, Victoria’s Secret has abandoned its 12-year mission to make its products cruelty free and has began testing products on animals as of 2014. There is currently a petition with PETA to request that Victoria’s Secret return to its original, humane policy.

Victoria's Secret Angels

Victoria’s Secret models, otherwise known as Victoria’s Secret Angels, were so named for the brand’s lingerie ‘Angel’ line that launched in 1997. The initial launch of the line starred supermodels Helena Christensen, Karen Mulder, Daniela Peštová, Stephanie Seymour, and Tyra Banks. In the present day, one of the brand’s biggest draws are the Angels, who boast perfect figures that are ideal for transmitting Victoria’s Secret’s message of sensual confidence.

Currently, there are 14 official Victoria’s Secret Angels: Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Behati Prinsloo, Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Elsa Hosk, Jasmine Tookes, Josephine Skriver, Lais Ribeiro, Martha Hunt, Romee Strijd, Sara Sampaio, Stella Maxwell, and Taylor Hill. Their title means that they have an exclusive spokesperson contract with the brand, and Angels are among the highest-paid supermodels in the world. These Victoria’s Secret Angels not only star in the brand’s many advertising campaigns and commercial campaigns, but they also appear annually in the Victoria’s Secret runway show.

The longest-running Victoria’s Secret Angel is currently Adriana Lima, who has been modeling for the brand for the past 17 years, followed by Alessandra Ambrosio. Heidi Klum is the third runner-up, having worked for the brand for 13 years. Other supermodels are often invited to walk in the show, like Bella Hadid, Gigi Hadid, and Kendall Jenner, but that does not make them official Victoria’s Secret Angels.

Of the 14 Victoria’s Secret Angels, Lima, Ambrosio, and Ribeiro are all from Brazil, with Lima and Ambrosio in particular opening the doors for a surge of Brazilian models in the industry that started in the noughties. Former Victoria’s Secret model Gisele Bündchen was also instrumental in creating a niche for Brazilian models in the fashion world.

For those seeking to become Victoria’s Secret Angels, the process is long. Not only do you need to have professional headshots, an Angel-level physique, and be signed to a professional modeling agency – like Elite Model Management –  but you also have to go up against 400 to 500 annual applications. Not everyone makes the cut, but those who do go on to live in infamy. Most Victoria’s Secret Angels got their start in modeling by being discovered or signing to agencies and then working their way up. There are very few that have landed the coveted role as an Angel with no prior modeling experience.

Many women are obsessed with the Victoria’s Secret models’ beauty routines, workouts, and diets, but no two are alike. In fact, over the years, Savoir Flair has chronicled the diets and beauty and fitness regimens of Karlie Kloss, Lily Aldridge, Alessandra Ambrosio, Doutzen Kroes, Iza Goulart, Martha Hunt, Candice Swanepoel, Taylor Hill, Behati Prinsloo, Adriana Lima, Gisele Bündchen, Jasmine Tookes, and Elsa Hosk. One thing they all have in common when it comes to achieving and maintaining their perfect figures is discipline. Many of them spend six to eight hours a day in the gym and eat very strict diets, especially before the annual Victoria’s Secret runway show.

Get a Body Like an Angel
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/07015859/FB-Elsa-Hosk-Diet-Fitness-Secrets-Exercise.jpg
#Fitspo: How Victoria’s Secret Angel Elsa Hosk Stays in Supermodel Shape
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/04101718/Martha-Hunt-FB.jpg
Martha Hunt on How She Gets That Incredible Victoria’s Secret Angel Body
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/16144526/Gisele-Bundchen-swimwear-HM.jpg
How to Get a Bikini Body to Rival Gisele’s
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/10152056/Alessandra-Ambrosio-Body-Diet1-e1491823349725.jpg
The Secrets Behind Alessandra Ambrosio’s Supermodel Body

Although there’s no arguing with the fact that Victoria’s Secret Angels have amazing bodies, they do get an added beauty boost from an arsenal of makeup artists and hair stylists. If you took away the makeup and voluminous hair to see what a Victoria’s Secret model really looked like, you’d find that they are all naturally beautiful. The makeup and hair simply act as enhancements for their catwalk and ad-campaign performances.

Beyond working the catwalk and ad campaigns in Victoria’s Secret lingerie, many of the models have outside interests. Former Angel Karlie Kloss is notable for her interest in computer coding, and she has started her own scholarship for young girls called Kode with Klossy. Lyndsey Scott, a former model for the brand, also works in coding and is an app creator.

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

The very first Victoria’s Secret fashion show was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City in August 1995, hosted by supermodel Stephanie Seymour. It wasn’t until 1998, however, that the Victoria’s Secret annual runway show featured Angels for the first time. In 1999, the brand staged a 72-hour countdown to the internet webcast of the fashion show during the Super Bowl. This strategy brought in over 2 million internet viewers and turned the show into a yearly phenomenon.

