The Olsens' JCPenney line, Olsenboye, went up for sale online this week, but only hit physical sales floors this morning. We swung by the Herald Square store to check out the mayhem (there was none!) and try on the clothes this morning (itchy!). One look at the display confirmed that this line isn't exactly an affordable alternative to The Row. Unlike the Olsens' previous flirty and pretty collections for their Elizabeth & James line, Olsenboye had a distinct American Eagle–meets-Mandee vibe.
The Olsenboye region of the store marked perhaps the highest concentration of plaid and peace signs outside of Lilith Fair. The line is comprised of about twenty pieces, including dresses, skirts, capris, and white bike shorts with lace trim. Most of the T-shirts are belly shirts.
Cintra Wilson's comments about the size selection at Penney's may have been controversial, but also perhaps not entirely inaccurate. Despite no one but us really shopping the section, there were few smalls on the racks, which mostly held mediums and larges, with a handful of extra-larges. Everything was wrinkled despite a salesgirl's constant efforts to make sure the clothes hung neatly. Almost every Olsenboye piece is a cotton-polyester blend, of varying percentages. We tried a few things on and each felt itchy. Except the belly shirt. (And just so you know, we wore a shirt from Forever 21 today, so it's not like our standards are enormously high here.)
Despite the large number of customers for 10 a.m., no one was peeking around the Olsenboye section, maybe because of the prices, which are a little high compared to the rest of the store. Olsenboye dresses are $44 (other brands are around $30), T-shirts are $26 (compared to $7.99 to $9.99), and button-down shirts are $36 (compared to $17.99). Or maybe it's the in-store marketing: The twins' faces weren't on a single label, photo, or promotion in the store, which is strange considering they toured the city personally in a cupcake truck to promote the line. The strategy might work for a label like Elizabeth and James or The Row, but if they want to sell Olsenboye, they may have to have to sell themselves too.