Victoria's Secret's troubles are usually limited to Photoshop fails, of which they've committed many. But the lingerie retailer has hit a snag of a different kind, offending customers with a misguided new product: the "Sexy Little Geisha" outfit.

Part of Victoria's Secret "Go East" collection, the "Sexy Little Geisha" outfit consists of a mesh teddy with "Eastern-inspired" floral print fabric on the bra cups and crotch, plus a coordinating (and removable!) obi belt. The matching fan and chopsticks, which South African model Candice Swanepoel sports in the product shot, are included. The entire get-up, the website writes, is "your ticket to an exotic adventure."

The negative reactions began several weeks ago. On Racialicious, Nina Jacinto took Victoria's Secret to task for essentializing Asian identity and reducing "Eastern" culture to a stereotype of exotic sexuality. "It’s a narrative that says the culture can be completely stripped of its realness in order to fulfill our fantasies of a safe and non-threatening, mysterious East," she argues. Done at the corporate level, "it’s a troubling attempt to sidestep authentic representation and humanization of a culture and opt instead for racialized fetishizing against Asian women."

The Frisky concurred: "Considering the complicated history of geishas, repurposing the [geisha] 'look' for a major corporation to sell as role-playing lingerie seems a bit tasteless."

Victoria's Secret has responded to the protests, if only tacitly: type in the URL for the Sexy Little Geisha product page and it redirects you to VictoriasSecret.com. In fact all the product pages for the "Go East" collection, including the Printed Chiffon Robe we highlighted last month, now simply redirect to the Victoria's Secret homepage.

Removing the products will probably appease critics... as long as Victoria's Secret avoids similar missteps. Otherwise they could be the next Urban Outfitters with a reputation for offending various religious, racial and ethnic groups at every turn.

Do you find the "Sexy Little Geisha" offensive or totally innocuous?

Quick Poll

Victoria's Secret "Sexy Little Geisha" outfit:

VOTE


victorias secret sexy little geisha

victorias secret sexy little geisha

See more fashion products that caused drama...

Loading Slideshow...
  • Nike

    St. Patrick's Day-themed SB Dunk Low <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/nike-black-and-tan_n_1344197.html" target="_hplink">"Black and Tan"</a> sneakers by Nike incite outrage from Irish community.

  • Victoria's Secret

    As part of the brand's "Far East" collection, the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/victorias-secret-geisha-outfit-photos_n_1909366.html" target="_blank">"Sexy Little Geisha"</a> outfit came complete with a removable obi belt.

  • Urban Outfitters

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/03/eat-less-urban-outfitters_n_598904.html" target="_hplink">"Eat Less"</a> t-shirts aren't well received by, well, most people.

  • Urban Outfitters

    "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/urban-outfitters-st-patricks-day-clothes-_n_1313242.html" target="_hplink">Truly Madly Deeply Kiss Me</a>" t-shirt offends Irish groups.

  • Abrecrombie & Fitch

    Asian caricature t-shirts <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/ABERCROMBIE-GLITCH-Asian-Americans-rip-2850702.php" target="_hplink">caused outrage in California.</a>

  • Urban Outfitters

    Some Irish groups aren't pleased with this "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/urban-outfitters-st-patricks-day-clothes-_n_1313242.html" target="_hplink">Irish Yoga</a>" trucker hat.

  • Urban Outfitters

    Retailer gets in trouble for its "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/urban-outfitters-jewish-star-tshirt_n_1441731.html" target="_hplink">Jewish Star</a>" t-shirt.

  • Abrecrombie & Fitch

    "Wink Wink" and "Eye Candy" thongs for 10-year olds isn't a hit with all parents.

  • Urban Outfitters

    "New Mexico, Cleaner than Regular Mexico" t-shirts didn't go over well. (AP photo)

  • Urban Outfitters

    Ditto this "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/urban-outfitters-st-patricks-day-clothes-_n_1313242.html" target="_hplink">Truly Madly Deeply Irish Drunk" </a>scoop tank.

  • Pubic Hair Dye

    "Color for the hair down there" is not received well.

  • Taco Cid, South Carolina

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/how-to-catch-an-illegal-immigrant-taco-cid_n_2439294.html">"How to catch an illegal immigrant" shirt</a>

  • Fahad

    "Cuntier" hats <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/12/cartier-cuntier-hats_n_2861513.html?utm_hp_ref=style&ir=Style">spoof Cartier logo</a>.

  • Adidas 'Shackle' Sneakers

    Jeremy Scott designed these "handcuffs" sneakers for Adidas. However, after many complained that the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/18/adidas-shackle-sneakers-controversy_n_1605661.html" target="_hplink">cuffs looked more like shackles</a>, Adidas canceled its plans to sell the shoes.

  • Urban Outfitters

    Urban Outfitters thought it was a good idea to sell this shirt to its young demographic (with a lot of them being younger than 21).

  • Clean and Dry Intimate Wash

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/12/vagina-bleaching-ad_n_1420825.html" target="_hplink">Skin-lightening wash</a> targets consumers with dark colored privates.

Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest.

FOLLOW STYLE