Victoria's Secret is an American lingerie, clothing, and beauty retailer known for high visibility marketing and branding, starting with a popular catalog and followed by an annual fashion show with supermodels dubbed Angels. As the largest retailer of lingerie in the United States, the brand has struggled since 2016 due to shifting consumer preferences and ongoing controversy surrounding corporate leadership's business practices.
Founded in 1977 by Roy and Gaye Raymond,the company's five lingerie stores were sold to Leslie Wexner in 1982. Wexner rapidly expanded into American shopping malls, growing the company into 350 stores nationally with sales of $1 billion by the early 1990s when Victoria's Secret became the largest lingerie retailer in the United States.
From 1995 through 2018, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show was an essential part of the brand's image featuring an annual runway spectacle of models promoted by the company as fantasy Angels.
In addition to the primary brand of lingerie for Victoria's Secret, the company has secondary product lines: namely, activewear known as Victoria sports, swimwear, and a beauty division with fragrances, make-up, accessories, and other bath and body products.
The swimwear, introduced in 2002, was made available until April 2016, when the company announced that the line would end and be replaced by a new line of activewear. The swim line was relaunched in November 2018. In March 2019, the swim line was made available in shops.
In 2010, Victoria's Secret launched the 'Incredible' bra. The company released the Victoria's Secret Designer Collection in 2012, described by Vogue as the company's "first high end lingerie line." In 2016, Victoria's Secret confined the elimination of swimwear, apparel, shoes, and accessories. In 2017, the company began to put more emphasis on bralettes (bras without underwire, often intended to be worn visibly) and sports bras (under the Victoria Sport label) to appeal to a younger customer base.
In 2019, Victoria's Secret relaunched its product line of eyewear and footwear, in hopes of boosting struggling sales for the brand.
In October 2021, Pink launched a line of reusable period panties.