Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Says Victoria's Secret "Missed the Boat" Amid Cultural Shift

A former Victoria's Secret Angel herself, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley shared her candid thoughts on how her past employer adapted to this new era in fashion.

By Samantha Schnurr Aug 23, 2021 1:45 PMTags
Watch: Tyra Banks Calls Victoria's Secret Rebrand a "Beauty Revolution"

It seems Rosie Huntington-Whiteley isn't afraid to ruffle a few feathers of some Victoria's Secret angel wings. 

In an interview with The Sunday Times, the supermodel, who is pregnant with her second child, weighed in on her former employer Victoria's Secret with an unfiltered take. The decades-old lingerie brand is in the midst of an overhaul. As part of the revamping announced in June, Victoria's Secret introduced The VS Collective, consisting of inaugural ambassadors like Priyanka Chopra and Megan Rapinoe and replacing the company's signature lineup of wing-wearing, runway-stomping Victoria's Secret Angels. 

Huntington-Whiteley was once one of those elite figures until she hung up her wings after last walking for the company in 2010. "It was a different time and it's crazy [to say that] because it was 11 years ago," she told The Sunday Times, "which is not that long ago."

Still, in just over a decade, new brands like Savage X Fenty and Aerie have answered the call for inclusivity, casting a harsh light on companies that did not follow suit—Victoria's Secret a prominent offender

While the brand has since changed its tune—advertising with plus-size and transgender models, for example—to Huntington-Whiteley, it's an opportunity seized late.

OMG Moments at Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows

"I do feel Victoria's Secret really missed the boat with broadening themselves out in the past few years," she said, "and really listening to the cultural shift of what people are looking for from their brand."

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Still, the current overhaul is a start. As Amanda de Cadenet, a founding ambassador for the VS Collective, partly wrote at the time of the announcement, "I'm going to be honest, being a ‘Victoria's Secret' anything was never on my career bucket list, in fact it was quite the opposite. So when I was first asked to be a part of the #VSCollective, I was extremely skeptical. But leading with an open mind, I was also curious to learn more. Months later and after hours of in depth conversations with the VS teams to understand the ongoing tangible commitments that are planned, I saw the first steps taken to create a new culture. With a majority female board, and a new holding company, I felt reassured and confident that this is a real opening to shift culture for the better."