In addition to showcasing its new products, the annual Victoria’s Secret runway show also spotlights the year’s top names in entertainment. Notable performers have included Justin Timberlake (2006), The Spice Girls (2007), Usher (2008), Kanye West (2011), Rihanna (2012), Taylor Swift (2013), and The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, and Bruno Mars (2016).

Each year, according to VS tradition, one Angel is given the honor of wearing the ‘Fantasy Bra’. Victoria’s Secret ‘Fantasy Bras’ are special because they are created by a fine-jewelry house each year and come with hefty price tags. For example, in 2000, Bündchen wore a ‘Fantasy Bra’ that was worth $15 million and earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the ‘most expensive lingerie item ever created’.

Victoria's Secret Bras

Although Victoria’s Secret has many product categories, one of its most popular items is the bra. In fact, VS pioneered versions of the push-up bra that are still worn today. When you enter a Victoria’s Secret store, it is likely that your first interaction with a customer service agent is the offer of bust measurement. This is a service Victoria’s Secret provides for free, and the brand prides itself on putting women in bras that actually fit them.

After receiving an accurate, expert measurement, there are other steps you can take to determine the Victoria’s Secret bra that’s right for you. Start by thinking of how you will wear the bra; for example, active women need sports bras, while working women need versatile bras that are supportive during long stretches of wear. For a breakdown of all of the elements for picking the best Victoria’s Secret bra, visit the customer service overview here.

The most comfortable Victoria’s Secret bra depends on the style, padding levels, support levels, and straps that you choose. However, customers love the ‘Wear Everywhere’ T-shirt bra and report that it’s comfortable to wear during long and active workdays.

Unfortunately, when it comes to sizing, Victoria’s Secret produces a limited range of 32A to 40DDD, so women with much larger chests might not find the right bra. However, Victoria’s Secret sports bras are reportedly very good for large-chested women and are incredibly supportive. For those with smaller chests, Victoria’s Secret’s expertly engineered ‘Add-2-Cups’ push-up bra has the most padding and lift.

One of the brand’s most popular, discontinued bras was the ‘U Plunge’ backless version. However, you can still find it on re-sale sites like eBay and Poshmark. In its place, Victoria’s Secret released the ‘Plunge’ bra that is ideal for wearing with low-cut dresses and V-cut tops. Other crowd favorites are the ‘V-Wire’ bandeaus and bralettes, which are flattering and low cut.

Finally, if you’re wondering if Victoria’s Secret bras are good or if they’re worth the price, look no further than this recent report on CNBC that found that Victoria’s Secret shoppers were among the most loyal brand shoppers out there. Not only has consumer confidence created a lingerie brand worth $7.67 billion – controlling around two thirds of the country’s intimates market – but VS fans also purchase products from the brand more often than the average intimates shopper.

Victoria's Secret Underwear

Underwear is also a huge cornerstone of the brand, particularly its lacy thongs, which weren’t as ubiquitous in the intimates market until Victoria’s Secret started selling them. Victoria’s Secret underwear is affordable and comes in a huge range of styles – from V-strings to bikini bottoms to boyshorts. One of its most comfortable styles is the ‘Seamless’ cut, which disguises any visible panty lines. Victoria’s Secret underwear also comes in an array of materials like silk, cotton, and lace.

Lingerie-as-outerwear has become a recent trend, and one of the ways to achieve that look is with a bodysuit. Victoria’s Secret also offers a great selection of items like bodysuits and other lingerie favorites like teddies, kimonos, and slips.

Underwear as Outerwear
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/07143545/transporter-Lingerie-Chiara-Ferragni.jpg
The Tasteful Way to Wear Your Lingerie in Public
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/07143956/transporter-Bella-Hadid-corset-top.jpg
Underwear as Outerwear Is Taking Over Instagram (Again)
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/07144152/transporter-Victoria-Beckham-underwear-as-outerwear.jpg
Victoria Beckham Tastefully Nails The Underwear-as-Outwear Trend
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/07143800/transporter-Rooney-Mara-underwear-as-outerwear.jpg
How to Do the Underwear as Outerwear Trend without Showing Too Much Skin

Victoria's Secret Daywear and Accessories

The brand’s product lines are broken up into three categories: Victoria’s Secret, Pink, and Victoria Sports. Recently, Victoria’s Secret announced that it was discontinuing its swimwear, daywear, and accessories lines, but these items are still available in the brand’s younger sister line, Pink. If you visit the Victoria’s Secret site online, simply click the ‘Pink’ tab at the top of the page in order to see all this category’s collegiate-oriented swimwear, bras, underwear, and apparel. Meanwhile, the Victoria Sport tab will take you to all athletic-wear selections, including bras, capris, leggings, hoodies, pullovers, and more.

