Target has GO International that showcases established designers at a cheaper and more masses-friendly level. Wal-Mart features Miley and Max Azaria in its clothing section. K-Mart has Disney Channel what's-her-face designing for its junior clothing. Kohl's has partnered with Vera Wang for all sorts of merchandise. All these lower-rung stores are trying to transcend, or at least add to, their reputation for typical designs and non-fashion forwardness in their clothing departments.
It is odd to see J. Crew take a similar strategy. The fairly new J. Crew Collection is the company's version of "couture." There is even a new J. Crew store featuring these higher quality goods on Fifth Ave. I can see certain consumers at stores like Target and Wal-Mart buying slightly more expensive clothes from a known name, but how about J. Crew customers...will they make they jump from $50 to $500? On both levels, this strategy is an attempt to pull in new customers. Will J. Crew be able to attract customers when they're competing with established and respected fashion houses that sell real couture? I like some of the looks from the J. Crew collection, but could never see myself splurging on something with a J. Crew label.