J. Crew is upping the ante this year for its collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
This story first appeared in the June 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
For the past three years, the retailer has worked with the winners of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award to create capsule collections that have been sold in select J. Crew stores and online. But for 24 hours starting Thursday night, the company will for the first time install a pop-up shop for the merchandise at its store on Prince Street in Manhattan.
Nineteen pieces of women’s apparel and jewelry from the winners, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School, as well as finalists Marc Alary and Juan Carlos Obando will be on display at the store. In addition, the merchandise will be available at nine stores around the world, including J. Crew’s units in London and Hong Kong. The selection ranges from vests, sweatshirts and a tuxedo jacket from Public School to earrings and a brooch from Alary and tiered skirts and a jumpsuit from Obando.
Tom Mora, vice president of women’s design for J. Crew, said the designers were given an open-ended framework — in this case, indigo — and then set loose. The only other requirement was that each designer create a T-shirt. In the case of men’s wear designers Chow and Osborne of Public School, they were asked to turn their attention to women’s wear, which they launched for fall. “We felt like it was a great idea,” Mora said.
He added that with all three, the designs “feel true to them” but also work cohesively with other J. Crew merchandise. The looks have been on presale on the J. Crew site since May 21 and Mora said some of the pieces are already “nearly sold out.”
Jenna Lyons, J. Crew’s creative director, is a juror for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and spearheaded the collaboration effort, which has been a successful way to introduce new customers to both J. Crew and the winning designers. “People who didn’t know the designers learned about them and those who were fans of [the designers] were able to experience J. Crew,” she said.