Darren Barnet becomes Victoria’s Secret first male ambassador

Victoria’s Secret expands gender-free collection as brand continues its ‘focus on inclusivity’

Meredith Clark
New York
Friday 22 April 2022 20:44
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Never Have I Ever actor Darren Barnet has been named the first-ever celebrity male brand ambassador for Victoria’s Secret Pink.

The clothing retailer announced on 19 April that Barnet - who plays Paxton Hall-Yoshida in the Netflix comedy series - will promote Pink’s Gender Free collection and support the brand’s mental health initiatives as part of Victoria’s Secret’s “continued focus on inclusivity.”

“We are so excited to announce this partnership because Darren is such a positive role model for teens and young adults,” said Pink CEO Amy Hauk in a press release. “As we focus on expanding our gender-free offerings and continue to evolve as a brand, we want to ensure our partners not only represent the diversity of our customers, but also embody individuality and self-confidence.”

The announcement comes as Victoria’s Secret launched a rebrand of the lingerie and loungewear company in June 2021, replacing the iconic “Angels” with a VS Collective and gathering women such as Megan Rapinoe, Eileen Gu, Paloma Elsesser, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas to redefine beauty standards.

Plus sized-model and TikTok star Remi Bader recently became a size consultant and brand ambassador for Pink, as the company continues to launch products in more sizes.

“What intrigued me so much about this partnership - besides the fact that I grew up wearing Pink - is the brand’s openness for my honesty and desire to see change,” Bader told Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) about the year-long partnership.

“Pink has made a lot of strides over the years to be more inclusive and focus on mental health and I’m really honoured to work with the team to help young adults embrace their bodies and be an honest voice for the amazing community I’ve built,” she said.

In February, Emira D’Spain became the first Black and transgender model to work with the brand after sharing a Valentine’s Day collaboration on social media. That same month, Sofía Jirau made history as the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down syndrome when she starred in the campaign for the lingerie collection, Love Cloud.

Barnet, 30, shared the news in an Instagram post on Tuesday, along with photos of himself modeling Pink’s Gender Free collection. The actor said he wished that mental health “was more of a focus when I was a teenager” and hopes to reach young adults “who need to be heard” and supported.

“Filming Never Have I Ever definitely brings me back to my high school days and reminds me of the insecurities and issues that we face as young adults,” said Barnet in the press release. “I know how it feels to not fit in, and how important it is to feel supported and accepted for who you are.”

“I love the work that Pink is doing – especially their focus on community and mental health – so I’m really honoured to be a part of this team,” he said.

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