Some of New York City’s finest denim will make its way to hundreds of J.C. Penney stores across the country this November—thanks to one of New York’s finest athletes.
Michael Strahan, the winner of Super Bowl XLII and Emmy-winning talk show host, has taken his popular Collection by Michael Strahan at J.C. Penney and expanded it into denim with the help of Jean Shop’s Eric Goldstein.
Having worked with Ralph Lauren’s RRL and Gap prior to starting his own premium denim business in New York, Goldstein has made a name for himself in the fashion world by sticking to denim. Last year, he even started an online denim repair service to help consumers fix their favorite pair of jeans instead of having to say goodbye.
Strahan, an admitted fan of Jean Shop denim, came to Goldstein last November with an idea to expand his collection. One year after that meeting, Strahan’s denim lineup will drop at J.C. Penney.
“One of our goals was to make a jean you could wear with a jacket for Michael. He has a whole collection at J.C. Penney and he wanted the whole collection to now come together—where you can wear one of his jeans with his white shirt, with his tie, with his blazer,” Goldstein said in a video produced by Strahan’s team for New York’s Denim Days.
Goldstein said it became clear when working with Strahan the star wasn’t willing to just put his name on something and remove himself from the design process. Instead, he was directly involved in the creation of the new collection.
“When Michael builds a product he is involved in every aspect of it, literally. He was picking the thread color, he was going over the construction with me, asking me millions of very intelligent questions about the product,” Goldstein said. “He’s pretty keen on having his team, his friends, wear his product. So, he’s not going to have anybody wear product that he’s not comfortable with.”
The collection will include a single straight fit available in five washes, ranging from light indigo to charcoal. Each wash is named after a New York City neighborhood—Astoria, Gramercy, SoHo, Tribeca and Williamsburg—reflecting the collection’s thoroughly New York pedigree. A denim jacket will also be available as a part of the collection.
Considering the success of the Collection by Strahan for J.C. Penney, the most recent collaboration is likely to start off with strong footing among the retailer’s customer base. Goldstein said the powerful brand Strahan brings to the table is exactly what he looks for when creating apparel.
“You’ve got to let the customer know what they’re wearing and be proud of what they’re wearing,” he said. “To just put a jean together without having a perfectly branded jean is not the way I would do it or not the way Michael would want it done. … He even designed his logo ‘M’ to reflect his gap, which is part of Michael.”
Although Strahan’s jeans don’t officially launch until early November, they are currently available for purchase on J.C. Penney’s website.