“Our customers told us it was the right time,” J Brand CEO Jeff Rudes told us, explaining, before we could even ask, why the label decided to make its fashion week debut yesterday. And what a polished, compelling debut it was.
Staged at the sleek Swiss Institute Contemporary Art in SoHo, an A-list model casting stood on blocks in a grid pattern wearing J Brand’s fall 2013 ready-to-wear collection mixed with the denim that the label is beloved for. To be honest, I didn’t know much about J Brand beyond its jeans (which, full disclosure, I’m pretty devoted to–they make your ass look fantastic). J Brand launched apparel just last year without a lot of buzz–perhaps intentionally, so the brand could make a real splash with this collection. These are pieces that should fit nicely in the J Brand denim-girl’s closet (a girl who obviously knows the value of a good staple): A boxy navy shearling biker jacket with just the right amount of slouch and subtle zipper detailing; luxe heavy knits balanced out with skinny leather jeans; an appealing hybrid palazzo-menswear-style pant touted as the “tailored sister of boyfriend jeans.” I especially liked a restrained black jumpsuit.
These are separates that look “now” (the designers have mastered that whole Céline-esque boxy silhouette) but also look classic enough to live in your closet for several seasons. J Brand sells jeans like hotcakes–the ready-to-wear should move at a pretty good clip at retail as well.