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/ Source: TODAY
By Lindsay Lowe
The founder of an inclusive lingerie company is criticizing Victoria's Secret for the "scandalous and derogatory" comments of an executive on women.
Heidi Zak, co-CEO of lingerie startup ThirdLove, recently wrote an open letter to Victoria's Secret in response to some inflammatory comments made by Ed Razek, marketing director of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria's Secret.
In a recent Vogue interview, Razek suggested that people are not interested in seeing plus size models on Victoria's secret track.
"We tried to make a television special for large sizes (in 2000). Nobody had any interest in it, not yet, "he said.
He also said that, in his opinion, transgender women should not be shown in shows. (He has Since he apologized for that comment on Twitter., and clarified that it would be fine with the release of transgender models.)
Razek also seemed to take a hit on ThirdLove, which specializes in making lingerie for women of all shapes and sizes.
"We are not anyone's third love, we are his first love," Razek said. "And Victoria's secret has been the first love of women since the beginning."
Zak responded with a full-page ad written as an open letter to Victoria's Secret in The New York Times.
"How can the CMO of any public company in 2018, not to mention one that claims to be for women, make such disparaging and shocking statements?" He wrote. "You market to men and sell a masculine fantasy to women. … Your program can be a "fantasy" but we live in reality. "Our reality is that women wear bras in real life when they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, take care of sick parents and serve their country."
"Have not we moved beyond outdated ideas about the roles of femininity and gender?" He added. "It's time to stop telling women what makes them attractive, let's decide, we end up with the pretext that certain sizes do not exist or are not important enough to serve, and, please, stop insisting that inclusion is a trend. "
TODAY, Style has communicated with Victoria's Secret to make comments and will update this publication if we communicate.
Zak co-founded ThirdLove in 2013 and, since then, the e-commerce brand has gained many followers for offering a wide range of lingerie sizes, including half sizes for bras.
After Zak published the open letter on Instagram, many fans thanked him for his message that included his body, including some women who became ThirdLove customers after reading his letter.
"Thank you for speaking on behalf of so many women who think the same about this!" Commented one woman.
"I had never heard of @thirdlove before this, but I will place an order this month," wrote another commentator. "Thanks for this letter!"
"I was buying intimate clothes," another woman intervened. "You just turned me into a customer for life."
Even before Razek's controversial comments, Victoria & # 39; s Secret has faced criticism in recent years for not representing a diverse range of body types on the track and in advertising campaigns.
Zak says that she created her company partly in response to that lack of inclusion.
"ThirdLove is the antithesis of Victoria's secret." We believe that the future is to build a brand for every woman, regardless of their shape, size, age, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation, "she wrote in her open letter. This should not be seen as innovative, it should be the norm. "
And she had one last word for Razek, responding to his apparent inquiry by the name of his company.
"As you said Ed, we're not anyone's third love, we're his first love," he wrote. "We are flattered by the mention, but let me be clear: we may not have been the first love of a woman, but we will be her last."