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JCPenney Launches New Private Label With a Purpose

JCPenney’s newest private brand gives back to diverse communities.

The Hope & Wonder brand launched Thursday with apparel, gifts, accessories and home goods commemorating Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Hanukkah, and Christmas, as well as Pride, Juneteenth, and Hispanic Heritage Month. JCPenney will give back 100 percent of the label’s net profits to relevant non-profit partners in honor of holiday or cultural observance.

The first limited-edition Hope & Wonder capsule dropped Thursday in celebration of February’s Black History Month. JCPenney’s internal team of BIPOC designers known as the Creative Coalition designed the inaugural February collection, its very first project for the retailer, around Black Health and Wellness. Sweatshirts, T-shirts, hats, baby onesies, mugs, notebooks and planners key into the design themes of “Mind, Body, Soul,” “Black History Pride,” and “Brilliantly Black & Black Girl Magic.”

The capsule collection's net profits will benefit Black Girls Smile.

The capsule collection’s net profits will benefit Black Girls Smile.

“With JCPenney’s strong legacy in diversity, inclusivity, and equity, we’re proud to introduce the Hope & Wonder brand to help families celebrate and give back to important causes and organizations throughout the year,” Val Harris, senior vice president of design, brand management and trend, said in a statement.

Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University student Kah’Milah Ledgester also has her winning submission to JCPenney’s annual Young, Gifted, and Black Design Challenge featured on a T-shirt in the collection that reads “Just Breathe.”

The February Hope & Wonder collection’s proceeds will benefit Black Girls Smile (BGS), a nonprofit that provides young Black women with education, resources and support for personal and professional success. In addition to donating all net profits to BGS, JCPenney also committed to hosting a series of community events with BGS this year.

The collection includes apparel, accessories and homewares.

The collection includes apparel, accessories and homewares.

“Black Girls Smile is extremely honored to partner with JCPenney to uplift the mental health and wellbeing of Black women and girls,” BGS founder and executive director Lauren Carson said. JCP’s support will help fund opportunities for some of the “most vulnerable but resilient Black women and girls during these pivotal times,” she added.

Since emerging from bankruptcy at the end of 2020, JCPenney has steadily revamped its merchandise assortment to better serve customers. The JCPenney Beauty shop-in-shop features inclusive products made by diverse founders, while the Thereabouts children’s apparel brand promotes diversity by offering products made for different shapes, sizes, styles, and abilities. The retailer launched one private label after another after another in 2021, building on new brand launches that started before it was purchased out of Chapter 11.

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