Goodbye Angels: Victoria’s Secret hires Megan Rapinoe, Priyanka Chopra as ambassadors

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TOPSHOT – USA women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe kisses the trophy in front of the City Hall after the ticker tape parade for the women’s World Cup champions on July 10, 2019 in New York. – Tens of thousands of fans are poised to pack the streets of New York on Wednesday to salute the World Cup-winning US women’s team in a ticker-tape parade. Four years after roaring fans lined the route of Lower Manhattan’s fabled “Canyon of Heroes” to cheer the US women winning the 2015 World Cup, the Big Apple is poised for another raucous celebration. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

(NewsNation Now) — Victoria’s Secret Angels are no more.

The lingerie brand launched a new VS Collective initiative with ambassadors including professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe and Indian actress Priyanka Chopra amid criticism over lack of diversity. The seven notable women are primarily known for accomplishments not related to modeling.

“We are proud to bring together an unparalleled group of trailblazing partners who share a common goal to drive positive change,” the brand said in a statement. “These extraordinary partners, with their unique backgrounds, interests and passions will collaborate with us to create revolutionary product collections, compelling and inspiring content, new internal associate programs and rally support for causes vital to women.”

The embattled brand had also faced backlash over unrealistic body standards for women.

Victoria’s Secret Angels were synonymous with the brand since a rebrand in 1982. The lingerie brand previously hosted the televised Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show annually since 1995, but the event was canceled in 2019. The fashion show included some of the world’s top models including Tyra Banks, Adriana Lima and Gisele Bundchen.

CEO Martin Waters called Angels no longer “culturally relevant” in an interview with the New York Times this week.

The new ambassadors are expected to create new content around female empowerment.

“I am humbled to join this group of incredible women to drive change within the Victoria’s Secret brand and beyond,” said Rapinoe in a statement. “So often I felt myself on the outside looking in with brands in the beauty and fashion industry, and I’m thrilled to be creating a space that sees the true spectrum of ALL women.”

The other founding ambassadors include: model Adut Akech, journalist Amanada De Cadenet, world champion freeskier Eileen Gu, Rapinoe, body advocate and model Paloma Elsesser, Chopra and Valentina activist and model Sampaio.

Waters told the Times the rebrand was long overdue, saying ‘in the old days, the Victoria brand had a single lens, which was called ‘sexy.'”

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