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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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!