Action Fashion’s Race To The Bottom

by The Editors on April 9, 2009

Op MonoYesterday, while strolling the isles of our local Walmart in search of storage bins and Giant Cheetos we noticed some attractive women’s monokinis. They were from some brand called Op and selling for $20.
It got us thinking: what is the difference between a $20 Op bikini and an $78 Roxy suit? Aside from mean girl scorn all we could come up with was marketing. For people who don’t mind wearing a Walmart bikini (and there are millions of them) there is no reason to spend four times as much.

So last night when TransWorld Business and Shop-Eat-Surf were tweeting away about how the La Jolla Group was doing a special Rusty line for J.C. Penney we had to chuckle. Of course they are. And so is Ryan Sheckler and Zoo York. Because if you’re just in the game to get paid there is really is no reason to protect your distribution. If Op is any indicator this could be the biggest sales year ever for all three companies. And what is wrong with that? You know, aside from everything. . .

For the latest on the J.C. Penney action fashion coup follow the jump.
LANO, Texas, Apr 09, 2009 — JCPenney’s Ability to Deliver Exceptional Brands to Consumers Nationwide

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. today announced the launch of three new brands for young men, RS By Sheckler, Rusty surf apparel and Third Rail a Zoo York Production – all available at JCPenney’s signature smart prices. Catering to the emerging action sports lifestyle, these new surf and skate-inspired brands will be available in JCPenney stores and jcp.com starting July 11, arriving in time for the Back-to-School shopping season.

“Bringing newness and innovation to our floor, these exciting new brands further connect our strong base of young customers to an emerging action sports culture,” said Ken Hicks, president and chief merchandising officer at JCPenney. “These partnerships underscore our commitment to deliver exceptional, stylish brands that respond to the needs of our customers, making aspirational surf and skate brands available at affordable prices that make sense for teens and their parents. These brands are exciting new additions to our compelling merchandise assortment, providing customers additional reasons to shop with us, and further positioning JCPenney as the leading destination for Back-to-School apparel.”

The new brands will expand the Young Men’s and Boy’s department surf/skate lifestyle, joining JCPenney’s strong collection of national, exclusive and private brands for teens such as Vans, Arizona, American Living, Levi’s, Southpole, Avirex and the extension of Decree into Young Men’s.

RS By Sheckler

Founded by Ryan Sheckler, professional skateboard icon and star of the MTV reality show “Life of Ryan,” RS By Sheckler will feature skate-inspired graphic t-shirts, hoodies, thermals, woven tops and skate-fit denim for young men and boys. All mirroring Sheckler’s signature style, the brand will be offered at JCPenney with items ranging from $26.00 for a tee to $55.00 for jeans.

Although Sheckler still endorses core companies in the skate industry, he seized the opportunity to create an affordable and accessible clothing brand that embodies his everyday style. Ryan Sheckler commented, “Skateboarding is my life and skating in something comfortable and stylish is a must. Ultimately, my goal was to take the clothes that my friends and I enjoy wearing and make them available to a larger audience at a great price.”

Rusty

One of the world’s most renowned surf lifestyle brands, Rusty will bring its distinct style to a broader audience with a signature collection of graphic tees, shorts, boardshorts and hoodies for young men and boys. Known for its authentic surf roots, quality and innovative products, the brand will provide a fresh assortment to JCPenney customers, with items ranging from $26.00 for a tee to $55.00 for shorts and hoodies.

“We’re excited to bring Rusty’s rich surf heritage to one of the nation’s leading department stores,” said Toby Bost, chief executive officer of La Jolla Group. “Rusty is an iconic surf brand with one of the most recognizable logos in the industry. The Rusty collection for JCPenney will offer authentic, casual beach-inspired product that appeals to a diverse, aspirational and highly impressionable young audience. We are stoked to add JCPenney to our growing list of premier retail partners.”

Third Rail a Zoo York Production

Exclusive to the JCPenney customer, Third Rail a Zoo York Production is a collection inspired by youth culture which will boast an assortment of edgy, graphic tees, woven tops, shorts, jeans and jackets for young men. Recognizing the synergies between urban apparel and the action sports consumer, this lifestyle brand is a unique blend of both worlds with items ranging from $26.00 for tees to $50.00 for jeans.

“By expanding our brand offerings to JCPenney, we are connecting more teens to the action sports culture,” said Marci Tappers, president of Zoo York. “Partnering with such a well-known department store speaks to the success of our line and allows us to expand this action sports lifestyle to more customers at economical prices.”

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