Working for Victoria’s Secret would be a dream come true for most aspiring models, but according to Bella Hadid, it’s not as great as it’s cracked up to be.
During a recent onstage interview at the Vogue Fashion Festival in Paris, Hadid admitted she had never felt comfortable modelling underwear until she walked the runway for Rihanna wearing Savage x Fenty lingerie.
“Rihanna’s amazing,” she said. “For me, that was the first time on a runway that I felt really sexy.”
“When I first did Fenty, I was doing other lingerie shows and I never felt powerful on a runway, like, in my underwear,” she added.
While Hadid never directly mentions Victoria’s Secret, her comments sound as though they reference the underwear giant, whom she’s walked the runway three times.
The reason Hadid preferred her experience modelling for Savage X Fenty was because Rihanna allowed her to “walk any way she wanted.”
“I like being another character. I think at this point I don’t necessarily love being myself sometimes,” she said. “Sometimes on the runway you get either nervous or you forget how your legs move.”
It’s no surprise Hadid felt a sense of freedom modelling for Rihanna. Since launching last year, Savage X Fenty has been making waves in the fashion industry for focusing on diversity and inclusion in its celebration of all women’s bodies.
“Every woman deserves to feel sexy. We are sexy, we are multi-faceted and I want women to embrace that to the fullest,” Rihanna said during the premiere of her 2019 Savage X Fenty show on Amazon Prime.
Sadly, it sounds like RiRi’s vision for her brand is a far cry from the public’s perception of Victoria’s Secret. In 2017, a consumer study conducted by Wells Fargo found that 68% of respondents said they liked Victoria’s Secret less than they used to and 60% said they think the brand feels “forced” or “fake.”
The negative press surrounding Victoria’s Secret in recent years hasn’t helped, either. Last year, the lingerie brand found itself in hot water after CEO Ed Razek made a series of insensitive comments about transgender and plus-size models.
Judging by Hadid’s comments, it sounds like Victoria’s Secret’s lack of inclusivity and diversity is starting to affect more than just their customers.