Tag Archives: Black Fleece store

Jill Biden Inauguration Dress on its Way, Brooks Brothers Cuts Prices on Black Fleece

Hello-Hello and Happy Friday everyone!

In all candor, sometimes we wonder about this proclamation of happiness for ‘the weekend,’ when in reality we frequently work on the weekend.  Both daze days.  Yet from a psychological perspective, things are a tad more relaxed here at the Prepatorium, and unless we have functions, we dress in business casual.  So we do greet the approaching weekend with a bit of a boost for the spirit; we hope you face yours with this sense of an anticipatory smile for your heart as well.

Today we start with the Black Fleece standalone store, now open in the Village.

George Chinsee/WWD

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

The new shop by Brooks Brothers features the full men’s and women’s collections created by TP’s favorite designer (ummm….not) Thom Browne.  We are now going to be completely crass in our discussion of things related to that nasty “M word,” and tell you that the bigger story IOHO is Black Fleece price points being lowered.  According to this column in WWD (Women’s Wear Daily):

“Prices for the Thom Browne-designed line have been dropped significantly — a men’s suit that formerly retailed for $2,700 can now be had for $1,900 and women’s prices have dropped in tandem — reflecting the “friendlier” exchange rate of the euro for the Italy-produced collection.

“There’s new pricing for spring,” revealed Claudio Del Vecchio, Brooks Bros.’ chief executive officer. “But we didn’t change the quality or the make of the men’s suits.”

We have been vocal in our fondness for several of looks in the current group, including the Navy Pinstripe separates.

Not all prices are changing: the men’s shirts and toes remain at $150 and higher. The Black Fleece collection is also being offered in an enhanced setting at the Brooks flagship on Madison Avenue, currently being refurbished.

George Chinsee/WWD

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

Perhaps the best news in the story is that the company is not encountering the same wretched sales numbers as so many other retailers:

“We’re not a designer brand like Armani or Prada, we’re more of a family brand” with lower-than-luxury prices. “We feel we’re in the right place for when this is over. It’s a good time to be Brooks Bros.”

That comes from Claudio Del Vecchio, Brooks Brothers’ CEO.

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There is news today of another popular Inauguration look being made available to the masses.  The always brilliant Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan has the scoop at the Journal’s Heard on the Runway blog.  In her Thursday column Ms. Tan reports that Milly will re-introduce the dress worn by Dr. Jill Biden for the Inauguration and Luncheon.  Below, the dress is barely visible on the far left.

Harry Hamburg/Pool

PHOTO: Harry Hamburg/Pool

The Houndstooth Wool Dress is still available at Saks, with a broad range of sizes offered, at $360.

As this is one of TP’s favorite lines, we are ecstatic to learn price points are also dropping at Milly! According to Ms. Tan’s story, company founder Michelle Smith feels she had little choice in this area:

“… after major retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue slashed prices by as much as 70% to get consumers to spend.”

“It’s disappointing, it’s frustrating but, what can you do?” says Ms. Smith…”

We are not going to be disingenuous and pretend sadness at this action, for we do love our Milly!

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We have posted previously about the upcoming Alexander McQueen for Target Collection, most recently on Tuesday of this week, sharing a sneak peek at pieces from the line.  The line is receiving substantial buzz, not all of it laudatory.  Below, another look from the group, with thanks to the good folks at Nylon:

Courtesy Target via Nylon

Courtesy Target via Nylon

In this column yesterday for the Times, writer Eric Wilson asks “But How Will It Play in Tulsa?

“Tapping Mr. McQueen to design a collection seems a little odd even for Target, which has branded itself as a design maverick, given the times.”

Courtesy Target via Nylon

Courtesy Target via Nylon

Mr. Wilson goes on to say:

“The McQ clothes are on average more expensive, from $19.99 to $129.99, than Target’s prior fashion collaborations, and certainly not as cheerful as anything Isaac Mizrahi would have considered.”

Interesting points, indeed.  While the look is assuredly not for us, we say ‘good for the Boutique’ in reaching out to a different demo; we aren’t convinced the McQueen collection will be a strong seller, but hopefully we will be wrong on this front.

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We close with a “Pretty in Pink” for your perusal, another offering from the Lilly Pulitzer Stationery & Gift line due at the Princess next week.

Lilly Pulitzer at PreppyPrincess.com

Lilly Pulitzer at PreppyPrincess.com

Now if we could plant that in our Diet Coke (or other libation…heh-heh), our day would be infinitely improved!  The Drink Umbrellas are available for pre-ordering now!

