Bella Hadid on Joining the VS Collective After Enduring Harassment

Today, Victoria’s Secret announced that Bella Hadid is joining its growing VS Collective, a group of ambassadors—not Angels—who will champion the brand going forward, as part of its mission to embrace diversity and female empowerment. Hadid’s decision to collaborate with VS (alongside nine others including Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Megan Rapinoe, Naomi Osaka, and Hailey Bieber) is particularly surprising considering her history with the lingerie company. Hadid walked in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show for three years from 2016 to 2018, but in 2020 she came forward as one of many models who endured harassment and inappropriate conduct by Ed Razek, a former top executive at L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret. (Razek has denied accusations but stepped down from L Brands.)

Despite her previous experiences with Victoria’s Secret, Hadid tells Marie Claire she truly believes in the brand’s new mission and feels confident enough in the company’s sweeping changes—including installing several new females on the board and embracing size-inclusive marketing and products—to re-enter the VS fold.

“It is so important for the women we work with to feel safe, supported, and comfortable. And perhaps most importantly, to ensure their voice is always heard,” Raul Martinez, EVP and Head Creative Director at Victoria’s Secret said in a statement to MC. “This is the exact reason we wanted to work with Bella in this capacity.”

Here, the supermodel discusses why rejoining Victoria’s Secret was a move of personal empowerment, how her relationship to femininity and beauty has evolved, and the changes she’s seen the brand embrace.

Marie Claire: How did the opportunity to be a part of the Victoria’s Secret Collective come about and what made you agree to join after publicly separating from the brand?

Bella Hadid: It has been a few years since I’ve done anything with Victoria’s Secret. What magnetized me to coming back was them coming to me and really proving to me that, behind the scenes, Victoria’s Secret has changed so drastically…. There was a type of way that, I think, a lot of us women who used to work with Victoria’s Secret felt. And now, six of the seven [VS] board members are all female. And there’s new photoshoot protocols that we have. So a lot has changed. I feel like the world really deserves a brand like Victoria’s Secret and to also feel represented by it as well.

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