The chief marketing officer of lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret has apologised after saying the brand wouldn't cast transgender or plus-size models in its runway shows.
In an interview published by Vogue last week, Ed Razek said he didn't think there should be any "transsexuals" hired to walk as "angels" in brand's famous show "because [it] is a fantasy".
"It’s a 42-minute entertainment special," said the marketer. "That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us. And they carp at us because we’re the leader."
The comments, made as part of an interview with Vogue magazine on diversity, in which Razek observed that he had considered placing transgender and plus-sized models in the brands annual fashion showcase but decided against because Victoria’s Secret "did not market to the whole world".
The interview drew widespread ire from social media users, forcing Razek to make a U-turn.
He said: “My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive. I apologise.
"To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We've had transgender models come to castings... And like many others, they didn't make it... But it was never about gender."
Please read this important message from Ed Razek, Chief Marketing Officer, L Brands (parent company of Victoria’s Secret). pic.twitter.com/CW8BztmOaM
— Victoria's Secret (@VictoriasSecret) November 10, 2018
Victoria's Secret was previously forced to withdraw its 'Perfect Body' campaign following another backlash for promoting unhealthy images.
Victoria's Secret has been grappling with falling sales since 2016.