Thrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism: The Rise and Fall of Victoria’s Secret

Although it’s known for making products for women, Victoria’s Secret was created as a shopping experience for men. It hit its stride in the 1990s, with stores in malls across America and a brand built on a very specific kind of fantasy: supermodels, angel wings, and diamond-studded bras. But when this definition of glamour—and retail— began to fall out of fashion, Victoria’s Secret refused to budge. Now, its future is in jeopardy.
Casey Crowe Taylor is a former Victoria’s Secret employee. Heidi Zak is the co-founder and CEO of ThirdLove.
Podcast production by Jess Miller, Asha Saluja, and Megan Kallstrom.
Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Dear Prudence and Slow Burn. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit