How did Victoria's Secret start?

The chain was not named after a particular woman, but referenced the decor in the stores

In the late 1970s, Roy Larson Raymond was overcome with embarrassment when trying to buy his wife lingerie in a public department store environment.

He created a solution: Victoria's Secret.

"When I tried to buy lingerie for my wife, I was faced with racks of terry-cloth robes and ugly floral-print nylon nightgowns, and I always had the feeling the department store saleswomen thought I was an unwelcome intruder," Raymond said in a 1981 Newsweek interview.

VICTORIA'S SECRET CANCELS MUST-SEE FASHION SHOW AFTER RATINGS COLLAPSE

Roy Larson Raymond (Victoria's Secret)

The Sanford Graduate School of Business alumnus is now credited with creating a brand that once defined sexy with its leggy supermodels clad in lacy bras and oversized angel wings.

Although sales have faded in the last few years due to changing tastes among women, the enterprise is valued at about $1.1 billion.

VICTORIA'S SECRET TAKES LINGERIE BUSINESS PRIVATE AT $1.1B PRICE TAG

There is no "Victoria," rather the store's name had more to do with the decor within the shops. Raymond and his wife designed the shops with a Victorian-inspired style, according to Time, which referenced an interview Raymond had in 1999 with Vogue.

Models on the catwalk for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China (Photo by Aurore Marechal/PA Images via Getty Images)

Raymond opened the first store retail store at the Stanford Shopping Center in 1977, borrowing $80,000 from the bank and relatives to do so.

VICTORIA'S SECRET MODELS DEMAND END TO 'EGREGIOUS' ABUSE

Earnings topped $500,000 within the first year of operation, according to the New York Times. Shortly thereafter, Raymond debuted a mail order catalog, which reached customers nationwide, and opened additional stores in San Francisco, the Slate reported.

In 1982, Raymond sold the company for $1 million to Leslie Wexner, the founder and then-chairman of The Limited, later renamed to L Brands. At the time, all of Raymond's five stores and a dense mail-order catalog were grossing $6 million per year, the Times reported.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
LB n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Two years after the sale, Raymond invested $850,000 of his own money to create a retail store for children, My Child's Destiny. Unfortunately, his venture went bankrupt shortly after in 1986 and Raymond was personally held liable for the debt, the Times reported.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

Meanwhile, his former company was growing. During the early 1990s, Victoria's Secret had become the largest American lingerie retailer. By the mid-1990s, the brand lit up runways and later filled the internet with its supermodels and an annual television special that mixed fashion, beauty and music.

In 1993, after suffering another failed business attempt with a children's book store, Raymond and his wife filed for divorce, The Telegraph reported.

By August of that year, Raymond had committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, leaving behind two teenage children, the HuffPost reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS