Part one is a fairly standard look at Wexner’s business acumen in acquiring the lingerie outfit and transforming it into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, inspiring cultish devotion among employees while facing ever-escalating pressure to make the marketing more provocative. Soaring for a time, the latter impulse gradually drifted toward what one observer describes as the thin line between high-end fashion and soft-core pornography.
Yet Wexner’s success, which made him the richest man in Ohio, also brought Epstein into his orbit, eventually leading to allegations that the latter leveraged his affiliation with the company as part of his predatory behavior.
The hardest-to-explain aspect of the story involve Wexner granting Epstein power of attorney over his assets. Michael Gross, author of the book “Model,” suggests that given the closeness of the men, it was hard for many to be shocked Wexner’s name would come up “as the Jeffrey Epstein onion was unpeeled.”
In the final chapter, however, director Matt Tyrnauer deftly weaves the pieces together, conveying how the key men behind Victoria’s Secret were blind to the changes sweeping over society while allegedly engaging in their own questionable behavior.
Wexner’s bravado also embodied a certain swaggering attitude of the billionaire class that grew up during those years that draws inevitable parallels to Epstein’s other famous and wealthy friends, as well as the current generation of high-profile moguls that has followed.
The challenge in repeatedly returning to the Epstein of it all is that it potentially adds a salacious “ick” factor to the narrative without bringing much new to the party. “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” mostly overcomes that criticism in a way that’s well worth watching, even if, by the standards of the best docuseries, it doesn’t rise to the level necessary to completely earn its wings.
“Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” premieres July 14 on Hulu.