Victoria’s Secret – once known for its lingerie – is now making its foray into the world of athletic wear, and it’s trying to take down Nike in the process. The company recently introduced its new division, Victoria Sport, which focuses on athleisure wear. Athleisure wear is clothing designed for sports and workouts - such as yoga pants and hoodies - but worn in a variety of settings, such as running errands, social events and even work.
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Judging from the Victoria Sport website, Victoria’s Secret isn’t afraid to trash talk its rivals. A quote from model Jasmine Tookes is displayed front and center: “When I tried these, I threw out all my Nike bras.” Ouch.
Victoria’s Secret is not being modest. The company outwardly claims to “already make the most popular bras in the world.” And because its bras are better, then its sports bras must be better. Logical claim, but what does Victoria’s Secret know about sports that Nike doesn’t?
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Victoria’s Secret claims to make bras that fit. Instead of basic sizes such as small, medium and large, they make sports bras in real bra sizes, ranging from 32 to 40, in cup sizes A to DDD. Plus, the company focuses on both function and style, so women can look their best while hiking, running, lifting weights and participating in any activity. Why? They say it best themselves: “We’re the bra experts.”
Source: Victoria's Secret
In addition, Victoria’s Secret is trying to rebrand its image. It no longer focuses on sexuality and now places priority on being strong and athletic. This is evident based on the website and supporting videos. You see model-gorgeous women with great bodies because they’re working out a lot. They’re strong. They’re more likely to appeal to today’s consumers who are focused on wellness and not necessarily looking sexy.
Victoria’s Secret has gone through some significant changes lately in order to capitalize on this new athleisure trend. While the company has sold athleisure wear for quite some time, it’s looking to do even more business from it, considering that many consumers spend money on activewear. The company got rid of tis swimwear department earlier this year and is now divided into three main categories: Victoria’s Secret, Victoria Sport and Pink, which features clothing geared toward college girls.
Nike offers dozens of bras in a variety of styles and colors. Some are padded, while others are compression bras. There are racerback and U-back styles. Some are even designed for specific sports such as running, soccer, basketball baseball, volleyball and yoga. And Nike does make bras in specific sizes, while there are some simply sized as extra-small, small, medium, large and extra-large.
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But as the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. Ultimately, consumers want a bra that blends comfort, style and affordability. Comfort is probably the most important factor, because who wants to wear a bra that doesn’t fit? Nothing is more uncomfortable than trying to work out and watching your breasts bounce up and down, or trying to deal with underwire. But at the same time, most women are into fashion and they want something that looks great as well. They don’t want a sports bra that looks like something their grandma would wear. A flattering color or pattern always works well. And last but not least – price. Nike’s bras are on the pricey end, with some styles costing $60-$75. Victoria’s Secret’s bras are more affordably priced, starting at just $15 and topping out at $35. But a cheaper price does not necessarily mean it’s a good value. Do these bras really offer support like a sports bra should, or are they just sitting there and looking pretty? Victoria’s Secret better live up to its claims if it plans to win Nike in this competition.
So will Victoria’s Secret give Nike a run for its money? Likely not. Nike is a reputable company and a leader in the sports and athletic wear industry, and has been for many years. Many people are Nike fanatics and aren’t going to be so easily swayed by a new image. Consumers may not take Victoria’s Secret seriously in the athletic wear market, given its history as a lingerie retailer. While the company may be known for its bras, does this mean it will become known for sports bras as well? Time will tell if Victoria’s Secret will be able to gain the sports bra market thanks to its slam on Nike.
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