Victoria’s Secret has just signed its first-ever size-14 model. Her name is Ali Tate-Cutler and she will be featured in a collaboration ad campaign with U.K. lingerie brand Bluebella.
The move, however, was met with criticism, as some people think that the company is just covering its tracks. Less than one year ago, Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek was slammed for insensitive remarks on brand talent.
Responsible for a homogenous and sexualized brand image that is now largely considered as outdated, Razek infuriated the public with comments he made in a Vogue.com interview last November about Victoria’s Secret’s casting practices: “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.”
Surprisingly, the confirmation of Razek’s departure came on the same day when news talks began circulating that Victoria’s Secret hired its first-ever transgender model, Valentina Sampaio, who is working with VS Pink.
Regardless, Ali Tate-Cutler was stoked to work with the brand. “It feels amazing, I feel on top of the world,” Ali told E! News.
“When I went in today to the VS store for the launch of the collaboration it felt surreal. I never expected that I was going to see an image of myself on the wall next to these top supermodels that I have been looking up to since I was a little girl.
The whole thing came about when I got cast to be in Bluebella in London through my agents. It all unfolded from there and I was told this was going to be on the wall at VS and carried in their flagship stores.”
She also said she doesn’t get hung up on the term ‘plus-size.’ “I do know that I am not the first plus-size model, but I am the first 12-14 size model. Size 14 is actually the average size of women in America and I do think that we need to see more of it in media and fashion because most women are that size. So, we need to be accurately represented in brands and media.
For Victoria’s Secret, I am so excited that they decided to put a size 14 women like me on the wall. I feel like they are headed in the right direction and they are listening to their audience who have requested to see more women of diverse shapes and sizes. I think if they continue to head in that direction they will be on to a jackpot because that is reflective of what the average woman is in America.”
“When we look at fashion history it’s taken a long time but we can also look back and see that in the 1950s there was a different body type that was more popular,” Ali said. “Predominately the body that has dominated the fashion scope has been a skinny tall body.
We needed people to step up and be the whistle-blower of the fashion industry. More than ever we are seeing all different shapes and sizes in fashion weeks around the world. They are heading campaigns of all different kinds. It has been changing but it just took a while to get there.”
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