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Keeping It Basic

HOUSTON — What does one wear to a model search? For Houston teens, it seems that basic is better.<br><br>The place was packed with pretty young things in basic jeans and T-shirts when Delia’s staged a model search Aug. 23 at its newest...

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HOUSTON — What does one wear to a model search? For Houston teens, it seems that basic is better.

The place was packed with pretty young things in basic jeans and T-shirts when Delia’s staged a model search Aug. 23 at its newest store in the Houston Galleria mall. About 150 hopeful applicants with friends or parents in tow lined up at the store to enter the “Supermodel of the World” national contest sponsored by Delia’s and Ford Models.

As part of the contest, each teen donned a pair of Delia’s jeans and posed for two Polaroid photos to accompany her entry form.

Hosting the lively scene were Bobette, who won the Supermodel title in 2000, and Neal Hamil, an executive vice president of Ford. The promotion was designed to generate buzz and add value to the brand, said a spokeswoman for the teen retailer, but a few sales didn’t hurt, either.

“One girl looked really great in the jeans, and Bobette said, ‘Those jeans look like they were made for you,’” Hamil recalled. “And her mother kind of rolled her eyes and said, ‘Well, I’m buying them.’”

The national model search, which has been advertised in Delia’s stores, Web site and catalog, runs through Saturday and has garnered about 5,000 entries. A winner and 10 runners-up will be announced Sept. 30. The winner has the chance to compete in the international contest to be held in the Dominican Republic.

At 4,224 square feet, the Houston store is Delia’s largest and represents a new prototype design. It features an open and airy layout with a central seating area where shoppers can hang out and compare styles, an acrylic mobile chandelier, free-form clear acrylic tables, flat-screen monitors and adjustable day-and-evening lighting in the dressing rooms.

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