Where is Victoria’s Secret’s Ex-CMO Ed Razek Now? – In its attempt to shed light on the shady side of the lingerie company, Hulu’s “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons“ makes one thing very clear: the higher-ups let the company down.
After all, it describes how a variety of factors created a terrible atmosphere, including owner Les Wexley’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and CEO Edward “Ed” Razek’s seeming sex-driven goals. No matter how qualified or experienced they were both at the time, the fact that the latter collaborated closely with Harvey Weinstein for a brief period of time in the 2000s today strikes us as odd as well.
Who is Edward Razek?
American entrepreneur Edward G. Razek (born 1947 or 1948) is well-known for having served as L Brands’ former chief marketing officer and for creating the Victoria’s Secret Angels and the company’s annual fashion show. After receiving constant public criticism for encouraging a culture of misogyny and harassment since joining L Brands in 1983, Razek resigned from the company in 2019.
Ed Razek was brought up by his father, a steel mill worker, in Cleveland, Ohio. He started going to the Culver Military Academy in Indiana when he was 12 years old. In the late 1960s, Razek graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in English.
Razek worked in advertising for a while at Shelly Berman Communicators (SBC Advertising, Inc.) in Columbus, Ohio. He co-owned the agency with Bill Wickham and Shelly Berman. Les Wexner of The Limited, Inc., a clothing shop, was one of his first customers at Shelly Berman Comunicators (later known as L Brands). Razek departed SBC in 1983 and joined the Limited’s internal branding initiatives.
In 1994, Wexner assigned Razek the duty of creating a fashion show for one of the company’s brands. The first fashion show featured Victoria’s Secret as the featured brand in 1995. Under Razek, the fashion show changed from being a small affair for a risqué product into a spectacle and an entertainment event, with a viewership peak in 2001.
Razek played a key role in both choosing the brand’s angel-winged “Angels” models and developing the company’s TV commercials.
Razek was later shown to have been the target of numerous complaints about inappropriate behaviour to the human resources department, yet he carried on with impunity for many years.
Following a November 2018 Vogue interview in which he stated a dislike for casting transgender and plus-sized models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Razek came under intense and prolonged fire for his antiquated marketing. The outcry was intense, with demands for Razek’s resignation in the wake of MeToo and body positivity.
Following Wexner’s arrest in July 2019 on suspicion of sex trafficking, Victoria’s Secret was also buckling under the strain of Wexner’s association with Jeffrey Epstein. It was discovered that Epstein preyed on young ladies by posing as a recruiter using his contacts at Wexner and Victoria’s Secret. In the 1990s, executives cautioned Wexner about this, but no action was taken.
The Victoria’s Secret company’s financial issues quickly turned into a public scandal. In an open letter to L Brands in 2019, CEO James A. Mitarotonda of Barington Capital Group, an activist shareholder, lambasted Razek and demanded that the firm change its brand image and diversify its board of directors, which was predominately made up of men.
In response to the criticism of Razek, the agency hired Valentina Sampaio as its first openly transgender model in August 2019. After posting an apology on social media, Razek resigned in August 2019. After more than two decades of production, the yearly fashion show was formally canceled in November 2019.
According to a 2020 New York Times article, Razek “presided over an entrenched culture of misogyny, intimidation, and harassment.” Wexner and Razek allegedly played significant roles in creating the toxic environment, according to more than 30 current and former executives, employees, contractors, and models who participated in the interviews.
On January 14, 2021, the shareholders of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, filed a complaint in the Court of Chancery of Delaware alleging that chair Les Wexner and Razek, whose misconduct was “widely known,” fostered an “entrenched culture of misogyny, bullying, and harassment,” violated the directors’ fiduciary duty to the company, and violated their fiduciary duty to the company, resulting in the devaluation of the
In an interview with Columbus Monthly published in 2019, he said the following: “We have stunning women wearing lingerie. That’s correct,” he replies firmly. We’re not a manufacturer of potato chips.
What Happened to Ed Razek and Where Is He Now?
Ed departed the retail industry more than 35 years ago, but his peculiar reputation persisted until it was revealed that he had reportedly molested many models, in addition to staff members. He allegedly delivered nasty criticism, attempted to kiss models, requested them to sit on his lap, stroked one Angel’s crotch before the 2018 fashion show, and did a lot more, according to a New York Times story.
The worst part was the absence of action despite several accusations; the marketing executive effectively “presided over an ingrained culture of misogyny, bullying, and harassment” alongside Les.
As if that weren’t enough, Casey Crowe-Taylor, a former Victoria’s Secret publicist, claimed in the Hulu documentary series that Ed publicly made needless remarks about the staff members’ eating habits and body shapes. It’s important to note that the businessman and former well-known Chief Marketing Officer has refuted every complaint leveled against him, telling The Times that “the accusations in this story are totally false, misinterpreted, or taken out of context. I’ve had the good fortune to collaborate with many top-tier models and talented individuals, and I take great delight in our mutual respect for one another.”
According to what we can discern, Ed Razek is currently living in Galena, Ohio, with his devoted family. We estimate that he is in his mid-seventies. We regretfully don’t know much more about him because he has made the deliberate decision to keep both his personal and professional efforts out of the public eye these days. Given the attention he has faced over the past few years, it appears that Ed is gradually becoming as private as the majority of successful men in his own state.