While we are waiting for the great Victoria’s Secret Show, here are pictures from every show from the past 18 years. Victoria Secret was founded by Roy Raymond and his wife Gaye, in San Francisco, California on June 12, 1977. Eight years before founding Victoria’s Secret, Raymond has been embarrassed when purchasing lingerie for his wife at a department store. Looking back at the even Raymond declared: “When i tried to buy lingerie for my wife I was faced with racks of terry-cloth robes and ugly floral-print nylon nightgowns, and I always had the feeling the department store saleswomen thought I was an unwelcome intruder.”
Raymond studied the lingerie market for eight years before borrowing $40,000 from his parents and $40,000 from a bank to establish Victoria’s Secret: a store men could feel comfortable buying lingerie.The company’s first store was located in Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California.
Raymond’s philosophy of focusing on selling lingerie to male customers became increasingly unprofitable and Victoria’s Secret headed for bankruptcy.In 1982 it had grown to six stores, a 42-page catalogue, and was grossing $6 million annually. Raymond sold Victoria’s Secret Inc. to Leslie Wexner, creator of Limited Stores Incof Columbus, Ohio, for $4 million.
In 1983 Leslie Wexner revamped Victoria’s Secret. He discarded the money-losing model of selling lingerie to male customers and replaced it with one that focused on women. Victoria’s Secret transformed from “more burlesque than Main Street” to a mainstay that sold broadly accepted underwear. And that is how everything started.
Feast your eyes on the wonder that is Victoria’s Secret.