In an interesting move, J.Crew has debuted a line of upscale couture, dubbed the “J.Crew Collection.” The collection consists of clothing and accessories that still fall within the J.Crew aesthetic, but are constructed of luxury materials.
The website describes the need for this line after their designer were “searching for those to-die-for pieces and not being able to find them”. Current items include the Islington plaid poncho, priced at $1,195, which is cut and draped from a prestigious Italian mill. In addition, they have a cropped lamb jacket for $2,500 that would make Rachel Zoe scream, “I die!” as well as a $695 lacey top made from pure French Riechers Marescot lace. The merchandise will be updated seasonally and available in limited quantities.
This is a very risky move for the clothing company. In recent years, many designers have seen the benefit of taking their creations and reworking them to be accessible and affordable to the common shopper. For example, we’ve seen Zac Posen create a limited edition line for Target and Vera Wang launch “Simply Vera“ for Kohl’s.
Especially in these shaky economic times, it seems like a bizarre choice. J.Crew is known for their fantastically chic and preppy wares and not for haute couture. Though the pieces are gorgeous, I cannot imagine many fashionistas would be willing to shell out thousands of dollars for a coat or handbag from a J.Crew store. Simply stated, the kind of people who purchase designer apparel aren’t aren’t the kind of people who shop at J.Crew.
The J.Crew collection is only available through their jcrew.com website, catalog, and at their flagship store located at 1035 Madison in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.