Juicy Couture might actually be on the brink of a comeback. After several less-than-stellar attempts at a re-rise to fame, the Los Angeles-based brand – which was founded in 1997 by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor and was a mainstay in women’s wardrobe in the 2000’s – is readying for a resurgence. Fresh off of a collaboration with Vetements, Juicy has tapped celebrity stylist Jamie Mizrahi to oversee its comeback.
As the brand’s new creative director, Mizrahi – who regularly styles Katy Perry, Nicole Richie, Ashley Benson, Riley Keough, Sasha Lane and Suki Waterhouse, among others – says that she is not trying to reinvent Juicy. “It has such a brand identity already: Carefree, tongue-in-cheek fashion. What I’m doing is taking the history that is so special and continuing to make it feel fun and wearable by bringing back silhouettes and materials and making them work for the modern woman,” she told WWD.
Mizrahi, who first joined Authentic Brands-owned Juicy Couture last year in a consulting capacity, is an interesting choice, in part because she is not a formally trained designer. She says the leap from stylist to creative director is not as extreme as it may seem, though. “In a sense a stylist is a creative director,” she says. “As a stylist I am guiding people’s eyes, educating them and introducing them to things they normally wouldn’t see. There is no part of my day job that didn’t prepare me to do this.”
And she just might be right. The appointment certainly does feel a lot less doomed from the outset than street style star/buyer Justin O’Shea’s appointment to and six-month tenure at Brioni, not that that is saying very much.
Nick Woodhouse, president and chief marketing officer of Authentic Brands Group, which acquired Juicy from Fifth & Pacific, Inc. (now Kate Spade & Co.) in October 2013 for $195 million, agrees: “You pay stylists and celebrities to work with a brand, so why not go straight to the source.” And of course, Mizrahi is something of a budding celeb herself. Woodhouse noted, “Not only does Jamie have a great social following, her clients do too, and with a generation that’s so influenced by celebrity, she sees it all and lives that Juicy lifestyle.”
As for whether Mizrahi can help bring the brand back to its mid-2000s heyday when bedazzled tracksuits were a go-to for Hollywood stars and stay-at-home moms, alike, and could be found everywhere, including in its flagship on Fifth Avenue, it does not appear as though that is the goal. While Mizrahi says her core consumers are the women who made Juicy so coveted in the first place, she wants bring Juicy up to speed and serve those same women, but in accordance with “the mind-set of where she is now” … almost 20 years later.
Mizrahi’s revamp will consist of garments (both archival classics and new pieces), handbags, footwear, accessories and jewelry, all of which will debut for Spring 2018. Retail prices for the apparel range from $58 to $278.