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If you took a small Victoria’s Secret store and added lots of sugar, but tempered the spice, the recipe might produce Orchid, a lingerie chain just for teens. The concept was spun off by Gadzooks, a national chain based in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton. At Orchid, opened last fall, the goal is to attract the 14-to-22 set with demure lingerie and pajama-party fare. That means a lineup laden with knit camisoles with matching boy shorts, drawstring pajama pants and colorful bikini panties and bras. And there’s not a swatch of leopard print or satin in sight.
“The merchandise is not overtly sexy,” says Paula Masters, president of Gadzooks. “It’s a tricky balance trying not to cross over the line. We do lots of focus groups and get an incredible amount of feedback from our customers and our own sales associates. If there’s any doubt whether something is too sexy, we take a vote on it.”
Gadzooks is testing Orchid with four mall stores, one in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, two in the Houston area and one in Kenner, La., a suburb of New Orleans. All four opened last fall.
At the Lewisville Vista Ridge mall, music videos play on flat screens surrounded by lavender flower petals in windows that recently displayed purple velour robes and fluffy slippers. Not surprisingly, Orchid’s signature colors are lavender and violet.
Prices range from $7 for a bra to $36 for a terry-cloth robe. Still, Orchid isn’t without undies for would-be Lolitas, such as a red cotton knit camisole and boy shorts covered in strawberries inscribed “ripe.’’
A handful of brands rounded out the mix, such as Tommy Hilfiger’s patriotically hued bras and panties, black mesh camisoles and panties from Rampage and Candies’ appropriately pastel innerwear. Accessories range from Tony & Tina makeup to rhinestone-studded bra straps. And then there’s Orchid’s own private-label bath and body products — lavender scented, of course.