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New harassment allegations for Victoria's Secret executives

A new report by The New York Times unveils sexist behavior and assaults on models and employees

New harassment allegations for Victoria's Secret executives A new report by The New York Times unveils sexist behavior and assaults on models and employees

The new mediatic storm that invested dying Victoria’s Secret was the result of the publication of a New York Times report entitled Angels In Hell: The Culture of Misogyny Inside Victoria’s Secret. The four journalists write about the inappropriate behaviour, the harassments and the abuses carried out by two of the main personalities of the company: Ed Razek, for years one of the main execs of L Brands, the parent company of the lingerie brand, and Leslie Wexner, CEO and founder of L Brands, who was reportedly aware of the situation and encouraged it.

The NYT gathers the testimonies of more than 30 people, employees and former employees of the company, models, and managers. Quite emblematic is the story of model Andi Muise, who after rejecting Razek's advances and physical assaults, was excluded by the brand's famous runway shows. As reported by many witnesses, Razek used to take part in the models casting, he often asked them their phone number, he invited them to sit on his lap, he even touched the crotch of one of them. During a fitting with Bella Hadid, he reportedly told her that it would be a shame to hide "those perfect titties."

Many of the witnesses said that they had turned to the human resources several times, but these complaints did not have any consequence. As many recount, Razek appeared untouchable, covered by Wexner, who was aware of the type of atmosphere that characterized VS. What strikes in fact, but does not surprise, is that this was an established and well-rooted practice, part of the politics of a brand that basically brought on the catwalk an extremely sexually charged female body, created from the vision of the men. Casey Crowe Taylor, a former public relations employee at Victoria’s Secret who said she had witnessed Mr Razek’s conduct.

This abuse was just laughed off and accepted as normal. It was almost like brainwashing. And anyone who tried to do anything about it wasn’t just ignored. They were punished. 

The NYT report unveils moreover further details on the relationship between Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein, who not only managed the assets of Wexner, but he was also in charge of recruiting new models for the brand, during those infamous parties in his Florida mansions along with names with the likes of Donald Trump and Andrew of York. Epstein was arrested for sexual abuses and international trafficking in children (which would have involved more than 10 thousand kids), and who died under mysterious circumstances in jail last August. 

These new revelations on Victoria's Secret open more cracks in an already declining brand, which last December cancelled his iconic fashion show after twenty years; Razek stepped down after his controversial statements on over-sized and transgender models; Wexner would be about to retire and sell L Brands, even though none of this is official news. Razek and L Brands have categorically dismissed any charges.