J. Crew's Art Project
J. Crew has collaborated with New York's Parsons The New School for Design and Fashion Institute of Technology on a limited-edition collection of premium denim. The collection, 82 pairs in total, includes one-of-a-kind, customized pieces.

"We wanted to do something new and exciting that captured the vibe and personality of J. Crew," said Cynthia Ng, director of denim and washed product.

The four graduates of the design schools who worked on the collection are Julia Burns, Sariah Carson, Jennifer Manko and James Boone. Roula Nassar, a freelance designer with J. Crew, also collaborated. With the help of Ng and Jenna Lyons, senior vice president of women's design, the designers transformed the 82 pairs of the American-made, ring-spun five-pocket style into their own creation. Styles have been embroidered, bleached or speckled with blue paint.

"They're all individual," said Ng. "We talked about our ideas and we sat together and guided them through the process. Some have embroidery, some have crystal beading. One pair of jeans has about four or five layers to it. We quickly found out people's strengths."

The jeans will retail at select J. Crew locations for $275. A small rollout began in October, but the bulk of the jeans will hit stores in January.

"Lots of work went into this project," said Lyons. "We're a large company and we've wanted to maintain a sense of individuality and craftsmanship. We'll do what we can to freshen up. It's paid off. The customer gets something that's unique that you're not going to see somewhere else."
— L.D.

Chip & Pepper Embracing New York State of Mind
Chip and Pepper Foster, the twin brothers who design the Chip & Pepper premium denim collection, are opening their first flagship boutique in a 700-square-foot space in lower Manhattan.

The store, which is set to debut on Nov. 25, is at 250 Mulberry Street, between Prince and Spring Streets in the NoLIta district.

"The location is unbelievable," Chip Foster said. "It took us almost a year to choose a spot."

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