Victoria’s Secret has added five Historically Black Colleges and Universities to its very popular Pink Collegiate Collection.
When Victoria’s Secret Pink rolled out its nationwide collegiate collection in June, featuring the names and logos of some 33 universities on sweats, hoodies, football tees, and totes, the promotion didn’t include any historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). This fall, the brand plans to include five HBCUs in the second phase of its collegiate collection.
Keep reading to see what schools will be included in the collection and to find out what made Victoria’s Secret make the change.
But, for Amelia Reid, a sophomore at Howard University and a Pink fan, the initial omission was hard to take.
“Going to Howard, where the students are very into academics and also into fashion, I thought ‘Wow, this is crazy,'” says Reid, who is studying political science and fashion merchandising. “Here is another company that doesn’t acknowledge black colleges. A lot of girls from Howard wear Victoria’s Secret and work there also. It shouldn’t have been just those typical schools that come to mind when you think of college.”
Reid e-mailed Victoria’s Secret to express her dismay and was upset when she received a response that she describes as “sugar-coated” and dismissive. Her disappointment materialized into a crusade to bring Pink onto the campuses of HBCUs. Early in July, she started a Facebook group “HBCU Ladies Wear Victoria’s Secret Pink Too” in an effort to encourage people to write to the company and complain about the HBCU oversight. By late July, the group had more than 400 Facebook members.
A few days after Reid’s initial e-mail, Richard A. Dent III, chief operating officer for Pink, contacted Reid through her Facebook group after someone forwarded him her complaint. “I reached out to her because she was a fan of the brand. I wanted her to know that we were not being insensitive, and we did have a plan,” says Dent, a graduate of Florida A&M University’s business school and a member of the school’s board of trustees.
According to Dent, the first HBCU schools that will roll off the Pink line will be Howard University, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, North Carolina A&T University, and Southern University. “We have agreements with the licensees who handle collegiate apparel for those schools, and this has been in the works for some time,” he says. Dent adds that the company plans to include students from the schools in internships at Victoria’s Secret, and feature promotions at their homecoming events.
Items for Howard University, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, North Carolina A&T University, and Southern University will not be available until fall 2009. but there are 33 other popular colleges and universities that are available HERE. If you don’t see your school but would like to, you are able to nominate it to be included in the Fall 2009 releases.