Belfast Telegraph

Victoria's Secret to open first Northern Ireland shop in Belfast

It's the world's best known lingerie brand - favoured by supermodels such as Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks.

And now the glamour and lavish Victoria's Secret looks set to open up for the first time in Northern Ireland.

The US-owned clothing business is eyeing up locations in Belfast city centre.

Victoria's Secret already boasts a connection to Belfast.

Miley Cyrus' former flame Stella Maxwell was one of the stunning models showcasing the lingerie company's underwear line in Paris last December.

Held in the huge steel and glass atrium of the French capital's Grand Palais, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars performed as some of the world's highest paid models showed off the range.

Stella, whose parents Maurice Maxwell and Stella Maynes come from Belfast, stunned the crowd around the runway with a Swarovski crystals-strewn outfit.

Cathy Martin, director of Belfast FashionWeek, said the "mid-market brand" had grown from a handful of stores to become a global fashion icon.

"In marketing terms, it's one of the brand leaders in how they have grown from a US mall retailer, to this global, aspirational lingerie brand," she said.

"The main way it did this is through the Victoria's Secret fashion show. They took on some of the big supermodel bookings in the 1990s. These women then highlighted their lingerie.

"It wasn't the best quality, but it was how the profiled it. That's how they created the wow factor.

"They used the theatre of fashion shows to do this."

Victoria's Secret sells a vast range of lingerie and other undergarments. That includes the 'perfect coverage bra', which comes in around two dozen colours, for £49.55 each.

It also sells the 'lace-waist cheeky' panties, which go for £9.55 each, or £25 for five pairs.

The brand already has stores at Dublin airport.

And it is continuing a rapid expansion across the UK. It is poised to open a new store in Brighton in late spring as the retail giant continues to expand.

It is one of 30 stores Victoria's Secret is planning to open across the UK.

"Victoria's Secret has grown their brand massively," Cathy added.

"They also have their Pink sub-brand, which is also massive.

"Aimed at a younger audience it's good to get younger consumers on board, and they will be loyal."

Speaking about the competition in Belfast, she said: "There will be a lot of excitement if it comes to the city.

"I think that we have a good range, such as Boux Avenue and independents, like Orchid on Lisburn Road and The Lingerie Room at Linen Green in Dungannon.

"It will add to the range, and that's no bad thing. It's also a nice endorsement in the city of Belfast when a global brand arrives, as well as the benefit of jobs and investment."

Model and former Miss Great Britain Gemma Garrett said: "I love Victoria's Secret. I shop there a lot when I'm coming through airports, so I think it will be a massive success."

Belfast Telegraph