On the heels of New York Times reporter Cintra Wilson's scathing report about the new Herald Square J.C. Penney, a new mass retailer has announced they may want a bit of the Middle-America-meets-high-fashion-action. This time the bandwagon jumper is Kohl's. Wilson's "Critical Shopper" column made headlines last week when she stated, in a snarky albeit amusing way, that J.C. Penney had no business in Manhattan because the retail chain catered exclusively to the "fat and tacky." She ranted about the seemingly "obese" mannequins in the store and at her woe of not being able to find her size 2 among the more abundant sizes of 14 and 16. To top off her point and let us know she's really serious, Wilson also blasts the diffusion lines the store carries by well known designers Kimora Lee Simmons, Charlotte Ronson, Liz Claiborne, and Nicole Miller. It's as if she's reprimanding the designers, hinting that they should know better than to have their brands carried in such a space since people like her would only deign to shop there.
Needless to say, her column inspired a fiery wall of backlash—from unabashed fans of the chain to people calling her out for being just plain rude. It reached a point to where Wilson had to go on the record earlier this week to tell people that she wouldn't tolerate any more hatemail emails or messages and to find some other outlet to let out their negative energy—a technique which more likely than not inspired that much more. So now, what to make of Kohl's? Emboldened by the Herald Square Penney's and the upcoming Union Square move by Nordstrom Rack, Kohl's has reportedly been quietly shopping for a new blowout space in Times Square or Columbus Circle. WWD reported that while the affordable-priced department store has not confirmed any store openings yet, they have opened stores in the outer boroughs and New Jersey and seem to be edging their way ever closer to Manhattan. Designer diffusion lines currently being carried at Kohl's include collections by Vera Wang, Polo Ralph Lauren, Daisy Fuentes and Dana Buchman. No word yet on how Wilson feels about it this but we're guessing we have some sort of idea.
Article Source: The New York Times, WWD
Photo Source: The New York Times, zipline