When globally known lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret announced last year it would enter India, fans of the label were beyond excited. After years of requesting close relatives to get the brand's popular loungewear from the US or Europe whenever they were visiting India or buying intimate wear and beauty kits during international trips, shoppers were in the sub-continent were finally happy to welcome the brand home.
And earlier this month, Victoria’s Secret opened its first store in Mumbai's swanky Phoenix Palladium mall, which also houses other beauty and lingerie brands such as Bath & Body Works and La Senza, also brought to India by the same company, Major Brands.
When I had posted about the opening of the Victoria’s Secret store on 10 September on Instagram, many new and old friends responded with mixed feelings. Those settled abroad complained about how the brand has lost its buyers internationally, given the varied options available in the same category, and that it’s high time that French lingerie brands started entering India. Those living in India, who have shopped from Victoria’s Secret abroad, were very excited though. Especially those who shop for bigger sizes. No other Indian lingerie brand offers as much comfort as Victoria’s Secret offers (even the dreaded underwired variety). One of the reasons for this is that Indian brands haven’t really mastered fits and sexier styles in the bigger sizes.
Armed with many expectations, we visit the store.
Unlike the black and pink boudoir-style old format, the Mumbai store is high on more inviting whites and pastel pinks, which is their new approach after the global brand uphaul last year. As soon as you enter, you see mannequins in “real women” sizes at the entrance, indicating the brand's focus on size inclusivity.
The staff force is pretty large, so you won’t have to call out for people for fittings. The fitting rooms are equipped with buzzers, so you don’t have to let the rest of the store know that you need a B cup and not a C.
The display near the entrance includes the latest designs from the brand's new campaign, including dainty lace designs (corsets, bras, and balconette bras in A cups) in sixes from XS to XXL. There is a great balance between daily wear, athleisure, and boudoir pieces the VS Angels are long known to showcase during fashion shows. Nursing and mastectomy bras are also available in attractive designs, a rarity in the lingerie space. What's missing are more nude colour options for Indian skin tones.
We try all the collections in petite sizes and they offer great fits (sexy bras are difficult to find in both, plus sizes and small sizes in India).
On offer is also a wide collection from PINK, the brand's separate line for younger women. The PINK line and the everyday lines are more affordable of the lot. If you don't wish to spend a bomb on lingerie, you can opt for their body care range, which includes perfumes and body lotions. The number of accessories (bags, pouches, cute card holders) on offer is lesser compared to international stores, though.
On the whole, the store offers a good balance of everyday and sexy lingerie pieces. Now, waiting for the brand to launch their size inclusive swimwear as well.