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posted: 9/24/2013 6:00 AM

J. Crew adds Baby to its family

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  • A gray cashmere sweater with blue hearts is just one option from J. Crew's new baby collection.

      A gray cashmere sweater with blue hearts is just one option from J. Crew's new baby collection.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS/J. CREW

  • A Nature Baby blue- and white-striped cotton one-piece comes with a matching knotted beanie and a blue cotton pant from J. Crew's new baby collection.

      A Nature Baby blue- and white-striped cotton one-piece comes with a matching knotted beanie and a blue cotton pant from J. Crew's new baby collection.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS/J. CREW

 
By Samantha Critchell, Associated Press

NEW YORK -- J. Crew is courting customers for life, launching its new baby collection recently to go with its existing kids, womenswear and menswear.

There will be a common thread in the look of the 71 debut baby items with the other things in select stores and online, including Liberty prints and a color-rich palette.

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Some adjustments were made to accommodate clothes specifically for babies, including an effort to make things simpler. It's what moms want, says Jenny Cooper, head of Crewcuts design, but "adorable" is also high on her list.

"Everything is built around keeping them comfy and warm, and we create clothes around those core considerations. There is less variety in shapes and silhouettes so the colors, prints and details become so important," Cooper says, "but it's always nice to have that mix of lovely and easy, especially when you have a squirmy subject, so we definitely take this into account."

J. Crew also hopes to make this collection popular for gifts, and the company already is packaging some items that way: A cashmere sweater gets coordinating pants and a handcrafted train set, and a tunic and bloomer get socks in the same heart-covered print.

"We've tried to make giving gifts easy -- arranging sets that go together and that would make us gasp if we opened up a box," Cooper says.

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