The companies will announce today that they have signed an extension of the deal under which Browne will continue to serve as guest designer of the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece collection. When Browne was invited to create an exclusive men’s and women’s collection for fall 2007, there was much speculation about how he would interpret and refresh the company’s classic look. The collaboration, a first for the 190-year-old company, was meant to both highlight the Brooks’ quality and tradition and pull it into a modern light.
When it debuted, the collection drew mostly positive press, though there were significant rumblings from those who felt Browne’s penchant for cropped jackets and high water pants were costume rather than clothing. There were also some initial glitches, including delivery problems and soft women’s sales, but overall results were strong enough to keep the relationship in place.
Black Fleece provides a window into the bespoke potential of Brooks Brothers; as one sales associate recently told me, “it shows the customer what Brooks can be – the quality and attention to detail.”
Brooks Brothers is also expected to announce plans to open the first freestanding Black Fleece store in New york’s Greenwich Village.