I walked the hallways and they were lined with black & white posters of iconic models I have seen walking the VS runway…
THE INSIDE SCOOP
As an undergraduate at Purdue University, I was fortunate to have an incredible internship experience as a campus representative for VS PINK’s Purdue Collegiate Apparel. It was by far one of the neatest experiences I have had thus far. As part of my internship, I was able to give feedback to Victoria Secret about the Purdue Line by rating potential clothing product based on if I thought people would buy it. I also helped raise brand awareness for VS PINK through hosting events on and off campus for students. I also was able to gather 50 students from Purdue, take them to Chicago for the grand re-opening of the Victoria’s Secret on Michigan Avenue for an exclusive PINK party. Needless to say it was an experience of a lifetime.
TRAINING AT HEADQUARTERS
My experience really began with training at the headquarters. If you have ever wondered what the Victoria’s Secrets Headquarters might look like, keep reading. The Victoria’s Secret Headquarters is located in Columbus, Ohio. I wish I could show you pictures from inside, but although we were allowed to take pictures, we could not post to social media. My apologies!
Let’s just say that they have their infamous ‘angel wings’ displayed upon entry. It was an artistic display, very large, and simply breathtaking. Imagine miniature branches formed in the shape of wings which created this 3D illusion. Then, soft pink rose petals and greenery that lined the branches. It looked like a romantic secret garden display. Something else that was really unique was their hallway decor. Imagine gigantic black and white posters of the iconic models that we all have seen on the runway. Picture after picture after picture. It was basically a museum of archived framed photography. Did I mention they were easily 10 ft by 10 ft in size?
MEETING THE DESIGNERS
Part of my experience included meeting some of the PINK designers specifically. I was involved in a focus group experiment where each collegiate representative was handed a collection of post it notes. We were instructed to put post it notes on our favorite types of underwear that PINK sold. PINK was wanting to target collegiate aged women (18-22 year olds) and was wondering why their highest demographic was in the 14-15 year old age category. This has now been 5-6 years ago, but at that time, VS was putting very large writing and glitter on the underwear. Majority agreed and explained that this was not appealing to collegiate woman, which of course was their target market. Some of the suggestions were to add lace, keep with solid colors, create sexier cuts, but still keep it fun and playful. It has been really neat to see the progression of the line over the years cater towards an older demographic, which really fits into who they were trying to appeal to.
Another focus group activity with the designers included voting on potential product. We would start with sweatshirts for the Collegiate Apparel, then shirts, then sweatpants, and so forth. The designers showed us product that had been designed and created, but wasn’t being sold yet as they were interested to see if it appealed to us or not. “Would you wear this?”, “Are rhinestones appealing to your age category?”, “If we added dresses, would you tailgate in them?”, etc.
Those were just a few of the questions we were asked. It was interesting to see how based on the area of the college, the answers were different. For example: I said that Purdue needed more sweatshirt based clothing as it can get really cold during football season, whereas Ole Miss preferred dresses to align with their weather & fancier tailgating clothing they normally wear.
ANALYZING THE DATA: THE $1,000,000 shirt
No, a shirt was not sold for $1,000,000….(Although the diamond encrusted bra during VS Fashion Show would)…but back to the data…
One of the most interesting things I learned was learning about their profits. We walked into this room that was lined with metal lattice. Shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and tank tops, lined all the walls that surrounded us. Each article of clothing had a piece of paper that was attached to it. The sheet of paper had numbers on it. The numbers represented the profit made off that one particular article of clothing for that year. Want to talk about another jaw dropping moment? That was one of them. I remember trying to count the millions made, but then made myself stop. Mind Blowing.
I truly valued the brand so much after I saw how much hard work went into designing and marketing the product. It was so enjoyable for me to go back and work on surveys on potential clothing, hosting fun PINK events on campus, and also doing a service project to help collect clothes for those less fortunate.
THE BRAND: Working in Retail
After having my internship experience, I worked at Victoria Secret one summer. It really made me feel close to the brand after having such a neat experience at the Headquarters. Victoria’s Secret has a way of making you feel special when walking in the store. They pay such high attention to their products and the detail in their work is just beautiful, especially in their lingerie. If you have never gotten fitted for a bra before, make sure to stop in the store and have an associate assist you. Many women wear the wrong size bra, or it fits inappropriately. This creates gapping, bulging, straps that dig into shoulders, and straps that fall down. Their bras may not be in everyone’s price point, but they truly do fit and last if you take care of them correctly.
Rule of thumb: Hand wash and air dry. My undergarments have lasted me 2-3 years with that method.
If you don’t get to Victoria’s Secret often, make sure to visit the stores when they have their Semi-Annual Sale. There is always one in January and June. Everything is incredibly marked down! Plus they usually get in product that the store doesn’t normally carry.
I hope you enjoyed my insight into my experience! Don’t forget to check out some of my favorite products from VS which includes:
- Bombshell Body Mist $10 for travel size, $25 for regular
- Body by Victoria Bras (So soft and great for every day wear!)
- Silky Kimono Robe $49 (These are usually on sale during the semi-annual sale!)
- Flannel Pajama Set $50 (Great gift idea!)
Until next time,