Victoria’s Secret founder, Roy Raymond, decided to name his company after the Victorian era, which took place between 1837 and 1901 in the United Kingdom during the reign of Queen Victoria. Raymond’s intent was to evoke feelings of mystery and hidden sexuality that existed alongside prosperity, increased social morality and appreciation for the arts during this time.
In 1977, Raymond came up with the idea to open Victoria’s Secret after a disappointing experience while shopping for lingerie for his wife at a local department store. His concept was to open a store that made men feel more comfortable when buying lingerie. In its first year of business, Victoria’s Secret earned $500,000. This success prompted Raymond to open additional stores and start a catalog.
After five years, Raymond reportedly sold the company to Leslie Wexler and The Limited for $4 million. It was later revealed that Raymond only received $1 million. Wexler decided to make several changes to the company’s business model. One of these changes was to appeal more to women instead of men. Two years later, the company was worth more than $500 million. In 1993, after the failure of his second company, and while going through a divorce, Raymond committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge