In February JCPenney launched its new American Living
label, a collection of Americana-infused women's, men's, and children's apparel and housewares masterminded by Ralph Lauren and his Global Concepts division.
I love the music they use in the The American Living commercials
directed by Bruce Weber, who has worked on other campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Abercrombie & Fitch. (FYI, the music is by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, case you're curious.)
But aside from that, I am not loving much else about this collection. The styles look outdated rather than classic, and everything is too expensive (which must explain the recent price cuts I've been noticing).
In fact, According to The New York Times
, the American Living collection costs about 15 percent more than the highest-priced private labels now sold by Penney under brands like Concepts by Claiborne, Joneswear and Liz & Co.
For example, a woman’s seersucker skirt
costs $70; a distressed jean jacket
costs $100; and a large leather hobo
I'm also not too keen on the brand's rustic bald-eagle-and-flag logo. A bit contrived, don't you think?
So my gut tells me this collection will be a major flop with shoppers. But if it lasts, at least American Living will provide a nice...er...counterpoint to Penney's upcoming Fabulosity