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Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:39 AM

Victoria’s Secret Teen Lingerie Lures Ever-Younger Girls

When Kathleen Jordan stopped at a Victoria’s Secret a year ago to buy something for herself, the visit had an unintended consequence: her 13-year-old daughter got hooked on Pink, the lingerie brand’s young collegiate line.

“Now she has more bras than I do, in every color under the sun,” said Jordan, a principal at design and architecture firm Gensler in New York. “She’s not alone -- all her girlfriends are into Pink, too. I recently overheard one of her girlfriends excitedly sharing the details of her favorite Christmas gift from Pink.”

Limited Brands Inc.’s Victoria’s Secret isn’t the only retailer generating sales as it becomes more acceptable for middle-and high-school girls to show off bras under clothing and buy intimates. Teen chains are, too. Hot Topic Inc. is testing an edgy lingerie line called Blackheart, and Urban Outfitters Inc., which has said intimates could eventually make up 10 percent of sales, has bolstered such offerings across its brands. Even Justice, the store for 7- to 12-year-olds owned by Tween Brands Inc., is selling $21.90 tie-dye bras and $9 flowered panties online.

Retailers are taking care to present the garments as cute versus sexy, said Marcie Merriman, founder of retail and brand strategy consultancy PrimalGrowth in Columbus, Ohio.

More...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-14/victoria-s-secret-teen-lingerie-lures-ever-younger-girls.html

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:56 AM

1. While most of the girls in my 14-year-old son's sphere are into Pink--it's

not really about the bras and underwear as much as it's about the T-shirts, bags, and perfume.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:12 AM

2. I get all my underwear is from Victoria's Secret, my daughter's too from a pretty young age

It wears like iron and you can get things that actually are comfortable and fit well. I still have some items that are 10 years old that show no signs of breakdown.

Yes, some VS stuff is very, very sexy but a lot of it is practical. I've never censored my kids' preferences on undergarments since they got out of the Disney underwear phase. The stuff is expensive enough so I figure they should wear what works for them. Its not as though they are baring it all in public. Their schools have policies against spaghetti straps or explicit clothing so they aren't exposed at school either except in the girls' locker room.



I know the Pink/VS clothing brand is very fashionable for most teen girls which would draw them into the stores, and presumably get them hooked on the other stuff there. Thankfully my teen dislikes that kind of public labeling so I've escaped some of the worst "branding" - the VS undergarments are about the only thing she loves in that store.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:22 AM

7. i did. use to be a company that

celebrated womens sexuality. at a time when women were jsut walking into being able to celebrate our sexuality. i loved the company. it was all about women.

in the 90's it shifted to celebrating mens sexuality using women. and the men were the ones telling the woman what he wanted, for his entertainment.

that is when i walked away from the company.

but, i agree with the durability and the fit of their product

and i think the direction this conversation has gone addressing these products used by teens seems to be about sexy up our teen girls for boys... tells us the company has shifted from women to men. a product girls buy. in many stores.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:35 AM

10. I haven't paid attention to, or seen their marketing for decades now...

One of the perks of not owning a teevee and reading everything online these days - I never see ads anymore.

It seems as though virtually ALL of the marketing these days that I've seen or even paid attention to, uses sex to sell. There are a few teen clothing stores that feature almost naked young people male and female on their shopping bags (I can't remember the brand) - it seems pretty universal on both sides.

As far as VS trying to "sell" girls as sexy for boys' sake, hmm. Not sure I agree with that but then I have girls (and you have boys). My girls like the fit and quality of their stuff (as do I). Both of them like to feel sexy for themselves. Are there some girls who are only seeking sexy lingerie to be hawt for boys? Sure probably. Does wanting to be attractive to the other sex start in elementary school? Doubtful so I'm guessing the sexy lingerie bit won't work for the under 10 yrs crowd. Does it start in middle school? Definitely but that seems to be a natural hormonal thing that is less about marketing than it is about the natural progression of things.

Truthfully, my oldest girl asked for "different" underwear (ie no more Disney underwear and yes, VS underwear) in middle school when she saw what the other girls were wearing in the locker room.

