While I am pretty good at the beginning of the semester, as the weeks go by and we get deeper into the season, I slowly find myself swapping my skinny jeans for leggings and button-downs for sweaters.

A mixture of athleticism and leisure, athleisure perfectly marries the two to create one harmonious sporty weekender look. Recently, it seems that J.Crew supports this marriage.

On Tuesday, J.Crew launched its first activewear line since the beginning of its inception in 1983. The company has partnered with sneaker classic and good friend New Balance to create 20 pieces for this new line. Pieces range from sports bras and jackets, to socks and water bottles for women. Of course, sneakers are included in the lineup as well.

 

This new line is not New Balance and J.Crew’s first collaboration. The two retailers have history as New Balance was “in good company” with the fashion retailer. “In Good Company” was a collection made up of partnerships with outside brands. Such brands include New Balance, Comme des Garcons and Saint James all handpicked by J.Crew’s design team.

Jenna Lyons, creative director of the brand, expressed her excitement for the collaboration, saying in a statement, “… the thought of ice cream is the only thing that gets me to do any type of physical exercise. But when our friends at New Balance agreed to collaborate with us earlier this year, we jumped.”

While this is an exciting time for J.Crew, I imagine that its equally unsettling and perhaps even a turbulent time. The retailer has been experiencing difficult times as it faced a consecutive sales decline due to the struggling retail climate as well as poor quality and design decisions by the company itself. Strategically, this activewear launch may be the company’s Hail Mary attempt at reconnecting with some of its alienated customers who left after “whole-y” garment dyed tees and overly loud items hit J.Crews shelves. Hopefully, this new line will resonate with its consumers. So far, its mainly appealing to their tastebuds and visual aesthetic eyes.

For me, it was only a matter of time before J.Crew ventured out into the world of fitness. I waited with unenthused anticipation because it feels weird and almost wrong for J.Crew to be dabbling in the athleisure market. It almost feels as if the brand is straying from its heritage and classic branding in favor of something trendier.

Im looking forward to seeing J.Crew’s take on fitness and how it meets with fashion. I’m sure New Balance x J.Crews pieces will go well with J.Crew’s existing pieces in its regular line to create that ideal athleisure look. I suppose its always a good time when you’re in good company.