Tuesday, August 14, 2007

J. Crew Collection

If you've shopped J.Crew the past several years, odds are you've noticed something about its price points - namely that they've been creeping up, up and up. Well perhaps sick of answering to why or wanting in on the higher-end market, or a bit of both, it is launching J.Crew Collection, a higher end, limited edition luxe line of wares and accessories that will be available on its site and in a stand-alone Madison Avenue boutique.

"As we looked at the market, we said we're going to keep stepping up quality, design and detailing and see if we meet with any kind of [price] resistance," said Millard Drexler, chairman and ceo of J. Crew Group. "Whenever we did this, customers kept buying and liking it more. They still are, and want more of the best. For us, it's a natural opportunity...The best costs too much." Just how much? currently, the collection, ranges from $23 for a silk twill sash belt to $1950 for a silk gown.

It's not only a different label though, that sets these items apart from J.Crew's mass line. Unusual prints, colors and details (like the Library Print Baby Dolly, $225 at right) and better fabrics and fits will explain its higher prices and appeal. To achieve this, the company has established "partnerships with couture beader Shameeza, Italian print house Ratti, leather manufacturer Borge Garveri and Clerici duchesse satin, which has provided fabric for Vera Wang and Chanel," reports WWD.

Says the store, "[It's] a natural evolution, representing a grown-up version of J. Crew's 'classics with a twist' style — updated with an emphasis on elevated quality and originality."