(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). In mid November Hop Topic opened five stores in California and Texas in what the LA Times called at the time a “testing” of its new lingerie brand, Blackheart. But the company has backed the launch with an extensive collection of intimates, indicating confidence that it will be able to successfully mine the underwear portion of the rock-and-roll niche it owns. And duplicate what Gilly Hicks has done for Abercrombie, Pink for Victoria’s Secret and Aerie for American Eagle.
“Blackheart is for the independent girl, age 18-30, who considers her lingerie a part of her personal fashion statement,” said Lisa Harper, chairman and CEO of Hot Topic, Inc. in a statement posted on the company’s web site. “She wants to stand out in a crowd – and now her Blackheart lingerie can help her do that.” Defining Blackheart as the “lingerie store for girls who rock & roll,” the label offers bras, panties, corsets, hosiery, sleepwear, leg wear, apparel, accessories and beauty products.
Some 52 bras of different styles and colors are currently pictured on the Blackheart web site (with additional color variations available), ranging in retail price form $29.50 for the “Toxic Demi Bra” on up to $42.50 for the “Killer Extreme Push-Up Bra.” (Most of the bras include an offer to consumers to “buy one, get one 50% off).
We also counted 187 different styles and colors pictured in the panty section (with additional color variations available) with retail prices ranging from $8.50 for the “Skull Thong Panty” on up to $19.50 for the “Lace Cheeky Panty.” The styling is macabre-meets-Hello-Kitty: skulls, bones or guns are featured on 27 of the panties pictured, along with snake prints, the Batman logo and lots of the brand’s own “Blackheart” symbol of a cross imposed on a heart. In the bra section half of the models pictured wear masks. But then there are also lots of polka dots, items with the word “love” included, and, yes, even Hello Kitty herself (the “Hello Kitty Hot Pants 3-Pack.” retails for $19.50). Panties, T-shirts and tanks also often include a statement: “Bite Me,” “Love You To Death,” “Bang,” “Party Sleep Repeat.”
One of the more expensive lingerie pieces is the “Cheetah Print Lace Corset” with front boning, lace trim and corset lacing in back in polyester and spandex, retailing for $65.50. In the sleepwear and lounge wear section there is a “Burnout Zip Hoodie” retailing for $42.50 and a “Gun Print Mesh Tank Top” retailing for $42.50.
The Blackheart stores average 1,800 square feet and feature black walls, neon lighting with video projected on the glass storefront in some cases. “We believe the Blackheart brand is distinctive in the marketplace and will be very appealing to young, edgy customers, including millions of loyal Hot Topic customers,” said Harper at the time of the launch.
The new stores are located in the Baybrook Mall in Friendswood, TX; the Houston Galleria; the Irvine Spectrum in Irvine, CA; the Brea Mall in Brea, CA; and the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, CA.
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