JCPenney is hopping on the European fast-fashion autostrada by teaming up with Mango to put MNG by Mango shops in select Penney stores and online starting Wednesday.
Based in Barcelona, Spain, Mango has more than 1,300 stores in 94 countries but only 12 in the United States, including locations at Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade and Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza. The new deal extends that reach to 77 JCPenney stores, with plans to expand to 600 in the next year. Initially, 13 Penneys in the Los Angeles area — including Glendale Galleria, Fox Hills Mall in Culver City and Del Amo in Torrance — will have MNG by Mango shops. For Penney it's the latest move toward upping its fashion cred, after deals with Sephora, Charlotte Ronson and Liz Claiborne.
Since 2007, Mango has been raising its profile internationally by sprinkling celebrity stardust — first with a design collaboration with Academy Award-winner Penélope Cruz and her sister Monica for a dressed-up collection that featured little black dresses and hats. Scarlett Johansson has been the face of the brand in ad campaigns since last fall. Mango has also collaborated with Americans Adam Lippes and Moises de la Renta, son of Oscar, who designed a T-shirt collection that came out this year.
Like its counterparts H&M and Zara, Mango opts for multiple-season delivery rather than the traditional fall-winter, spring-summer and holiday cycles. MNG by Mango is a lower-priced division of Mango, with a slightly different design output. JCPenney is eagerly following the fast-fashion route with plans to refresh the MNG by Mango selection twice every month.
JCPenney spokeswoman Kate Coultas says one shouldn't confuse fast fashion with fast food. "Fast fashion is not disposable fashion. It is definitely high-quality stylish items with great prices — the latest runway trends," she says. "And fast-fashion contemporary is the fastest growing business right now. What better partner than Mango, an established fast-fashion retailer. We also had great success with our Sephora shop-within-a-shop, and MNG by Mango will be across from Sephora. We want to bring in a customer that hasn't been in JCPenney in awhile or a younger customer."
MNG by Mango aims to appeal to young women on the go, who need sophisticated and career-ready clothes at a favorable price. Tops cost $19 to $29 and dresses are less than $100. Styles include wool suits ($79.92 jackets, $47.92 pants) and sequin tanks ($39.92). More casual looks encompass plaid shirtdresses and knits such as a cable cardigan (each $63.92), along with accessories — shoes, belts and bags.
For shoppers to preview what's coming and get design inspiration, Mango has a blog titled "Keep the Beat" (keepthebeat.mango.com). One recent post featured Cameron Silver, owner of the Melrose Avenue vintage boutique Decades, strolling in Paris, wearing red pants and Pink Panther-rose-colored dress shoes, leading one to wonder if that look will appear on the MNG racks in a few weeks.
To find locations, go to http://www.jcp.com.
Ruthie Davis Tuesday: Designer Ruthie Davis is launching her fall-winter boots and heels collection at Kitson with a meet and greet. Davis' spiky and studded footwear ($745-$1,400) is a fave of entertainers Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus. During the event, new season purchases and other merchandise will be 20% off. Goodie bags will be handed out to guests. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kitson Melrose, 8590 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. 7 to 9 p.m.
Oou Thursday: Los Feliz contemporary boutique celebrates its 10th anniversary with a wine and cheese party. In the shop, check out new collections from Australian brand Something and local brand Seneca Rising — new items run from $68 to $198. The first 10 arrivals will be greeted with door prizes, and there will be a raffle for all guests.
1764 Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 665-6263. 7 to 10 p.m.
Supergirl by Nastia Liukin Saturday: Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin will appear at the Glendale Galleria JCPenney store to launch Supergirl, her new collection of active-wear for teen girls. Liukin will meet and greet the public, and is set to talk about styling tips and give teens motivational advice about feeling confident and achieving goals.
1169 Glendale Galleria Road.,Glendale. (818) 240-8700. 2 to 3 p.m.
Mohawk General Store: Echo Park boutique, owned by Generic Man designer Kevin Carney and Bo Carney, recently relocated to a larger space. The store stocks menswear from Engineered Garments, Woolrich and Gitman Bros. Vintage. Womens wear and accessories designers include Rachel Comey, the Hill-Side and Clare Vivier.
4011 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 669-1601. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Salsa Fits My Life: The Portuguese denim brand recently opened its first U.S. store in Los Angeles, to be followed by a New York store in the fall. The jeans cost $87 to $210, and come in the One, a unisex model; the Two, a reversible dungaree; the Wonder, a push-up five-pocket; and the Secret, which has a tummy-tuck effect. The store also stocks tops, outerwear, accessories and shoes for men and women.
8013 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. (323) 951-0980. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.