Originally Posted by arc
If you guys are worried about this degrading the exclusivity of your brands, you need to find more exclusive brands.
I'm not so sure JCrew collabs are an attempt to bring those brands to the mainstream, as it is a way of seeking the approval of fashionistas. Most of those collabs, aside from more basic items like Levis and Topsiders, are very hard to find in most stores unless you're near certain flagship stores. On SF, we discuss JCrew carrying Alden's. With friends, I simply hear, "damn, JCrew carries some carry expensive shoes!" What the company really did in the last half of the decade was to really woo the media, icon, celebrities, and other insiders of the fashion world. Once these people found it acceptable, even cool, to rock JCrew, it took off with the masses. The idea wasn't really to sell boatloads of Aldens, as it was more to promote the popularity longwing bluchers. What they end up selling a boatload of are their own JCrew branded Gifford shoes or even the lower end rubber-soled bluchers (although maybe these have been discontinued). I really haven't heard anybody who wasn't already a clotheshorse prior to rediscovering JCrew actually understand any of these items. For most, those collab items are merely a reference for the styles and looks they represent. To them, Belstaffs are the biker jackets. Red Wings are the shoes for the lumberjack look. Barbours are the fancy barn jackets. Longwings and wingtips are all oxfords. Especially irritating, my wife refers to any shoe with brogueing as an oxford. Since they're popular with women now, she's in the market for a pair of "oxfords" too. So I wouldn't worry about these collaboration brands being too mainstream.