For her it started because other GIRLS had sophisticated items and she liked the look of it. Once she actually wore it, she liked it too. That boys may be interested in it was completely secondary. My youngest girl inherited some of my older girl's bras and got hooked (heh) on the VS line pretty early through wearing her older sister's secondhand stuff.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:39 AM

11. i am sorry i was not really clear at the end

the point is, girls wearing bras and undies is reality. for this article to see it in a sexual manner suggesting starting the teens young is the issue for me. not the teens themselves wanting to buy the product.

once again, the image, the article or the company has shifted it from the girls to a sexual suggestion, instead of a mere product.

and yes, i remember when i had to put away the batman undies, lol

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:59 AM

12. Yeah, feeding the Disney princess machine for that many years was a killer for me!

I was actually kind of grateful when that phase stopped!

Heh, now I'm feeding the VS marketing moguls instead it seems...

Damned if I do, damned if I don't!

Anyway, I simply don't think sexy lingerie will sell to the younger set - they simply have different desires (Batman undies vs thongs). I can only speak to the "natural" progression of items in my teen females. Their desire for more sophisticated items was driven first by their girl peers, then because of the comfort and fit. Their last concern was whether the boys thought it was hawt. Now don't forget I'm talking about the early teen years (presumably the years this marketing campaign is targeting).

Now in the LATER stages of a teen girl's life (my youngest is 16)? Oh hell yes, it certainly is about the sex appeal to boys. Thong straps, bra straps, lace, no straps - its all about sex appeal now. Her school's pretty strict about the dress code thank gawd so I don't have to be the prudish enforcer (a losing battle may I add)... My oldest girl has moved out of that phase - she's in a committed relationship, professional career etc - all of that nonsense has stopped.

So VS targeting their marketing as "cute" instead of "sexy" to the younger set doesn't really set off my feminist alarm bells. The natural course of growing up will ensure that "sexy" probably won't work (yet) on the early teen girl age group.


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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:14 AM

3. MONEY MONEY MONEY

GREED, GREED, GREED

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:16 AM

4. It's good quality

and worth every penny.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:20 AM

5. Is a bra really considered "lingerie"?? Doesn't seem like they are selling anything other stores

aren't selling. Walmart sells bras to 13 year olds too, and they also sell lingerie, so is that worse??

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:20 AM

6. WHAT!!!!!

Girls like girly things like pretty undies! STOP THE PRESSES!

This might explain why my daughter likes to wear skirts and paints her finger nails too! Pure insanity.

Oh, and if your 13 year old daughter has more underwear than you do perhaps some self reflection is in order.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:23 AM

8. every department store has a section with sexy underwear

You walk into any Target and it's right there in your face. It's marketing.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:34 AM

9. Victoria's Secret sells a quality product

My 24 year old daughter is still wearing Pink underwear she got 5+ years ago; the elastic in Hanes and Fruit of the loom tends to crap out in less than a year. Victoria's Secret also offers bra fittings, so you don't have the enormous trial and error of trying to find a bra that works for you. I never felt like I was buying her "lingerie" - I was buying well made, comfortable underwear.

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Response to WCIL (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:53 PM

13. VS Does Sell

a quality product. Unfortunately, for a company who is supposedly about "celebrating female sexuality," and not attracting men, they seem to think that us middle-agers who are beyond our size 4 years aren't interested in "celebrating our sexuality." Or maybe we don't have any sexuality to celebrate, so why bother selling to us.

VS marketing is all about attracting men and always was. I used to buy from them all the time and the stuff lasted forever and fit great. Who cared about the marketing, the stuff was good. Unfortunately, the last time I went in there the entire front 2/3rds of the store was underwear a 15 year old would consider silly. Then there were some porn inspired get-ups for people who like that sort of thing, not that there's anything wrong with that. The rest of the store had some nice stuff for great bods. I never felt so old, unattractive, fat and unsexy as I did in that store, and I am not extreme in any of those categories. So much for celebrating female sexuality.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:11 PM

14. Last time I went in there it seemed like all there bras were padded.

The last thing I need is padding. I just want something that supports and flatters me. I could not find a thing that didn't make me look bigger, which is not what I need. We don't all want to look like porn stars.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:21 PM

15. I have not been in a VS in ten years.

However, I shop regular with them online. Their garments are the absolute best for years and years of wear. Also, I'm not young or small. The same size in one collection is the same size in any collection, I have found.

My niece has been wearing VS since she was 15 and loves the pink collection. I've heard her and her friends talking about their new items but never seen her show them off in public or mixed company.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:21 PM

16. Victoria's Secret isn't the store it used to be

My fiancee buys a lot from there. I'm always surprised when she shows me the brand, didn't know VS made such normal looking stuff.
Some of it looks comfortable and quite sharp, fashion wise.

VS didn't do anything wrong here.

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