J. Press York Street is being reimagined for spring.
A little over a year after parting ways with consulting creative directors Shimon and Ariel Ovadia, who designed the younger-skewed Ivy League-inspired line for four seasons, J. Press’ parent company, Onward Kashiyama, said it will “absorb” the collection into its flagship brand. York Street will retain its younger edge, but will now become a sub-label called J. Press Blue. It will be designed by J. Press’ creative director, Mikito Takeshima, who joined the brand in late 2014.
“We started to see a shift in customer buying habits, with a growing percentage shopping both brands. The decision to combine the businesses just made the most sense,” said Onward USA president Takashi Sudo.
The newly combined J. Press/J. Press Blue collection will be shown at Liberty Fashion & Lifestyle Fairs at Pier 94 in New York City on July 20 to 22. The collection draws influence from British preppy style with the tailored clothing inspired by Sloane Ranger, a reference to the young, upper-class in London, while the sportswear is skewed to the more recreational side of city life.
The J. Press York Street store on Bleecker Street will remain and retain that name as a nod to the company’s first store on York Street in New Haven, Conn., in 1902, but will now carry primarily the new Blue collection.
As reported, J. Press in December named Sudo to the post of president and his plans call for expanding the brand in the U.S. by adding five to 10 stores in key American cities over the next five years with New York City, San Francisco and Chicago tops on his list. Last January, J. Press shuttered its Madison Avenue store when the landlord renovated the building, forcing the unit to close its doors. The company is still looking for the right location to return to Midtown.
In other Onward Kashiyama news, the Tokyo-based company will bring its Made in Japan tailored clothing label — Gotairiku — to the Liberty trade show later this month. Gotairiku was founded in Japan in 1992 and its name means “the five continents.”
According to Sudo, “While Japanese sportswear has had huge success in the United States, there is a large white space in the tailored market, which we intend to help define. Tailored clothing has such a rich history in Japan as the suit has always been the cornerstone of a man’s wardrobe, yet until now, no one has attempted to penetrate the U.S. market, still dominated by Italian brands.”
Gotairiku offers a Japanese aesthetic with British, French, American and Italian influences, the company said. Suits will be priced at $1,200 to $1,700; dress shirts from $145 to $185 and neckwear from $115 to $145.