Victoria’s Secret goes to college

When the Victoria’s Secret brand is mentioned, many people envision sexy underwear. However, the lingerie company is thinking bigger.

Thursday, representatives from Florida A&M University and Victoria’s Secret gathered at Florida A&M University Park to discuss their new program sponsored by PINK.

Victoria’s Secret PINK, a line geared toward younger women that launched in 2004, has partnered with The Collegiate Licensing Company to produce university apparel. Thirty colleges and universities were selected to participate in the program. Of the thirty schools, five are HBCU’s and FAMU is one of the few.

To assist with the business of promoting the new attire, Victoria’s Secret looked to PRodigy, a public relations firm run by students. Thirty- five students worked with the company on putting together a press conference, a pop-up store, and a community service project.

Gina Kinchlow, the advisor of the PR firm, said it took hard work to put the event together.

“PRodigy has been working this account for six weeks and they have done an excellent job,” Kinchlow said. “These are phenomenal students and I hope they get more opportunities to practice their craft.”

The firm sponsored a “Bring Your Sweats Drive.”  All the sweats donated were given to Mother’s in Crisis, a nonprofit organization that helps women in recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction.

Rosalind Tompkins, CEO of Mother’s in Crisis, was grateful for the thousands of contributions received.

“We really appreciate the sweats from the students at FAMU,” Tompkins said. “We have several clients to supply, so your donations will definitely not go to waste.”

The university will receive 7 to 8 percent the sales revenue at FAMU PINK. The money earned is for campus university needs and President James Ammons plans on putting it to good use.

“The money that comes to the university will be used for scholarships and university enhancements,” Ammons said. “This program offers endless opportunities for FAMU by creating new internship and scholarship opportunities.”

Richard Dent agrees. As the Chief Operating Officer of Victoria’s Secret PINK, Dent said he thinks the program is good for the university.

“I feel that this program is going to do well at FAMU and I am honored to be presenting it,” Dent said.

Both the university and Victoria’s Secret expect this new program to do great things and so do the students. Many of the students have expressed positive feelings about the introduction of the new line.

“Seeing our university’s name with the other non-HBCU schools says a lot about FAMU,” said Tiana Sparks, 20, a junior Chemistry student from Jacksonville. “It puts us on a new level.”

The line will have several different clothing selections sporting the University’s name and mascot, with pricing ranging from about $20- $40. Sorority members can also place orders for customized shirts.

At the close of the day, both the Victoria’s Secret representatives and PRodigy students were very pleased with the turnout.

“We are definitely satisfied with the student turnout at this event, especially after selling out the store,” said Ashley Blakely, account supervisor for PRodigy. “The future for PRodigy and Victoria’s Secret look very bright.”