Most Innovative CompanyThe brand now services an estimated 87 percent of women. Personally, I've been assessed by multiple professional bra fitters, and been told, yup, I was wearing the wrong size (32C), and that my true, more atypical one (30D) was only available in high-priced luxury brands—conveniently sold in their shops and never at my beloved Marshall's.
For ThirdLove, now may be the best time to grow in light of difficulties at rival Victoria's Secret With that in mind, the intimates brand is pursuing every strategy, from opening stores in select markets to bringing on board creative agencies, to bolster its marketing and branding efforts.
Despite ThirdLove cofounder Heidi Zak previously stating she had no intention of moving into brick-and-mortar , she said she eventually came to recognize a physical store's potential to reach new consumers, particularly women who prefer to test particularly fickle garments like bras in real life.
But in 2013, Heidi Zak along with her husband David Spector (both ex-Google execs) set out on a mission to revolutionize that experience - using technology to improve the product in terms of fit and comfort, as well as how bras are delivered to the customer and how customer loyalty is maintained.
This was evident with many of their choices such as the ever growing list of requirements for the stylists that weren't even possible (it was incredibly hard to try and defend their decisions when stylists would often come to me stressed and overworked), micromanaging their employees to where you could get an occurrence for using the bathroom (I was in a meeting where a manager was scared she would have to write up a pregnant stylist for this), letting go SF teammates that worked with the Chico office for no reason, and most recently doing a restructuring of the company” forcing support teammates that worked hard for this company for years to move up to either get demoted down to a fit stylist (starting) position or quit though no one did anything wrong.
In the midst of his many incendiary comments objectifying women and essentially describing the brand and the fashion show as a male fantasy, Razek also seemed to single out the upstart lingerie brand ThirdLove—dismissively—as the counterpoint to Victoria's Secret.
Referring to Zak's company, Lori Greeley, a former CEO of Victoria's Secret and now a board member at ThirdLove, said: "In all the years I've worked in the industry, I've never seen such dedication to inclusivity." Greeley worked at Victoria's Secret, first in merchandising and later in the C-suite, for more than two decades.
The timing of ThirdLove's first store may also be opportune as Victoria's Secret continues to struggle with falling sales and persistent criticism that it hasn't kept pace with changing consumer demand, including having more diversity in its products and advertising.
After taking the measurements of millions of women, the company introduced the industry's first half-cup sizing and developed an algorithm using the data collected to match each woman with the right size for them. In the better quality bras, this fit will be consistent enough that you can order a bra in a new style and chances are high it will fit.
The brand's commitment to diversity — offering half-cup bra sizing and promoting body positivity in their advertising — has helped them dethrone the once dominant Victoria's Secret. We're their first love.” This comment was widely—and fairly—interpreted as a jab at David Spector, which, as Vogue added in an aside in their interview, has gotten an investment from a former Victoria's Secret CEO.