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Forget Training Bras. Girls Are Buying Lingerie

Even tweens are flocking to intimate apparel
Victoria's Secret stores are carrying more merchandise aimed at younger customers, including its Pink brand
Victoria's Secret stores are carrying more merchandise aimed at younger customers, including its Pink brandPhotograph by 731

When Kathleen Jordan stopped at a Victoria’s Secret store 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 collegiate line. “Now she has more bras than I do, in every color under the sun,” says Jordan, a principal at design and architecture firm Gensler in New York.

Limited Brands’ Victoria’s Secret and others are cashing in on the growing demand among middle and high school girls for intimate apparel. Hot Topic is testing an edgy line called Blackheart, and Urban Outfitters, which has said intimates could eventually make up 10 percent of sales, has increased such offerings across its brands. Even Justice, the store for 7- to 12-year-olds owned by Ascena Retail Group’s Tween Brands unit, is selling $21.90 tie-dye bras and $9 flowered panties online.