J.C. Penney's is set to lauch their new collaboration with Georgina Chapman, Pearl by Georgina Chapman. On March 1, the retailer will open more than 500 boutiques featuring special occasion dresses designed by Chapman, founder of Marchesa.
"I have really enjoyed this challenge," Chapman told WWD, noting she's never before tackled the mass market. "It's amazing what Penney's can achieve at a price point. There's corsetry involved, beautiful laces, beautiful prints."
When asked how much Pearl reflects her work at Marchesa, Chapman replied, "It's got a slightly different attitude, a younger attitude, but it all comes from me. It retains the same sensibility and design aesthetic. I wanted it be fun. So a young girl can put on a dress and imagine she's about to have an incredible night out. I really wanted to reach a larger demographic and larger audience."
"It's definitely something different. It hasn't been done," added Siiri Dougherty, J.C. Penney Co. Inc.'s senior vice president and general merchandise manager of women's apparel. "We have a pretty large dress business and a lot of social occasion, but not as special as this."
Pearl's prices will range from $50 for a lace shell to $250 for a chiffon gown. The initial launch will include 26 styles with an emphasis on prom gowns.
Dougherty said the collection is aimed at social or special occasion, from proms to holiday parties, garden parties, black-ties and summer weddings. "There's a broad range of design, from beautiful long tulle dresses to lace shorts and matching lace jackets. It's absolutely designer-inspired social-occasion dressing," targeting an audience stretching from 17-year-olds to forty somethings.