Heidi Klum is speaking up about Victoria's Secret's recent rebrand, saying that it's "about time" that the lingerie brand get rid of the staple Angels and fantasy imagery in favor of more inclusive branding.
"About time, is all I can say," the 48-year-old model told Australia's The Sunday Project. "As a model, you go there, you are happy to have a job. When you are not the company, you do what you are told. But finally, looking at this now, I'm like, about time."
Klum became synonymous with the Victoria's Secret brand as the first German model to walk its famous runway. She even appeared in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show while pregnant with her daughter Leni in 2003 during her 13 years working for the brand.
"I had the best time of all. I felt like I was part of a family," Klum told another Australian publication Body + Soul. "I was always with Tyra Banks, Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrósio, Adriana Lima – they’re still friends of mine, we traveled the world and did so many fun things together. I see [the brand is] going through a lot of changes right now."
She continued, "I’m very excited that they’re understanding there are so many different people out there who want to have beautiful things to wear. I’m happy to see that. I always loved the brand when I was working [there] many moons ago."
While Victoria's Secret has been criticized for its prior reluctance to include plus-size and trans women into its "fantasy," Klum reflected on how exclusive the industry was when she first started and how far it's come as a whole in terms of inclusivity.
"When I started in 1992, people said, 'Oh no, you’re way too curvy.' I wasn’t thin enough for anyone. When I tell people that now, they’re like, 'What?' I’m like, 'Yes!' People looked at me like I was an alien. And I was way too excited to be there – that was another 'negative' about me when I started. Now we see all women and men represented, and I love that," she said. "Everyone is being seen, heard, loved, cared for. ...Everything has come more to reality."
Victoria's Secret and the VS Collective — which includes Megan Rapinoe, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Valentina Sampaio and Paloma Elsesser — still has a way to go to authentically represent its consumer. And while Klum herself said that the changes have taken "too long," she's hopeful that there's more evolution to come.
"There are so many different people out there and they should all be able to see themselves in the campaigns and on the runways," she said. "And it still will change, we still are learning."
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