I) Executive Summary
The history of lingerie can be traced back thousands of years to 3000 B.C., but it was not until 1977 when Roy Rogers founded Victoria’s Secret that lingerie evolved into what we think of now. In this paper, we examine the emergence of Victoria’s Secret as the leading retailer in women’s lingerie, the context for the innovation, and the approaches the firm took to commercialize the innovation. Victoria’s Secret was hardly the first lingerie retailer, but it was able to take advantage of a niche market demand, fortunate timing, and a well-sequenced ecosystem to become the market leader it is today. Our focus is on the period between 1977 when Roy Rogers first founded VS, through 1982 when he sold the company to The …show more content…
Victorian clothing became associated with sexual anticipation given the difficulties presented in taking it all off. The introduction of garters (hooked corsets to stockings) heightened excitement and is credited with the spawn of striptease shows and dances.ix The name Victoria’s Secret was adopted from this era.
Lingerie cycled through various trends from the early twentieth century to the present. The increased participation of women in sports and dancing gave rise to brassieres and less restrictive girdles. The “alphabet bra” was introduced with cup sizes ranging from A, B, C, and D. Also advancements in materials for such garments shifted from steel and rubber to synthetic materials, precursors to Lycra, rayon, and Lastex. The historical context of wars, hippie and feminist movements, and the boom of the film industry, began to shape a bigger social context for lingerie than previously in history. On one hand, lingerie was socialized as restrictive, artificial, and conforming. On the other hand, some advancements (briefs, bikinis), provoked feelings of youth and freedomx. Regardless, by the 1960’s it was quite evident that women’s lingerie incited some type of emotional response from women and men alike. The timing was ripe for promoting lingerie in a greater business context.
The Introduction of Victoria’s Secret:
Roy Raymond, an alumnus of Tufts University and Stanford Graduate School of Business,
The 1920’s fashion was a period of liberation, change, and even more importantly a movement towards the modern era. Fashion in the 1920’s varied throughout the decade but one could see the noticeable change from the previous fashion statements and eras. At the start of the decade, women began emancipating themselves from the constricting fashions by wearing more comfortable apparel. As women gained more rights and World War I forced them to become more independent, flappers came to be, mass-produced garments became available, and artistic movements increased in popularity, one can see how the fashions from the roaring twenties characterized the time and redefined womanhood. (1920s clothing 1)
People indulge in clothes shopping every day and often do not consider the changes that occurred throughout time that led to the development of mass produced clothing for both men and women. As a result of the Civil War, the production of clothing shifted from homemade clothing to clothing mass produced in factories. After the Civil War, Urbanization along with new developments, such as advertising and the new, wealthy urban class, increased the demand for mass produced women’s clothing and clothing stores that made clothing readily available.
The corset was of course associated with high society and was an important signifier of social class. For example in the grand balls that often featured in Victorian novels, a restrictive corset was part of the essential uniform – Becky Sharpe in Vanity Fair for example. It also became associated with the ‘dandy’ aesthetic of the late Nineteenth Century (Oscar Wilde being an example) when it was worn by men.
Throughout the 1920s through the 1950s Women’s clothing in America was affected by World War II, which lead to the exploration of different styles, the encounter of new trends and the exchange of ideas and new styles.
A wave of sexiness hit America as popular culture even began painting women as less Victorian and more sensual. Magazines even instructed the public on sexual techniques. This sensation came to a head with the introduction of the flapper. As this new picture of females rose in popularity, women were able to be free, sexual, and not confined to rigid and Victorian body ideals. Corsets were no longer expected as women opted for a more boyish image with flatten breasts and minimal curves. This new expectation for women gave them a new attitude toward the female body, empowering them to be who they want to be, not what the men want them to
Under Armour is a leading athletic clothing line directed towards the overall athlete who is looking for the most comfort during extracurricular activities. The mission of the company is, "to provide the world with technically advanced products engineered with exclusive fabric construction, supreme moisture management, and proven innovation. In short, every Under Armour product is doing something for you; it's making you better."
At first I thought that Under Armor would be an exception to this but then I realized that they don’t have exclusive deals with the manufacturers that they acquire their fabrics from to make their products. Therefore if one of its rivals ever wanted to they could possible acquire some of the innovative fabric that Under Armour uses and then use the fabric you produce similar products.
Ever since their invention many centuries ago, clothes have been used as a way of communicating. The message communicated relies on a number of factors including the social background of both the communicator and the receiver, and the context in which the message is communicated. Although at times the exact message or symbolism one is trying to portray may not be clear, it is evident that clothing has long been embraced as one of the best ways to project one’s desired personal image to those around them.
Victoria Secret was founded in by Roy Raymond, and his wife Gaye, in San Francisco, California, on June 12, 1977. The company got its start when Roy Raymond was trying to shop for lingerie for his wife. He’d gone to a department store to make his purchase, only to find himself deeply uncomfortable and made even more so by saleswomen scrutinizing his presence there. “When I tried to buy lingerie for my wife,” Raymond told Newsweek in 1981, “I was faced with racks of terry-cloth robes and ugly floral-print nylon nightgowns, and I always had the feeling the department-store saleswomen thought I was an unwelcome intruder.” Raymond saw an opportunity in his discomfort and in 1977 borrowed $80,000 to open Victoria’s Secret as a store designed originally to make men comfortable when buying lingerie for their wives.
Victoria Secret appears to be a profitable company. Victoria Secret is part of L Brands whose operating income was at $ 211 million, up by $24 million from the last quarter. Specifically at Victoria's Secret, sales increased by 4% to reach 5.4 billion but operating income decreased by 6% to 1.71 billion. It appears that Victoria Secret's major expense was their Cost of Goods Sold, COGS, which totaled at 1.3144 billion. The gross profit percentage as at February 2013 was 47.87% (NASDAQ, 2014).
The Years between the 1950’s and 1960’s was an explosive time in fashion. The 50’s represented an out coming of the new generation. People began to gain their own personal style and appearance, influenced by films and singers (“Vintage Fashion”). Their styles incorporated leather, jeans, corduroy, and the ballet shoes for the girls. Men’s wear began to drastically change. Men would wear a leather jacket, with jeans that narrowed at the bottom, and a simple t-shirt (Peacock 210-211). This was the first time in history that jeans were not just worn by the working class but by all men (“Brief History”). The man’s lust for flesh grew during this time, so women’s skirts began to get shorter and the bikini was invented. Clothes were made to glorify the female body and emphasize every curve. It wasn’t until the Barbie doll was created in the late 50’s that young girls began to have a separate fashion from their mothers. Young girls would wear sweaters with full skirts or pants