Among the names on the preliminary lineup recently released by Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week were a few new names and one eye-catching retail brand: J.Crew.
The preliminary lineup serves as a way for MBFW organizers to build buzz around the major names planning show this season as part of Lincoln Center's lineup -- from Diane von Furstenberg and Michael Kors to Donna Karan and Derek Lam -- and also highlights the new additions to the season's roster. This September, the new names planning to show in the tents include Honor, Pink Tartan, and EMERSON, among others, as well as J.Crew.
In a release, Lisa Hollada, the manager of brand experience marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA, said, "This season's diverse lineup of designers is a testament to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and Lincoln Center's ability to create a world stage for the fashion industry to showcase everyone from well established brands to future stars."
In recent seasons, J.Crew has made major attempts to up its fashion ante in staging full-blown presentations each season to debut its newest collections. In March, the label debuted its Fall 2011 collection downtown at Industria Studios, where womenswear designer Marissa Webb cited inspirations that ranged from "The Great Gatsby" to "Bonnie & Clyde." All in all, the affair felt exactly like any presentation one might see during Fashion Week -- complete with top-level editors and fashion-forward tastemakers -- except that it fell outside the regular calendar, possibly to accommodate rolling J.Crew's production schedule.
Now, with J.Crew serving as a partner in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (including coordinating special collaborations with the Fund winners), it seems J.Crew is making a very deliberate move to elbow its way deeper into the high-fashion market overall.