The retailer will now feature select looks from Project Runway.

In a move to beef up its women’s contemporary apparel offerings — and show it can do limited fast-fashion runs — J.C. Penney is now the exclusive retailer partner for select “Project Runway” seasons.

The mass retailer said it is now the partner for “Project Runway” seasons 16 and 17, and for “Project Runway All Stars” season 7. As part of the partnership, J.C. Penney now has in its stores a summer preview collection of designs inspired by season 15 winner Erin Robertson. The full assortment will be in stores on Sept. 8. The preview collection is now in 500 J.C. Penney doors and at

John Tighe, chief merchant for the retailer, said, “This strategic collaboration enables us to work directly with up-and-coming design talent from ‘Project Runway’ and increase our assortment of contemporary apparel, while gaining a fresh perspective on what women are seeking when curating the ultimate wardrobe.”

Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Co., said the partnership is one of its biggest retail collaborations since the series began over a decade ago. He also said, “It also marks the first time the entire ‘Project Runway’ franchise has partnered with a leading, national retailer and introduced a line of ‘Project Runway’ clothing that will be available year-round.”

The assortment in the preview collection comprises a mix of contemporary and street-style looks that include one-shoulder dresses, pencil skirts and cold-shoulder blouses. In September, the line will include sport luxe details with lace-up accents, hardware embellishments and “drama” sleeves on select designs that include off-the shoulder bomber jackets, wide-leg track pants and fashion sweatshirts.

The retailer said the new collection will be prominently located in the women’s fashion section near the main entrance of select stores.

Connected to the partnership, J.C. Penney will sponsor a design challenge throughout each season of the two shows. The winners of the challenge will have a special limited-edition run of their winning design available on the retailer’s web site and in select stores. The winning design will be produced in New York City. The retailer said each season’s winner will also have the chance to collaborate with J.C. Penney on a capsule collection for the “Project Runway” brand.

Further, the retailer said that during the entire season of “Project Runway All Stars,” it plans to “translate the winning look” from each episode into apparel options available only on

The retailer said, “Making these designs immediately available in one way the company is demonstrating its commitment to delivering sought after apparel on a faster production timeline.”

Each show in turn will also showcase “The J.C. Penney Accessory Wall” that features a selection of shoes, handbags, fashion accessories and jewelry from a variety of brands that include Liz Claiborne, A.n.a., Mixit and Worthington.