Urban Outfitters has announced a profusion of intriguing designer collaborations this year, but for all the potential excitement they could be creating, the launches of these exclusive labels have been quiet and vaguely timed, appearing on the floor with little fanfare.
Last week, after a few tries, we finally found Steven Alan's Lark & Wolff line at the Sixth Avenue and 14th Street branch.
Had it not been for the dedicated display on the staircase landing, we would left bewildered as to when the product would appear.
As it was, the arrangement mixed the label with surplus and other brands to fill out the presentation, and frustratingly, placed most of the merchandise behind a row of bust forms, making it difficult to even touch.
Great job, visual staff.
We did, however, get a pretty good look a the few items that had arrived, including a few of Alan's signature woven, patterned shirts, and some lightweight washed oxford cloth trousers, all of which had the designer's signature laid back feel. Each piece, perhaps to avoid cannibalization of the more rarefied main brand, carried a tag firmly establishing that they were emphatically not Steven Alan garments, but cousins from the same family tree. OK, we get it. Mostly, what differentiates these goods from Alan's main label is the quality of the fabrics which, while not poor, is clearly much more basic and not as refined as what one usually finds in his shirts. That's OK, since both the shirts and the pants were priced at about $58.
We had a hard time finding the retailer's other exclusive collaborations, though. Hawks by Geren Ford was lost among the usual Urban Outfitters jumble upstairs. Neither did we see any sign of the new collection with Paul & Joe (who, we might remind you, have already been market tested at Target). There was a small display of jeans from byCORPUS which looked good for just under $100 if not particularly abundant.
If this new collaboration initiative is meant to bring in new customers, it worked. After all, we haven't been particularly inspired to visit Urban Outfitters recently and they got us through the doors. We just hope that in the future, they have a little more to show us.
Urban Outfitters (Official Site)