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J.C. Penney, Prabal Gurung Partner on Apparel Collection

Retail Dive | February 17, 2023

J.C. Penney has found a surprising partner in fashion designer Prabal Gurung.

The department store on Thursday announced its collaboration with Gurung on a collection dubbed “iMPOWER by Prababl Gurung for JCPenney.” It includes a 25-piece, size-inclusive collection of dresses and jumpsuits available this spring for a limited time. The collection drops on March 2 at midnight, Central Standard Time. All pieces are priced under $100.

“This collection is a celebration of diversity, inclusion and optimism and is an ode to the women who have held my hand and helped me grow,” Gurung said in a statement. “To me, beauty is inclusion in every size, every color, and that is the world I live in and the world I wanted to create with this collection.”

Apparel sizes range from XS to 3X and 2 to 24W, according to a J.C. Penney spokesperson.

The marketing campaign for the collection was done by J.C. Penney’s in-house creative agency and features a number of women including Nyakio Grieco, co-founder of Thirteen Lune, Sara Happ, founder of Sara Happ Cosmetics, Cece Meadows, founder and CEO of Prados Beauty, singer-songwriter Varsha Thapa, model Shalom Harlow, and film student and philanthropist Natalia Bryant.

While this appears to be a bold move to bring in a new customer base with the aid of a luxury designer, J.C. Penney has made recent efforts to expand its apparel and accessory offerings. This past fall it launched the western-inspired Frye and Co., and last April introduced a collection inspired by Marilyn Monroe. Last year, the retailer also introduced its private label men’s casualwear line, Mutual Weave.

Gurung is a New York-based, award-winning designer who worked with Cynthia Rowley’s design and production teams, and as the design director at Bill Blass before launching his namesake collection. Gurung is currently vice chair of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

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