By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Hollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and US footballer Megan Rapinoe have joined Victoria’s Secret for a “dramatic” rebrand of the embattled lingerie giant.
The company had been known for its annual fashion show featuring some of the world’s top models hitting the catwalk sporting jewel-encrusted bras and angel wings.
However, the event’s once-soaring popularity dwindled amid accusations of sexism and a lack of diversity.
The last fashion show was in 2018.
Victoria’s Secret has announced a rebrand, including the launch of the VS Collective – a group of seven high-achieving women.
They include Indian actress Chopra, 38, top footballer Rapinoe, 35, transgender model and activist Valentina Sampaio, 24, and 17-year-old Chinese freestyle skier Eileen Gu.
The other women in the group are South Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech, 21, media personality Amanda de Cadenet, 49, and plus-size model Paloma Elsesser, 29.
The VS Collective’s roles will include advising the brand and appearing in adverts, the company said.
Martin Waters, chief executive officer of Victoria’s Secret, said: “This is a dramatic shift for our brand and it’s a shift that we embrace from our core.
“These new initiatives are just the beginning. We are energised and humbled by the work ahead of us.”
It also announced The VS Global Fund for Women’s Cancers, which will aim to help find treatments and cures for the disease, the company said.
Chopra, who is married to singer Nick Jonas, said: “As we work together to chart the path forward in a new and impactful way, I’m not only looking forward to developing future collections that are inclusive of all people, but I am most excited for new customers and for those who have always been a customer of Victoria’s Secret to feel represented and like they belong.”
Victoria’s Secret will split from parent company L Brands this summer, it was announced earlier this year.
As well as accusations it focused too narrowly on thin models rather than a broader range of body shapes, the brand’s image was harmed by reports of a sexist corporate culture.
And its former owner, Les Wexner, stepped away from the board of L Brands amid scrutiny of his relationship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.