On that cheery note, until next time!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Sign of the Times

Is ALL Black Fleece on Sale? Also, Obama Fashion Bailout?

Hello-Hello everyone…and happy It’s-Almost-the-Weekend-Day!

Today we start with one of TP’s favorite designers (regular readers know the truth), Thom Browne. Yes, he of the cropped pants on men’s suits, including his Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Collection. Among other things.

First off, next week Mr. Browne makes his European debut, presenting his line in Italy for the first time.

Daniel Garriga/WWD

PHOTO: Daniel Garriga/WWD

And in other Thom Browne news (heh-heh), an update on the standalone Black Fleece store in the West Village from the the eagle-eyed staff at Racked.com. They have been monitoring things at the site and reported yesterday that after months of inactivity, they saw movement!

“After months of darkness, the lights have come on inside of the corner store and it looks as though they are working on painting the walls and refinishing the floor.”

Below left, the Black Fleece Embroidered Trouser at Brooks, discounted a whopping 75% to a mere $375; but remember, it is only a bargain if Mr. Wonderful prefers flood pants.  On the right, a far more enticing item, the Men’s Cashmere Argyle Sweater, 50% off its original selling price, now $500.

backfleecemens

men-apparel-812-zoom

Because we so care about proper maintenance of your trust fund, we scoured all the Black Fleece we had time for, and only discovered one item that was *not* on sale.  And that is….?  The Triple Guard Stripe tie, described this way on the site: As worn by Jennifer Aniston on the cover of the January 2009 GQ magazine.” Indeed. Was this not Ms. Aniston’s entire wardrobe for that photo?

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Actually, the same tie is used with a look we happen to love, the Women’s Black Fleece Classic Wool Jacket. This will not surprise frequent blog visitors as we have been vocal about our fond feelings for many of Mr. Browne’s women’s designs.  This lush jacket is now at $950, half of the original selling price.

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

We were more-than-surprised to see something unusual on sale at Brooks: their fragrances for Men and Women.  On the Shock-O-Meter, this is up there with the Saks Designer Jewelry sale.  Seriously.

Çourtesy Brooks Brothers

Çourtesy Brooks Brothers

We have *never* seen fragrances on sale at Brooks, so this clearly goes in the SOTT (Sign of the Times) category.  In this post we did talk about the three Men’s scents remaining in the line, but there was no guarantee they would be carried indefinitely.

And in another SOTT, we give you this:

Saks Designer Sale

Saks Designer Sale

80% Off at Saks?????

Please excuse us while we locate an ice pick to thrust directly between the eyeballs.  At the very least we require a Prozac Latte just to carry on. The thought of Saks disappearing from our horizon is unbearable. (Yes, we realize there are far more tragic things in the world, but they are not what TP elects to discuss in this blog.) We shall simply operate under the dum spiro, spero philosophy.

Next SOTT:  Polo Ralph Lauren is also pushing deeper discounts, “Up to 70% Off” original prices.  This Cashmere Turtleneck Dress looks snuggly and chic, and at only $129 it could be a great investment piece.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

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This could easily be a SOTT: A story in today’s Times headlined “U.S. Fashion’s One-Woman Bailout?” accompanied by this photo montage:

See below

photo credits below

Reporter Guy Trebay does an excellent job looking at Michelle Obama and her impact on the fashion industry, making for a great read.  There are also several online photo slide shows and interactive features  on the topic of First Ladies and Fashion (including inaugural gowns) worthy of your time.

And speaking of same, the marketing minds at retailer White House/Black Market have unveiled four sketches of Inaugural designs for the next First Lady.

Courtesy White House/Black Market

Courtesy White House/Black Market

The four gowns can be seen starting tomorrow at WHBM’s Union Station mini-store, and better yet, they are being used as a fundraiser for Clothes off our Back.

As explained in WWD’s story on the promotional effort:

“Back in June, we were thrust into the spotlight when Mrs. Obama wore us on ‘The View,’ and since then we’ve been on a journey with her and we wanted to take her to the inauguration,” said brand president Donna Noce. “Our tag line is ‘From Our White House to Yours.’”

The dresses are named The Abigail, The Eleanor, The Jackie and The Ladybird, and are all handmade, in Size 8.

Photo credits for the Michelle Obama NY Times montage: Darren McCollester/Getty Images; Ron Edmonds/Associated Press; Rick Wilking/Reuters/Corbis

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Sign of the Times