PLANO, Texas — J.C. Penney has launched its latest exclusive brand, Project Runway, inspired by the Lifetime Emmy-nominated show.
Now available in more than 500 stores and online, the women’s apparel line has kicked things off with a summer preview collection showcasing designs inspired by season 15 winner Erin Robertson, with the full assortment planned for Sept. 8. J.C. Penney has also been confirmed as the exclusive retailer partner for “Project Runway” seasons 16 and 17 and “Project Runway All Stars” season 7.
“Millions of viewers aspire to emulate the fashion-forward looks first conceptualized during a ‘Project Runway’ episode,” said John Tighe, chief merchant for J.C. Penney. “This strategic collaboration enables us to work directly with up-and-coming design talent from ‘Project Runway’ and increase our assortment of contemporary apparel, while gaining a fresh perspective on what women are seeking when curating the ultimate wardrobe.”
The Project Runway brand assortment is a mix of contemporary and street style looks with one-shoulder dresses, pencil skirts and cold-shoulder blouses that mix patterns and textures. In September, the assortment will highlight sport luxe details with lace-up accents, hardware embellishments and dramatic sleeves on pieces that include off-the-shoulder bomber jackets, wide-leg track pants and fashion sweatshirts in rose, burgundy and black. The Project Runway collection at J.C. Penney will be prominently displayed in the women's fashion area near the main entrance of select stores.
“This partnership with J.C. Penney is one of our biggest retail collaborations since the series first began more than a decade ago,” said Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of the Weinstein Company. "It also marks the first time the entire ‘Project Runway’ franchise has partnered with a leading, national retailer and introduced a line of ‘Project Runway’ clothing that will be available year-round."
Throughout each season of ‘Project Runway’ and ‘Project Runway All Stars,’ the retailer will sponsor a design challenge. The winners of the J.C. Penney design challenge will have a special, limited-edition run of their winning design produced in New York, which will be immediately available to the public at JCPenney.com, and in select stores the following morning. Each season winner will also have the chance to collaborate with J.C. Penney on a capsule collection for the Project Runway brand, giving the designers an opportunity to make their style and aesthetic available to fans nationwide “at prices that enable more women to obtain runway-inspired fashion,” according to the retailer.
For the entire season of ‘Project Runway All Stars,’ J.C. Penney plans to translate the winning look from every episode into garments that will be available exclusively on JCPenney.com every week. Making these designs immediately available is one way the company is demonstrating its commitment to delivering sought-after apparel on a faster production timeline.
Each show will feature a J.C. Penney accessory wall, showcasing a curated selection of shoes, handbags, fashion accessories and jewelry from the retailer’s private brands such as Liz Claiborne, Mixit, a.n.a. and Worthington. In every episode, designers will be encouraged to complete their runway look using accessories displayed on the accessory wall, thereby giving the retailer’s private brand portfolio added exposure.
The company has also launched an integrated marketing campaign that includes dedicated ‘Project Runway’ television spots, and is spotlighting the collection through a dedicated microsite at jcp.com/projectrunway.