These before-and-after photos show how much Victoria’s Secret has changed

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An older Victoria’s Secret photo.
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Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret has figured out how to turn lingerie into a $6-plus billion business.

A huge reason for the company’s success is its very successful marketing strategy. It’s known for being the beacon of all things sexy.

But sexiness was depicted differently when Victoria’s Secret was born in 1977 when it was founded by Roy Raymond.

Here’s how the brand has changed – in photos.


Then: Victoria’s Secret actually resembled a boudoir.

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Victoria’s Secret

“Raymond imagined a Victorian boudoir, replete with dark wood, oriental rugs, and silk drapery. He chose the name ‘Victoria’ to evoke the propriety and respectability associated with the Victorian era; outwardly refined, Victoria’s ‘secrets’ were hidden beneath. In 1977, with $80,000 of savings and loans from family, Raymond and his wife leased a space in a small shopping mall in Palo Alto, Calif., and Victoria’s Secret was born,” Naomi Barr wrote on Slate.


Now: Hints of its past are occasionally present in its Facebook photos.

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Victoria’s Secret/Facebook

Then: You would have been able to find this sort of image in a Victoria’s Secret ad.

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Victoria’s Secret

The overtly provocative nature of Raymond’s Victoria’s Secret was slightly altered when Les Wexner took the helm of the brand – but make no mistake, lingerie still abounded.


Now: The company’s huge athleisure business, Victoria’s Secret Sport, is probably as covered up at it gets.

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Facebook/Victoria’s Secret

Then: Victoria’s Secret definitely relied on its Angels — even if the ads were a little cheesy.

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Victoria’s Secret

Now: Victoria’s Secret works on balancing total sexiness with being relatable. In fact, this photo appears to be less Photoshopped than other recent photos.

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Facebook/Victoria’s Secret

Moreover, the company is very particular with who it chooses to cast as Angels: They need to not be threatening to women.


Then: Don’t forget the quintessential bathrobe.

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Victoria’s Secret

Now: Victoria’s Secret is constantly looking for new ways to provoke.

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Victoria’s Secret/Facebook

Then: A full-on body suit and a sexy position was all the brand needed.

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Victoria’s Secret

Now: This photo actually came under fire for being too sexy. People said it catered to men rather than women — the group that actually purchases the apparel at Victoria’s Secret.

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Facebook/Victoria’s Secret

Then: The iconic Angels promoted the company’s nearly as iconic sales.

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Victoria’s Secret

Now: Just two girls in lingerie sitting on a log in the middle of the ocean. You know, the usual.

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Victoria’s Secret/Facebook

Then: The bras offered full coverage.

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Victoria’s Secret

Now: The company is famous for its T-shirt bra, but the retailer frequently shows off lacier undergarments in its imagery. Still, not every photo shows a nearly naked woman.

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Victoria’s Secret/Facebook

Then: The company’s catalog was critical.

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Victoria’s Secret

Now: The company’s Instagram and Facebook pages serve as the main source of imagery.

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Getty Images/John Parra

Then: Here’s a photo from a 2001 Fashion Show.

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George De Sota/Getty Images

Now: Every year, the company has to impress audiences with outrageous costumes.

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Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Then: The leggy models showed off a particular depiction of sexiness.

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Victoria’s Secret

Now: Last year, a similarly styled photo came under fire. The company later ditched the ad after angry consumers spoke out.

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Victoria’s Secret

Then: The company left some things to the imagination.

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Victoria’s Secret

Now: The models are occasionally covered up — but note the bare leg in this image. There’s usually a level of flirtatiousness in the photos.

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Victoria’s Secret/Facebook

Then: Victoria’s Secret has always walked a fine line of sexiness — sure, it titillates men, but it still has to get women to buy lingerie.

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George De Sota/Getty Images

Now: Though the brand is occasionally subject to criticism for its narrow portrayal of sexiness and beauty, sales are still soaring. According to research company IBISWorld, it holds a whopping 61.8% of the market.

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Getty Images/Jamie McCarthy