End of an era

Sarah Rosenberg

I am not usually one to pass judgment, especially when it comes to personal fashion choices and tastes. But I can guarantee I would find it extremely odd if any woman, young or old, told me that they did not own at least one piece of clothing from the lingerie legend – Victoria’s Secret.

I lovingly call the mega underwear-bra-and-everything-sexy-you-could-ever-want store “Vicky’s,” as it was where I most likely bought my first bra and continue to annually shop for lingerie. Victoria’s Secret makes underwear exciting, so we can ignore Hanes and have fun shopping for undergarments. They sell makeup, perfume, soap, even laundry detergent; bathing suits, robes and gym clothes are always available. But now, the well-known lingerie chain is officially giving one of its most famous “angels” her wings and letting her go. Heidi Klum, after lending her face (and killer body) to the company for thirteen years, is saying her farewells.

Klum is not your typical supermodel. She is stunningly beautiful in every way, yet has always seemed to be down-to-earth. I could never associate her with the classic stereotype of most supermodels – icy, stuck-up, and overly-obsessed with maintaining a waif-like figure. She was the ideal supermodel, with a fierce presence and the ultimate grace of a woman on a runway.

Klum helped define Victoria’s Secret as a major label; since Klum began her career with the company in 1997, Vicky’s has grown immensely. The widely popular Pink line, a branch of clothing targeted at young women in college, has garnered a following for its collection of cute and often bedazzled tracksuits, underwear, bras, shirts and accessories. Perfumes, lotions and makeup lines have expanded. Femininity has become the main object of Victoria’s Secret as a whole, and women everywhere have embraced this ideal by wearing its products. There is no doubt that Klum’s persona will always be attached to the success of the brand and the average woman’s love for it.

Even though Klum is cutting her ties, her future ventures are nothing short of promising. According to E! News, the model and mother is set to design a line of activewear for New Balance, a prominent athletic company. A reality television show centering on her marriage to Seal is also in the works.

Lately, however, Klum has been more positively defined by her role in the hit show “Project Runway.” Accompanied by Tim Gunn, Klum’s job as host has allowed budding fashion designers to show their creations on national television, and has given them a chance at a high fashion career. Klum’s show is responsible for giving designer Christian Siriano’s career a major boost; he was featured in New York City’s Fashion Week last month. “Project Runway’s” success has not gone unnoticed and remains a popular show on television – the program is now in its eighth season, proving Klum is more than just a pretty face. Rather, she has become a force in the media, and a creative brain within the world of fashion. She knows the business – knows it well – it has shown through her modeling career and continues to reflect in her current projects.

I think it’s a smart decision for Klum to leave while she’s still got it – she’s well out of her prime, but no one can argue that she still looks fabulous. I guess certain gigs get old. There are only so many times you can strut down a runway wearing larger-than-life angel wings, baring your stomach, and grabbing the attention of every photographer, male, female, and fashion expert in the room. Tough life, right? Nonetheless, all of Klum’s upcoming endeavors are sure to be just as mesmerizing and attention-grabbing. Here’s to Victoria Secret’s not-so-secret weapon, a fashion role model of our generation.

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