Here's a bit of news that few might have predicted: Nick Wooster, the former Men's Fashion director for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman and busy consultant for Gilt Group, Project Trade Show and others has been named Men's Creative Director for JCPenney according to the New York Post. Wooster's deep professional experience in the men's luxury business as well as his distinctive personal style have made him into something of a menswear icon and street style blogger favorite over the past few years, but, so far, he hasn't stepped out of the rarefied high end of the industry. In fact, his most recent projects are a collaboration with Orlebar Brown for a collection of camouflage patterned men's swim trunks retail at $265 each, and an exclusive shoe and boot collaboration with English Shoemaker Alfred Sargent for West Village men's shoe shrine Leffot that will sell for $695 to $750.
Of course, new JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson has been making unorthodox moves lately in an effort to redefine the Plano, Texas based chain's mass market category. Coming from Apple's retail division, it's not actually that surprising that he would look to add someone renowned for his taste and style expertise to re-invigorate Penney's moribund men's offerings. Johnson has reportedly also lured Benjamin Fay, former senior director of retail real estate, design and development at Apple over to Penney's for an executive vice president position with similar responsibilities. While the jury is still out on how Johnson's makeover has succeeded, if Nick Wooster at the chain means there might be something like a Thom Browne for JCPenney collection on the way, then you can line up behind The Shophound to buy it.
Nickelson Wooster to become creative director for JCPenney's men's clothing business By James Covert (NYPost)
Apple exec leaves for JC Penney (AppleInsider)
Gilt Man Taps Nick Wooster As Fashion Adviser (6/23/2011)
Leffot + Nick Wooster Present Some Shoes To Save Up For (2/17/2012)