Ed Razek, a long-serving Victoria’s Secret marketing executive who is widely credited with the success of the brand’s. fashion showAngels crew, has announced his retirement.
He shared the news with his colleagues via an email L Brands, parent company Victoria’s Secret, sent to Glamour. “With the exception of Les [CEO Les Wexner], I’ve been with L Brands longer than anyone. I’ve loved every minute of it, and every one of you,” Razek wrote. “I’ve appreciated your partnership, your energy, your teamwork, and your enthusiasm. You are, every one of you, a joy to work with, and a joy to be with. The best partners anyone could ever hope for. And I’ve loved coming to work here, every single day, for many, many years. But all good things must and do, inevitably, come to an end.”
Backstage at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Ed Razek
“A few weeks ago, I shared with Les my desire to retire sometime around mid-August. It was a tough conversation to have because, as some of you must know, we have shared so much together for so many years. Including a deep love of this business. Still, it’s time,”He continued. “I want to thank all of you for the smiles, the hellos, the laughs, the mission. I could not be more lucky than to have been with all of you at this extraordinary and quite singular organization. I truly hope you know, deep in your hearts, how very special this place is. I do—more than ever.”
Razek has been with the company since the 1980s and has been a key figure in the highly-sexualized, feminine beauty ideal. He started the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 1995 and selected models who are signed to the Angel spokesperson contract. Victoria’s Secret has been criticized for its lack in body diversity over the years. Razek’s comments about trans models and plus-size women have come under fire.
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Razek backstage during the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
He spoke to Vogue in advance of the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. “It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us. And they carp at us because we’re the leader. They don’t talk about each other. I accept that. I actually respect it. Cool. But we’re nobody’s third love.”
It was announced earlier this year that the runway would no longer be televised as it was since 2001. VS Pink also hired its first transgender model to appear in a campaign this summer. According to Bloomberg,until they hire a replacement, two men will be filling Razek’s role: Ed Wolf at L Brands, and Bob Campbell at Victoria’s Secret.
The future of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show? In May, the brand announced it. “rethinking the traditional” format for 2019.
Original Appeared on Glamour