Cool Workout Clothing Ideas
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/06170238/VictoriaSport-toned-arms.jpg
Let’s Get Physical: Shop the Prettiest Pieces to Work Out In
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/13144416/Beach-Yoga.jpg
Want to Train Like a #VSAngel? Start with These Accessories
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/17011418/Lana-El-Sahely-Nike-Ambassador.jpg
What a Trip to Budapest with Nike Taught Me About Female Empowerment
https://do5ctr7j643mo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/14084853/Gigi-Reebok_PerfectNever1.jpg
Perfect? Never. Gigi Hadid Gets up Close and Personal with Savoir Flair

Victoria's Secret Sizing

One of the most beneficial aspects of visiting a Victoria’s Secret store in person is the bra measurement service every boutique offers. The way Victoria’s Secret employees measure bra size is by estimating the difference between your band size and your bust size, which results in your cup size. Victoria’s Secret items tend to run true to size, but keep in mind, as mentioned before, that the bras only go up to a 40DDD and underwear tops out at XL. When in doubt, research the bra or underwear you are interested in online and read the reviews. Customers who have tried the products will often note whether the items ran large, were true to size, or were too small.

Victoria's Secret Promotions

Although Victoria’s Secret always has a rotating stock of clearance items online and in stores, it also hosts huge semi-annual sales every six months – typically every June and December – in order to turn over old inventory. These sales offer deep discounts on underwear, bras, and more, often offering 3-for-1 deals or similarly enticing price cuts.

For those loyal customers that just can’t get enough of Victoria’s Secret lingerie, sportswear, and loungewear, the brand offers a Victoria’s Secret Angel Credit Card. You can apply for the credit card online and in stores. Cardholders will also receive one point for each dollar spent, triple points and free shipping on all bra purchases, free birthday products, exclusive offers, early access to sales, and more.

When in doubt as to what to get her for her birthday or other holiday occasions, a Victoria’s Secret gift card is always a great idea. They are valid in all Victoria’s Secret, Pink, and Victoria Sports retail sites, as well as online.

Where Are the Victoria's Secret Shops Near You

 

Dubai, UAE

  • Mall of the Emirates
  • City Centre Mirdif
  • City Centre Deira
  • BurJuman Centre
  • The Dubai Mall
  • The Walk, JBR
  • Dubai Marina Mall
  • Dubai Festival City Mall

Abu Dhabi, UAE

  • Yas Mall
  • Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
  • Khalidiya Mall
  • World Trade Centre Mall
  • Al Wahda Mall
  • Dalma Mall
  • Deerfield Townsquare
  • Abu Dhabi Mall
  • Bawabat Al Sharq Mall

Al Ain, UAE

  • Al Ain Mall
  • Bawadi Mall

Sharjah, UAE

  • Sahara Centre
  • Sharjah Mega Mall

Fujairah, UAE

  • City Centre Fujairah

Riyadh, KSA

  • Al Qasr Mall
  • Hayat Mall
  • Sahara Mall
  • Garden Hail
  • Granada Center
  • Riyadh Gallery
  • Kingdom Center
  • Al Khair Mall

Jeddah, KSA

  • Heraa International Mall
  • Serafi Mega Mall
  • Red Sea Mall
  • Tahlia Shopping Center

Dammam, KSA

  • Al Othaim Mall
  • Ibn Khaldoun Mall
  • Dareen Mall

Medina, KSA

  • Rashid Mega Mall

Bahrain

  • Seef Mall
  • City Centre Bahrain

Qatar

  • Mall of Qatar
  • Landmark
  • Dar Al Salam
  • Gulf Mall

Kuwait

  • Kuwait International Airport
  • The Gate Mall
  • The Avenues (1st Avenue, 2nd Avenue, and Grand Avenue)
  • Marina Mall
  • Al Kout
  • Al Fanar Mall
  • Souq Sharq

Oman

  • City Centre Qurum
  • City Centre Muscat
  • The Avenues Muscat

Jordan

  • Taj Mall
  • City Mall

Lebanon

  • City Centre Beirut
  • City Mall
  • ABC Achrafieh Mall
  • The Spot Chouaifat

Egypt

  • City Stars
  • Dandy Mega Mall
  • Cairo Festival City
Be in the know.
Every day, receive Savoir Flair's top articles straight to your computer or smartphone. It's never been easier to stay up-to-date on the latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle stories.
Click to get the latest news on your device
You can stop notifications at any time.
Unsubscribe from our notifications
Click to unsubscribe from notifications on this device.
Be in the know.
Every day, receive Savoir Flair's top articles straight to your computer or smartphone. It's never been easier to stay up-to-date on the latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle stories.
Connect using Facebook Messenger