A Victoria’s Secret rival puts them on blast in open letter

Heidi Zak – co-CEO of lingerie company ThirdLove – published the piece yesterday in the NYT following transphobic comments made

Following an article published in Vogue, Victoria’s Secret found itself facing criticisms for transphobic comments made by the chief marketing officer of its parent company L Brands, Ed Razek. “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should,” he said. “Why not? Because the show is a fantasy.” Elsewhere, he said that plus-size models would also not be cast. 

While Razek attempted to apologise, trans activists – and models like Munroe Bergdorf and Maxim Magnus – were understandably unhappy with the comments made. In response to the article, competitor ThirdLove’s co-CEO Heidi Zak penned an open letter in yesterday’s issue of the New York Times.  

“I was appalled when I saw the demeaning comments about women,” she says. “I’ve read and re-read the interview at least 20 times, and each time I read it I’m even angrier.” She continues, talking about the differences between their company’s approach, with ThirdLove recognising all different types of women wear their bras, not just thin, white ones. “Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country,” she continues. 

She ends the letter referencing a not-so-subtle dig made by Razek within the article – “We’re nobody’s ThirdLove, we’re their first love,” he said. “We are flattered for the mention, but let me be clear: we may not have been a woman’s first love but we will be her last,” Zak concludes. 

Read the full letter below and more on the backlash from the comments here