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JNY Encourages Women to Shop Their Closets

Encouraging women to shop their own closets might seem counter to the fashion industry’s mission of encouraging women to shop in stores.

During the shoot, Lloyd Boston helped a Jones New York customer add a few new pieces to her wardrobe.

Encouraging women to shop their own closets might seem counter to the fashion industry’s mission of encouraging women to shop in stores. But reconciling itself to its customers’ economic situation, Jones New York is launching “JNY Style Miles,” an online series of videos featuring Lloyd Boston helping women rethink their current wardrobes, then add just a few new pieces from the Jones New York line.

“In today’s challenging times, it’s not responsible for us to tell our customer to spend her hard-earned money on a new wardrobe,” said a spokeswoman for Jones Apparel Group Inc., predicting Jones’ customers will buy fewer than their typical five to six outfits this season. “We’re not approaching this from a sales point of view. It’s about helping our customer fall back in love with her wardrobe, then add a few key seasonal pieces to maximize and reinvigorate what they have.”

The 12-part monthly series of 3.5-minute Webisodes for 2009 launches online at jny.com in January and, in March, Boston will appear at in-store events featuring the “JNY Style Miles” theme.

“In today’s economic environment, we’re all digging deep to do more with what we have, but that does not mean style must suffer due to a limited clothing budget,” Boston said. “Women don’t run out of clothes; they run out of ideas.”

Boston filmed the first three episodes of the online series last Friday in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Two of them featured real Jones New York customers, identified through Jones’ coordinator database, whom Boston first dresses with new combinations of outfits from their existing closets — extending their “JNY Style Miles” and then recommends a few new items from Jones New York’s spring line to mix in. The concept resembles “Closet Cases with Lloyd Boston,” which is debuting this spring on the Fine Living Network.

Additional episodes will be filmed in 2009, to react to the changing economic conditions, said a spokeswoman for Jones. Future topics will include Boston shopping on the better floor of a department store with a real Jones customer and Boston taking another woman to the tailor to alter parts of her wardrobe.

The episodes will play on jny.com, which has had about 50,000 hits per month since it launched e-commerce in September, according to a Jones spokeswoman. The content might also appear on blogs and other Web sites with similar goals.

The company declined to comment on the cost of producing the Webisodes, but said the general advertising budget had been pulled back a bit.