J.Crew unveiling first activewear collection
J.Crew is partnering with New Balance on an activewear collection.
The New Balance x J.Crew women’s active line launched on Tuesday (04Oct16), and will be expanded to include a menswear range next year (17).
J.Crew’s chairman and chief executive officer Mickey Drexler said the trend for activewear is growing steadily and he believes the retailer, which is helmed by creative director Jenna Lyons, will be able to fill a gap in the market with the new line.
“We’ve had a really strong, successful relationship with New Balance working on collaborations, exclusive sneakers and colours, etc,” Drexler told WWD, adding that New Balance sneakers have been sold at J. Crew since 2005. “So it seemed to be a natural opportunity to expand into the active business.”
The line features 20 styles at the moment, including sneakers, leggings, sports bras, shorts, tank tops, short and jackets. Prices range from a $15 (£12) headband to a $200 (£158) soft-shell jacket.
When it came to creating the line, Drexler shares that it was critical J.Crew selected the right partner.
“We did not have the expertise to do this alone,” he said. “We have style sense and quality sense. But we didn’t have the technical sense in getting it done. It’s really important for us to do it - and to do it right.”
Though Drexler is adamant shoppers shouldn’t compare J.Crew’s offering to the sportswear currently available. He claims the clothing has been designed with true performance in mind, with the activewear crafted using sturdy fabrics.
“You can do yoga, cycling, kickboxing. This is the real stuff. It’s performance along with style,” he explained.
The collection will be sold on both J.Crew and New Balance’s websites, in 35 of J. Crew’s stores in the United States as well as in London and in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. If the range is successful, J.Crew will roll it out into more of its 287 stores across America.