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Ah, nothing invokes nostalgia quite like Juicy Couture.
Way before Tina Fey poked fun at it by dressing Amy Poehler in a pink tracksuit from the brand in Mean Girls, Juicy was the label of choice for cool teens and rich soccer moms alike — not to mention celebrities like Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, and of course, Paris Hilton. The brand was started in LA by co-founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor in 1996, and at one point was raking in $499 million in sales, mostly thanks to its bestselling terry tracksuits and velour sweatpants.
But all good (comfy, soft) things must come to an end. Call it brand overexposure or just general tracksuit fatigue, but Juicy Couture sales began to slump in 2009. Following two rapid-fire acquisitions, department stores began dropping the label — and before long, Juicy had to close its store doors.
Its founders went on to start a new venture, Pam & Gela. And since then, I’ve rarely spotted Juicy Couture separates outside of Kohl’s or Buffalo Exchange — or at affairs thrown by my ultra-Orthodox cousins, who have not gotten the memo that it isn’t really cool anymore.
Or so we thought. Today, British fast fashion retailer Topshop debuted an exclusive 12-piece collection of Juicy Couture items. A rep from Topshop tells Racked the collection will only be sold at the brand’s Oxford Circus store in London, as well as online. But as the Huffington Post pointed out earlier today, this new Juicy merch comes with crazy-high price tags. Zip-ups are going for $210 and $300, while track pants are priced at $190 and $250. Buy the black velour logo set, and it will cost you $550.
If you find this confusing, that’s because it is — since you can currently buy a strikingly similar Juicy tracksuit at Kohl’s right now for under $50.
This isn’t the first time Juicy has tried to make a comeback. Last summer, an exclusive capsule collection launched at Bloomingdale’s, with hoodies selling for $108 and pants at $88. While the department store’s VP and fashion director of ready-to-wear Brooke Jaffe told WWD that a tracksuit comeback made sense because “current fashion trends are about elevating casual sportswear.. .and velour is velvet's casual antidote," it doesn’t look like the Juicy stuff sold all that well, considering the fact that it’s currently discounted.
Then there’s the Vetements take on the Juicy hoodie, which is velvet and selling for $940. But while you can argue Vetements is “designer” and has hype, or whatever, Topshop is being way too ambitious.
We’ve reached out to its team in the UK, as well as Juicy Couture, to see what the deal is and hope to get to the bottom of this. Perhaps with all the stuff from the early aughts coming back again — chokers, crop tops, dad-sized sweaters, JNCOs (okay, but not really) — Juicy thought we’d take the bait?