Juicy Couture, one of the original California contemporary lifestyle brands, might be going on 22 years old, but it’s striving to stay on the cutting edge of youthful fashion with the appointment of celebrity stylist Jamie Mizrahi as creative director.
Mizrahi, who styles celebrities such as Katy Perry, Nicole Richie, Riley Keough, Sasha Lane and Suki Waterhouse, first came on board last year as a consultant for the company, now owned by Authentic Brands Group.
“You pay stylists and celebrities to work with a brand, so why not go straight to the source?” said Nick Woodhouse, president and chief marketing officer of Authentic Brands Group. “Not only does Jamie have a great social following, her clients do too, and with a generation that’s so influenced by celebrity, she sees it all and lives that Juicy lifestyle.” He added, “Juicy has a unique place in the cultural zeitgeist of fashion that few brands have permission to own. It was always a bold and daring brand and we can continue to be disruptive by taking on a more outward lens with Jamie and layer her own sensibility on top of our DNA.”
Said Mizrahi, “I am not trying to reinvent Juicy. It has such a brand identity already — carefree, tongue-in-cheek fashion. What I’m doing is taking the history that is so special and continuing to make it feel fun and wearable by bringing back silhouettes and materials and making them work for the modern woman.”
That includes updating the classic tracksuit in lighter-weight materials in addition to velour and French terry, and broadening out the track category with modern ath-leisure pieces like compression leggings and bodysuits. Mizrahi also mined the archives for some classic Juicy stripes and prints that she brought back in new pieces such as boyfriend shirts and wide-leg trousers. Her purview extends to handbags, footwear, accessories and jewelry as well, all of which will debut in three deliveries for spring 2018. Retail prices for apparel range from $58 to $278.
Mizrahi recalls Juicy Couture being one of the first aspirational brands of her tween years. “Like most people, I remember my first Juicy tracksuit, which I bought at Infinity in Livingston, New Jersey. It was oatmeal-colored waffle material. That girl who first fell in love with Juicy is still my target audience. I’m just trying to get into the mind-set of where she is now.”
Though she’s not a classically trained designer nor did she work her way up on Seventh Avenue to snag the job, Mizrahi said, “In a sense a stylist is a creative director. As a stylist I am guiding people’s eyes, educating them and introducing them to things they normally wouldn’t see. There is no part of my day job that didn’t prepare me to do this.”
Said Sandra Campos, president of Juicy Couture at Global Brands Group, which designs and manufactures the line under a license, “We wanted someone who understands today’s consumers, and Jamie is at the heart of today’s L.A. movement. Thanks in part to Instagram, the consumer today realizes she can be her own stylist, taking the influence of stylists like Jamie.”
Woodhouse said the brand, which is in over 100 countries and 25,000 points of sale, is focused on growing its domestic business, which it relaunched last fall in Bloomingdale’s, followed by Urban Outfitters. “We’re focused on Topshop, Nordstrom and obviously digital. Aritzia and Net-a-porter are potentially interested, and because of the collaboration we did with Vetements, we get the pick of the litter. I wouldn’t rule out another [collaboration] in the future, and there are similar brands who have approached us.”
He said he also wouldn’t rule out pairing with another stylist at one of ABG’s 26 other brands, noting, “Look what’s happening with the influencer economy. They have carved this tremendous business out of loyal followers. It’s been the same with stylists.”