Swan Thong: The Rise and Fall of Victoria’s Secret

While the lingerie brand was busy selling fantasy, reality destroyed its business.


Episode Notes

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.

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About the Show

Navigating the marketplace is the original choose-your-own adventure. Thrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism takes a company in the news, and looks at its history to figure out why it finds itself in its present circumstances. Host Seth Stevenson brings you stories you may not have heard about the brands that shape how you live and work. And whether they’ve succeeded or failed, these companies have been on more of an adventure than you may have imagined. All episodes