The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Not Loving American Living for JCPenney

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 The styles look outdated rather than classic, and everything is too expensive (which must explain the recent price cuts I've been noticing).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 costs $115.

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 to Penney's upcoming Fabulosity clothing line.

Well, I certainly don't think it's high fashion, and the prices are high for JCPenney, but some of the clothes are cute and their sale prices seem reasonable enough that I would at least try something. One of those plaid dresses would be cute for a 4th of July BBQ.
#1 RubiaLala (Homepage) on 2008-04-27 09:26 (Reply)
wonder if it's better quality than the RL stuff he designs for kohl's which is stinky.
and anything is better (read "classier") than kimora lee!
#2 maggie z on 2008-04-27 12:32 (Reply)
i agree with RubiaLala (love the name!) - some of the dresses ARE cute and look good for summer. the sale prices are reasonable - who pays retail these days anyway?
#3 pirate jenny on 2008-04-27 12:36 (Reply)
i work at a new concept penney's and even with our well-to-do customer base, american living is NOT selling well. even marked to 75% off clearance, it is still the slowest selling brand. the boxes come labeled "made in cambodia" and every single piece of clothing comes in an individual plastic bag. overall, my store has not been impressed with american living and ralph lauren. disregard for american made clothing promoting american lifestyle? plus disregard for environment? things like this make me lose respect for designers like ralph lauren.
#4 kimm on 2008-06-06 19:54 (Reply)
I work for the AL brand and I believe the prices are too high for JcPenney or even myself! Warning consumers...the quality of the AL brand is the same as the Polo brand for the launch only. The quality will go down soon in order to make profits! And whats up with the categories...shouldnt they first make sure the sportwear is successful then launch categories such as sleepwear, shoes or hand bags??
#5 FashionEbay on 2008-11-12 16:15 (Reply)
I'm impressed with the AL brand at JCP. I think it definitely caters to a different customer and regarding the price, I think its a great value for a quality item. JCP doesn't sell anything at REGULAR price so the $70 seersucker skirt you mention was probably $29.99. Sure you can go to H&M and get items for the same price but it doesn't last like the AL quality.

I've even compared any of the Lauren Missy clothing and for a girl on a budget like myself I can mix and match my AL stuff with my Lauren stuff,which by the way looks very very similar in design.

Give me some AL or Lauren product any day rather than the other grandma stuff that JCP sell. JCP should be honored to carry such a great label that attracts fashionistas on a budget like myself.

Ta ta....
#6 FashionMaven on 2011-09-22 13:43 (Reply)
Leave a comment
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed.
Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.