20 May, 2011


i have such mixed feelings about the huge trend of "designer collaborations". on the one hand, i think they're smart from a business point of view- creating a limited edition collection creates buzz around both brands, and can get shoppers into the stores at a specific time of the year or quarter, when maybe the retailer hasn't had such great sales in the past.

so, on that tip, it's pretty good.

from a consumer's point of view, i think it's more of a mixed bag- it does give fashion lovers a chance to buy products designed by huge talents that they otherwise wouldn't have access to. great. however, more often than not, the quality is so compromised that the clothes are very flash-n-the-pan, wear-a-couple-of-times-and-toss-out..... and are very over priced for what are essentially impulse buys.

on that note, i want to point out to you prabal gurung's collection for j. crew

this is a collab that i feel pretty good about. first of all, it's a small. doing 6-8 pieces is a nice little mini-collection, rather than a huge marketing and media event (like this).

secondly, it's a well-known, mid-market retailer (j. crew) collaborating with a newer, just past "emerging" designer (gurung). the aesthetic that both brands work within compliments one another. it's not a luxury brand combining forces with a company that normally makes something uber predestrian (like this).

and the last thing that i really like about it is the way that it's presented- the lookbook combines pieces of the j. crew main line with the pieces that gurung designed.  they work seamlessly together, and really highlight the way j. crew wants you to think about wearing your clothes- j. crew wants to be the mid-market brand that folks mix with their designer pieces.

so, essentially, i think this little collection is nicely "on brand" for both companies....

the down side?

j. crew only produce 50 pieces of each item. so, twenty four hours after the launch, there are only a handful of items left for sale.

i understand the idea of a hit-it-and-quit-it buzz, but.... cmon. that's just too limited.

(though perhaps it's good that i got to spend the last 30 minutes thinking about the above, rather than suffering over which piece to order.....)

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