Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons is a three-part documentary sequence you do not need to overlook.
The mind-blowing documentary explores the rise and fall of Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie model that was as soon as value $7.5 billion and featured a few of the largest supermodels on the planet. Today, the previous lingerie superpower has been making strikes to rebrand and turn out to be extra inclusive.
The first episode explores the early days of Victoria’s Secret and the function of Les Wexner, the previous CEO of L Brands (Victoria’s Secret & Co.’s former mother or father firm).
Newsweek has every little thing it’s essential find out about Wexner and the place he’s now.
Who Is Les Wexner?
Les Wexner is an American billionaire and businessman from Dayton, Ohio. In 1963 with a $5,000 mortgage from his aunt, he based Limited Brands (now Bath & Body Works, Inc) and went on to develop a retail-business empire.
He opened his first retailer, The Limited, in August 1963 on the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Upper Arlington, Ohio, promoting skirts, sweaters, and shirts. By 1976, Wexner had opened 100 The Limited shops.
Wexner would additionally develop his holdings to incorporate Abercrombie & Fitch, Express Inc, and Bath & Body Works.
He bought Victoria’s Secret from its founder, Roy Raymond in 1982 simply because the small San Francisco chain was heading for chapter. Wexner purchased the corporate for $1 million; the corporate would go on to be value over $7 billion.
In August 1995, Victoria’s Secret hosted its first vogue present. The occasion grew to become a cultural phenomenon, operating yearly till 2018, with a few of the largest fashions strolling the runway in lingerie and sporting big angel wings. The vogue exhibits have been overseen by Ed Razek.
By 2015, Victoria’s Secret gross sales have been in decline, and in 2018, Victoria’s Secret hosted its closing ever vogue present. The model has suffered in recent times on account of altering client attitudes and controversy surrounding the folks on the high of the enterprise, together with former Chief Marketing Officer of L Brands, Razek.
Razek resigned in 2019 after going through criticism for allegedly making a tradition of misogyny and harassment at Limited Brands, reported in The New York Times.
Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons explores Wexner’s hyperlinks to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein was arrested in July 2019 on federal expenses of intercourse trafficking of minors in New York and Florida. He was discovered lifeless in his jail cell in August 2019 and his demise was dominated as suicide. Wexner has denied understanding about Epstein’s crimes.
Wexner and Epstein met in NYC within the early Nineteen Eighties and Epstein would go on to be his monetary supervisor, till 2007.
Wexner and Epstein labored intently collectively, with Wexner giving Epstein full energy of lawyer over his enterprise empire and funds.
Wexner has since been accused of failing to behave when complaints about Epstein’s habits have been raised. As heard in Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons, Epstein would pose as a recruiter of Victoria’s Secret fashions. Two senior executives have been conscious of Epstein’s habits in 1993 and alerted Wexner.
In Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons, it’s acknowledged on the finish of Episode 1 that Wexner was knowledgeable on one event in regards to the complaints and instructed Epstein it was a “violation of company policy” and he was “forbidden from ever doing so again.”
In 1997, mannequin and actress Alicia Arden filed a police criticism in LA, stating Epstein had launched himself as a recruiter for Victoria’s Secret and sexually assaulted her. Artist Maria Farmer contacted the authorities about an alleged assault by Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell whereas working as an artist-in-residence on Wexner’s Ohio property in 1996.
Wexner lower ties with Epstein in late 2007. According to The New York Times, Wexner distanced himself 18 months after Epstein was charged in Florida with “multiple counts of molestation and unlawful sexual activity with a minor.”
In 2008, Epstein pleaded responsible to state expenses of solicitation of prostitution from a minor and was required to register as a intercourse offender.
In 2019, following Epstein’s arrest for intercourse trafficking, Wexner addressed the Wexner Foundation in writing, stating Epstein had “misappropriated vast sums of money” from him. He additionally mentioned he was “NEVER aware of the illegal activity charged in the indictment” including “I would never have guessed that a person I employed more than a decade ago could have caused such pain to so many people.”
Epstein took his personal life earlier than his trial started.
Outside of enterprise, Wexner is a philanthropist. He was a significant funder of the Wexner Center for the Arts on the Ohio State University and joined Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman to ascertain The Wexner Foundation which focuses on the event of Jewish professionals and volunteer leaders in North America and public leaders in Israel.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Wexner contributed $163.4 million to the Columbus Foundation.
Where is Les Wexner Now?
Today, Les Wexner, 84, serves because the chairman emeritus of Bath & Body Works, Inc.
He resides in New Albany, Ohio on his $47 Georgian-inspired property.
He made the announcement in February 2020 that he was stepping down as CEO of Limited Brands into the function of chairman emeritus.
Wexner additionally offered a majority stake in Victoria’s Secret for $525 million to a personal fairness agency.
According to Forbes, at this time he’s value $5.6 billion.
Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons is streaming on Hulu now.
Correction 07/14/22, 9:20 a.m. ET: This article was corrected to make clear that Les Wexner is not CEO of L Brands.