Spice just may be Victoria's Secret
Oct 26,2007 00:00 by George_Varga

Bob Dylan, the Spice Girls and, um, Infinity may sound like a match made in hell (or heaven, if God has a twisted sense of humor).

But thanks to such products as the Infinity Edge Push-Up Bra and Sexy Little Things hiphuggers, the grizzled bard of rock and the once-reigning bimbos of pap-pop now have something in common.

Dylan and the recently reunited Spice Girls have the rare distinction of being celebrity pop-star endorsers (him in 2004, them right now) for Victoria's Secret. Beginning Nov. 13, the upscale lingerie chain will exclusively sell the new "Spice Girls: Greatest Hits" CD at its stores. And that's a very good thing, since - in the words of Jason Flom - chairman of Capitol Records: "We know from studies that the two things people care about most are music and sex."

You tell 'em, Jason!

Food? Water? A safe place to live? Happiness and a sense of meaning or purpose in life?

Who needs any of that if they've got sex and music, excuse me, music and sex.

And who better to sell sex posing as music - or is it music posing as sex? - than the recently reunited Spice Girls?

After all, this talent-free English quintet was basically created as a mass marketing tool to begin with; a product designed to sell other products under the guise of faux feminism in pop-tart clothing. They paved the way for other lip-syncing bimbettes, like Ashlee and Britney (who would be an ideal Victoria's Secret endorser if she actually wore underwear).

The Spice Girls' meteoric rise to fame and fortune was carefully engineered by Simon Fuller, who later created "Pop Idol" in the United Kingdom, "American Idol" here and 100 or so variations of the hit TV show around the world.

A master of commerce, Fuller had the group sign as many endorsement deals as possible in the group's heyday. Between 1996 and 1999, the Spice Girls shilled for dozens of companies, including Pepsi, Kodak, Impulse Deodorants and Chupa-Chups lollipops.

So it's no surprise Sporty, Scary, Posh, Baby and Ginger Spice are now happily in bed with Victoria's Secret. After all, Sporty and Posh could be the names of lingerie lines. So could Scary, albeit for a different, more select demographic.

Speaking of Scary, here's what she has to say about Victoria's Secret: "They do great bras, and every girl wears a bra. And they should - at some point in their life. Unless they don't need to wear one."

Can't argue with that. Besides, I enjoy perusing the Victoria's Secret catalog as much as anyone, but mostly to read the articles. And, it's hard to be seriously offended by the Spice Girls unless you take them seriously (which, for me at least, is impossible).

As for Dylan, who did a Victoria's Secret TV commercial in 2004, he's moved on. The 66-year-old rock legend is featured in a new TV commercial for Cadillac Escalade, a gas-guzzling luxury SUV he may or may not have a greater affinity for than the scantily clad lingerie model who co-starred in his Victoria's Secret commercial.

Meanwhile, the Spice Girls' reunion television debut will be Dec. 4 on CBS' "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show." Since most fans already have 13 of the 15 songs on the "Greatest Hits" CD, Capitol Records' honcho Flom is banking on the inclusion of two new tunes, "Voodoo" and "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)," to lure Victoria's Secret shoppers.

"Consumers don't have to go proactively to a record store," Flom told The Wall Street Journal. "It's an impulse buy."

That's impulse buy, as in: "I'd like two leopard-skin patterned convertible bras, a pair of 'flirt with me' thigh highs, a Santa girl faux fur-trim miniskirt, and - oh, yeah - give me two copies of that Spice Girls CD."

But what if you want to take pictures of yourself rocking out to "Wannabe" and "2 Become 1," as you model your new Victoria's Secret purchases?

Glad you asked.

With perfect timing, the White Stripes' Jack and Meg White this month announced the limited edition release of their "Jack & Meg" custom Lomography cameras, which cost just $180 each. The fact that Jack's wife, Karen Elson, is a former Victoria's Secret model is purely coincidental.

Reach George Varga: 619-293-2253; george.varga@uniontrib.com.