Catalogs #24: Victoria's Secret 1982

Just over a year ago, I posted pages from the 1979 Victoria's Secret Catalog.  Next thing you know, the UK Daily Mail and various other big time news sites were linking to it.  It was kind of troubling to see some rather well known sites simply re-post the pictures without so much as a backlink to Retrospace.  But that's neither here nor there.  I don't own the rights to the pictures.  It's just an issue of etiquette.

Here's what some of these sites had to say....

Something called Retro Space unearthed a 32-year-old Victoria’s Secret catalog which is NOTHING like the current incarnation, most notably because it features un-airbrushed women without overinflated lips and breast implants and twenty-five pounds of hair extensions. The Daily Mail says:

"Unlike the marketing imagery we see today, the ’79 cast of models have uneven skin tones, slight love handles and even sagging breasts.Muscle lines – which would normally be softened – are prominent, waists are not carved away, and tan lines, nipples and even pubic hair are visible."

It’s so nice to see a real woman. Today’s Angels look more like the cloners on Kamino than anything that could actually bear children. And that’s what it’s ultimately all about, isn’t it? It just never sounds as sexy when you frame it along the lines of the biological imperative.

So, here's the 1982 Victoria's Secret Catalog. Enjoy.

It's interesting to note that Melody Anderson, who also appeared in the '79 catalog, is still a Victoria's Secret model in '82. (Click on images to enlarge.)


  1. "The beauty of the days gone by, it brings a longing to my soul" (Van Morrison)Arf arf!

  2. I like these designs so much better.

    On the nipple thing, however, my understanding is that some lawmaker decided that visible nipples equals porn. So all catalogues have to airbrush out nipples or the women have to hold their hands in such a way as to hide them. I find the no nipples thing creepy. Like I'm looking at some Barbie dolls brought to life by Satanic forces.

    1. You can trust the Daily Mail to be weak with their journalism. This newspaper is reviled here in the UK. They get most of their scoops from Twitter or TMZ.
      And this isn't the first time nor will it be the last that they snatch images from others without crediting them.

  3. The first time I bought Victoria's Secret lingerie, it was the late 80's. What I remember is that the quality was light years above the crap they're pushing nowadays. Better off shopping at Target, same quality only cheaper.

  4. Ahh, 1982. The year I lost it.

  5. In Spain they did a piece on the Victoria's Secret catalogue you post in TV, on the news.

  6. I love how the state, with a real sense of awe and wonder, that you "unearthed" the 1979 catalog, like you found the lost Dead Sea scrolls or Edison's lost inventions, or such!

    Al Bigley

  7. So much prettier and more feminine. So much sexier. The skanks of today can't hold a candle to these women. Remember when Jill Goodacre was the face of Victoria's Secret? The last time I shopped there seriously was in 1995.

  8. Yeah, this is what I associate with Victoria's Secret - women with names like Gwendolyn and Cecily posing in billiard rooms and libraries. If I can cherrypick from different decades this is my '80s choice.

  9. There is a picture from a recent catalog that I just NEED to post here after I scan it. It's either a really bad angle, or a bad Photoshop mistake, or the living embodiment of a Rob Liefeld drawing.

  10. The photo style shift from the '79 catalog to to this one is interesting. (Only photos in the earlier post - would be interesting to see the page layout.) These photos are much lighter in tone - the backdrops, the makeup, the lighting, all complementing the lighter tones in the lingerie. They were pretty fashion-forward; if you remember back then, most clothing and makeup hadn't started the slide to muted minimalism. Just check out the original "Footloose". Or my high school prom.

  11. My first encounter with VS was in the 80s. I had heard of the line, but it wasn't until 1983, and my second "Mrs. Robinson" that I saw what the fuss was about. MMMM...

  12. I started buying from VS in 1986 (killer bustiers, leggings) and they had such a wide variety of clothing and lingerie - that held true until the early 00 or so, when the shift to young-only, lowrise and 5" heels took over the trend. Too bad - I used to spend a lot of money on oversized sweatshirts, sweaters, bras and silk anything that covered what I needed to cover. Still have a beautiful MODA wool lab coat and cigarette pants in the closet, for daughter to grow in to.
    I received a survey request some time ago, and while giving some feedback I informed them that I'd been a customer so long that I'd unfortunately aged-out of their offerings, and would they consider a catalog for the teenage Victoria's Mother? ; )

    The product line now reminds me more of Frederick's.

  13. "It was kind of troubling to see some rather well known sites simply re-post the pictures without so much as a backlink to Retrospace. But that's neither here nor there. I don't own the rights to the pictures. It's just an issue of etiquette."

    Same thing happened to me last year after I managed to have a picture go viral. 99% of the sites that linked to it gave no credit to me. Oh well, it was over pretty quickly. Such is the internet.