Sunday, January 3, 2010


Garment District, NYC
Words, Images Judith Ecochard

The 'mid tier' JC Penney department store is roping in more fashion forward types, these days---with exclusive labels by well known designers joining a corral of staple labels.

Smart move.

What interests us the most are the private labels like…

She Said, I ♥ Ronson (by rock spawn Charlotte Ronson that has sold very well), and junior brand Olsenboye- by those successful celebs Ashley and Mary Kate—with a full out launch collection for Spring 2010 (Priced $20-$50)…that’s travel themed by teens around the world.

We got first dibs at a recent preview=== set up in five sections.

In the first area “Draw The Line” we saw a lot of sophisticated graphics and blown up B/W prints.

We liked this slim sheath…a classic silhouette.

Animal prints for skirts with neutral tone tops.

The next group, dubbed “New Innocence” served up casual daywear.

Spencer jacket in an acid wash

Denim every which way (distressed, boyfriend trends still strong though we were never fans), cute tops and pastel summer separates.

The last RTW section "American Spirit," was hung up…for the media types skilled at “shopping the racks.”

This assortment of trendy garb had a lot of terrific pieces.

Ethnic Prints

Tops for us…

Charlotte Ronson’s I ♥ Charlotte Ronson leather jacket…with hardware embellishments edged up with zippers for all of $60.

Plus selections from sexy design house BeBe’s Bisou Bisou.

Nicole by Nicole Miller (a JCP exclusive) makes tailored shorts that resemble pairs we saw for 3x the price.

The classic trench well done.

Plaid-elegant alternative to Beige

And it’s multi functional ----with zip-off sleeves. We’ve seen these practical elements of Actionwear creep into the fashion market ---via details and fabrics.

A She Said Missoni-ish dress.

"Can’t Afford To Miss" ---are inexpensive accessories…straw fedoras, statement necklaces, and mock skin sandals, shoes and satchels…in Croc, python and lizard.

Big bangle bracelet, caged sandals and pointy toe pumps were scattered throughput the display.

Top looks kicker wise also included Nine & Co. and Bisou Bisou’s multi-strap peep toe, stacked heel samples.

Gladiators with metal details.

Flats with a boho feel...

Shapewear is a growing category. JC Penney has tops and bottoms with slimming lining in the key spots…coined “Flexees.”

We also saw some workout clothes (Xersion) made from moisture wicking materials. We thought the tanks with interior shelf bras and matching bottoms could hold their own against big name brands.

Truth be told, we’ve never been to a JC Penney before this preview.

But we saw enough at this presentation of RTW for Spring--- that we thought was on trend, wearable, and well made....that we strolled a few blocks away to see the company’s store in the bustling midtown Manhattan mall, Herald Square.

FYI: The above starts shipping mid January....