Penney’s Launches Exclusive Sports Illustration Collection – WWD

Relationship between JC Penney and Authentic brand group keep digging.

On Tuesday, during the Sports Illustrated Awards in Florida, the company held a half-time fashion show to showcase its exclusive new collection: Sports Illustrated for JC Penney. Sports-themed lifestyle collections for men, women and kids will hit Penney stores January 6.

In September, ABG and Penney’s teamed up to launch the Juicy by Juicy Couture collection of women’s and children’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Forever 21 is expected to be added to the mix later this month with additional ABG brands coming online next year.

ABG, the brand management company, owns more than 30 brands including Sports Illustrated, Reebok and others. It also has a joint venture with Simon Property Group called SPARC, which owns Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer, Nautica, Forever 21, Lucky Brand and Aéropostale. ABG is helping to consolidate sales at Penney’s, which was acquired by Simon and Brookfield Asset Management following bankruptcy last year.

Dana Carpenter, ABG’s executive vice president of entertainment, said that since the company bought Sports Illustrated about two and a half years ago for $110 million, there have been “a number of collaborations” related to the product including includes Nasty Gal for active women’s wear. and sports, Unknwn for a t-shirt and hoodie in tribute to brand co-owner LeBron James, and Mitchell & Ness for a Ts line with SI covers. There is also a women’s swimwear collection called SI Swim launching in summer 2020.

But unlike capsule collections, the deal with Penney’s is long-term covering several categories, Carpenter said.

Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president and chief business officer of Penney’s, says that whenever a retailer adds a new brand, they need to fill in the gaps in assortment. “We have a mix of private and national brands,” she says, “but this offers a great mix of sport and style.” Among the brands sold at the store are Champion, Fila, Adidas, Puma and private label Xersion.

She said the design team at Penney’s, which created the collection, had “reviewed archival moments” from SI’s history and came up with a fresh take on a “modern aesthetic”.

That includes performance-oriented products like leggings and crop tops, sports bras, women’s jackets and hoodies, sweatshirts, track pants, shorts, and men’s tanks. The kids touts are the same way, offering sweatshirts, Ts jackets and jackets for boys and girls.

Fabrics include stretch knits, centurion perforated mesh, soft felts, fleece and cotton with subtle SI branding and designs with a classic flair designed to mix and match.

Prices range from $25 to $100. The collections will be available in large and tall sizes for women and men, she said.

For the launch, all 500+ stores will feature women’s and men’s lines with 300 stores carrying high-end, tall and children’s collections. Footwear will be added to half of the stores next spring.

In stores, Wlazlo said the clothing line will be sold in gender-specific divisions – so men’s clothing is in the men’s section – although they may be grouped in some stores. certain.

Carpenter said the idea to debut the collection during the annual Sports Illustrated Awards at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., on Tuesday was made out of an interest in the event that Beauty can Sports of the year will also be revealed.

“It went completely digital last year and will launch this year,” she said. “We were thinking of doing a half-day fashion show to create excitement before the launch on January 6. We didn’t just want to launch a collection in the new year and thought this is it. It’s a really unique way to tie everything together.”

The show will feature a runway walk with a diverse cast of models that will be streamed The collection will also be supported by a campaign run by David Roemer on New York’s Roosevelt Island starring of a cast that includes SI Swim Search model Ally Courtnall.

Carpenter says that when ABG bought SI, it was a magazine and content producer, but it has since expanded into “a lot of verticals” including major sporting events like the Super Bowl and auto racing. Formula 1. “Products and events are a big part,” says Carpenter.

Wlazlo says the collection will be seasonally refreshed by Penney’s design team throughout the year, and she hopes that the collection will be among the company’s best performers.

In addition to Juicy, Forever 21 and the SI collection, Penney’s also has a longstanding relationship with Shaquille O’Neal, another ABG partner brand, which is expanding, she said. On Tuesday, the retailer added large and tall casual wear to Shaq XLG’s tailored clothing line.

When deciding to add a new brand to its mix, Wlazlo says, the brand needs to be “unique” and fill a gap in that type of brand. “We’re not just going to add any brands,” she said. “It needs to be complementary, not duplicated.”

Carpenter added: “This is something that we believe has footing to grow in a number of product categories such as footwear and accessories. It is not ephemeral. “

Penney’s has been working to strengthen its presence in the face of increased competition from Kohl’s and Target. During the pandemic, the Plano, Texas-based retailer was close to liquidation but was bankrupted in December 2020 by Simon and Brookfield, which acquired retail properties and controls his act. Simon and Brookfield need the Penney stores to stay open to keep other tenants in the mall and help potential tenants sign leases. Penney’s first mortgage lenders, many of whom also financed debtors, took over a real estate business that included 160 real estate locations and six properties. distribution center. A huge debt was wiped off Penney’s books through a transfer of ownership. Penney’s Launches Exclusive Sports Illustration Collection – WWD


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