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It's no longer a secret


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POSTED: Friday, October 02, 2009

The first customers in line at Victoria's Secret at Ala Moana Center yesterday morning were Joleen Carmichael and MIki Brown of Honolulu.

The recent high school graduates stood in line as early as 6:30 a.m., three hours before the doors officially opened, to be the first to walk into Hawaii's first Victoria's Secret.

Carmichael and Brown said they were happy not only that there would finally be a Victoria's Secret in Honolulu, but a pretty large one, and that they would no longer have to pay for shipping.

The double doors to the boutique opened at 9:30 a.m. to a line of hundreds of women — and a few men — that wound around the corner to the parking lot on Level 2 of the Ala Moana Center's Sears wing.

Heralded as a sign of confidence in the Hawaii economy, the Victoria's Secret boutique measures about 18,500 square feet, with a shimmery, pink glass exterior, custom-designed light fixtures and a glittery floor.

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It features a brightly lit Bra Salon and Panty Boutique as well as sleepwear and lingerie in the Glamour Room, and a beauty bar with cosmetics and fragrances.

Victoria's Secret shoppers also can walk from the boutique into the more casual PINK, which caters to a younger customer and has its own mall entrance.

Besides a concierge desk, there are fitting rooms with personal call buttons and a VIP fitting room.

Columbus, Ohio-based Limited Brands owns Victoria's Secret, which has more than 1,000 stores in the United States.

The lease for Victoria's Secret was signed nearly two years ago, while Hawaii residents have been talking about its arrival in Honolulu for at least 15 years.

“;I've been waiting forever,”; said Maile Kadooka, who was also near the front of the line with friend Chimari Mayberry and her twin 4-year-old daughters in a stroller. “;Now we're happy because we don't have to go to the mainland. We can just go here.”;

Kadooka and Mayberry said they will be regulars at Victoria's Secret. Kadooka said it was the perfect way to celebrate her birthday.

Lettie Lamerson, who drove from Waimanalo to stand in line, said she bought a Victoria's Secret bra on the mainland 16 years ago and that it's still in great shape.

She likes the store for its quality but also likes its styles, especially satin and lace.

;[Preview]    Victoria's Secret opens
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Hundreds flock to Ala Moana's Victoria's Secret

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Victoria's Secret's first Hawaii store features several collections of bras, panties and sleepwear, as well as sportswear and swimwear, which will be carried year-round.

Private-label collections include Very Sexy, Angels, Body by Victoria and BioFit.

Victoria's Secret hired 300 full- and part-time associates, including managers, for the store's opening. The store has two semiannual sales — one in January and one in June.