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Fashion Icons; Roy Raymond

07 Jul

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Jason Nevader / Wireimage / Getty ImagesKarolina Kurkova, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele  Bundchen and Adriana Lima stand on the runway at the end of the Victoria’s  Secret fashion show in New York City on November 13, 2003.

Like many men, Roy Raymond felt uncomfortable shopping for underwear for his  wife. So he took his business savvy — as a graduate of the Stanford Graduate  School of Business in California — and created a place where he would feel  comfortable shopping. With a $40,000 bank loan and $40,000 borrowed from  relatives, he opened Victoria’s Secret in the Stanford Shopping Center in 1977.  In its first year, the company earned $500,000. His concept of bringing lingerie  to the masses was so successful that by 1982, when Raymond sold the company, his  five stores and 42-page mail-order catalog were grossing $6 million a year.  Though Raymond’s story ends tragically — he jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge  to commit suicide four years later — his brainchild boomed to even greater  success. Thanks to Raymond’s ingenuity, women — and their husbands — can enjoy  the increased cultural acceptance of shopping for undies. Today the company has  over 1,000 stores in the U.S. and many more worldwide. Beyond that, the models,  known as Angels — who walk in big-budget, televised fashion shows and deliver  sultry poses in the pages of the catalog — have become such a part of pop  culture, no one seems to notice how unusual it is to have stars like Heidi Klum  and Gisele Bundchen hawking bras that sell for less than $100.

 

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Posted by on July 7, 2013 in Fashion Icons

 

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