Victoria's Secret Hires First Plus-Size Model

Victoria's Secret Hires First Plus-Size Model

The lingerie brand takes a small step in the right direction following its tumultuous revamp.

The lingerie brand takes a small step in the right direction following its tumultuous revamp.

Text: Brooke Kushwaha

The unthinkable has happened. Mere months after the hiring of their first transgender model, Victoria’s Secret has continued its “woke” streak with a new addition: the brand’s first-ever size 14 model, Ali Tate Cutler. Cutler joined the VS Angel lineup thanks to the lingerie company’s collaboration with UK brand Bluebella. While Victoria’s Secret has made alarming headlines for its ties to Jeffrey Epstein and misogynistic comments from male higher-ups, Bluebella is a notarially female-founded lingerie brand. The collab comes at the heels of L Brands, VS’s parent company, announcing they would seek to update its brand identity through third-party labels. Bluebella has recently launched a #loveyourself campaign featuring a diverse array of “empowered” models. 

While some former plus-sized models have expressed disillusionment with corporate attempts at inclusivity, including Euphoria’s Barbie Ferreira, Cutler has taken to Instagram to express her excitement about the launch. 

“I believe I’m the first size 14 on @victoriassecret?” she shared in her announcement post. “Regardless I’m pretty stoked to work with a brand I idolized when I was a teen. Great step in the right direction for bodies.”

Earlier this year, Victoria’s Secret announced they would not be holding their Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for the first time since the mid-90s. While lingerie brands such as Savage x Fenty and American Eagle’s Aerie have made steps to showcase varying body types and step away from heavy Photoshop and airbrush effects, VS has routinely been late to the party. Several celebrities have criticized the mid-2000s mainstay for its exclusive approach, including former Angel Karlie Kloss and model/actress Kate Upton. 

 "The reason I decided to stop working with Victoria’s Secret was I didn’t feel it was an image that was truly reflective of who I am and the kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful," Kloss told British Vogue about her departure from the brand. 

As Victoria’s Secret ushers in a new era, models such as Cutler can enjoy new, never-before-seen opportunities to redefine VS’s brand of sex appeal. VS’s choice to partner with third-party retailers like Bluebella also uplifts businesses who have practiced female sexual empowerment from the get-go. 

Cutler told E! News that she had “never expected” to participate in a VS campaign, but had been looking up to the Angels since childhood.  

"When I went in today to the VS store for the launch of the collaboration it felt surreal," Cutler told the outlet. "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." 

May she be the first but not the last!


Backstage at Off-White Spring/Summer 2020