The bras that are even too racy for Victoria's Secret


Last updated at 00:08 01 March 2008

Schiffer's Secret: Claudia modelling a Fantasy Bra

Schiffer's Secret: German supermodel Claudia with a Fantasy Bra

In the lingerie business, it just doesn't do to be shy.

And with its upfront collection of Very Sexy Bras and Fantasy Bras, Victoria's Secret has never been backward about coming forward.

Until now. It seems the American underwear brand known worldwide for its sizzling fashion shows and racy designs is about to become a little more ... well, ladylike.

Victoria's Secret, according to the woman at the top, has become much "too sexy" for its own good.

"We use the word sexy a lot and really have forgotten the ultra feminine," said Sharen Turney, the company's chief executive.

"I feel so strongly about us getting back to our heritage and really thinking in terms of ultra feminine and not just the word sexy and becoming much more relevant to our customer."

Miss Turney said the brand, which has been modelled by big names including Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum, needed to become more sophisticated.

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Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova strut their stuff on the catwalk

"We will also reinvent the sleepwear business and focus on product quality," she said.

"Our assortment will return to an ultra feminine lingerie brand."

That could mean the end of advertisements - like the one starring Claudia Schiffer, which was banned as too sexy for American television.

Miss Schiffer was also a big part of the company's Fantasy Bra theme, showing off her enviable figure in a bra studded with diamonds.

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Heidi Klum, whose career was launched by Victoria's Sceret ten years ago

Heidi Klum, whose career was launched by Victoria's Secret ten years ago

Sales at Victoria's Secret, like those of many clothing retailers, have been slipping.

Victoria's parent company, Limited Brands, said this week that its fourth quarter profits had dropped 12 per cent.

The firm was established in San Francisco in 1977 by Roy Raymond.

He said he had been embarrassed trying to buy lingerie for his wife in stores and hoped to provide a shop that men would feel comfortable in as well as women.

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show has become an unmissable date in the supermodel diary.

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Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks

Last year's show broke the mould by featuring the Spice Girls in their first U.S. TV appearance as part of their comeback tour.

The company launched Heidi Klum as a supermodel ten years ago when she was unveiled as the face, or rather the figure, of Victoria's Secret.

Sales may be slipping but the business still manages to sell bras and other underwear worth £3.5 billion a year.