PLANO, Texas (January 17, 2024) – JCPenney, the shopping destination for America’s diverse, working families, proudly celebrates Hope & Wonder, its private brand designed in-house by the JCPenney Creative Coalition to commemorate and celebrate moments that matter for customers and associates. Since the brand launched in 2022, JCPenney has invested $1 million in Hope & Wonder partnerships and additional cultural initiatives as part of its ongoing commitment to celebrating diversity.
Now in its third year, Hope & Wonder honors cultural observances throughout the year including Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Pride, Juneteenth and Hispanic Heritage Month. Merchandise in the brand’s assortment is designed by JCPenney’s Creative Coalition, a cross-functional team of passionate BIPOC designers who bring their authentic selves and distinctive voices to create each unique Hope & Wonder collection. The ongoing mission of the Creative Coalition is to establish JCPenney as a year-round authentic resource for apparel, accessories, gifts, beauty and home by speaking to the heart of important cultural moments.
JCPenney’s Creative Coalition was initiated by senior vice president of trend, brand management and design Valerie Harris. Harris began her retail career with JCPenney 45 years ago as a part-time sales associate and later became the first African American female senior vice president at the Company. In 2020, she identified a need to increase the authenticity of Black History Month product and creative opportunities for BIPOC designers. Since its inception, the Creative Coalition has expanded to allow more associates to become directly involved in the communities they represent and serve through their design work.
Hope & Wonder brand campaign visuals include JCPenney associates, community leaders and members of the JCPenney Creative Coalition sporting apparel from the assortment. In 2023, Dr. Opal Lee, the “grandmother of Juneteenth,” appeared in our 2023 Juneteenth collection photoshoot and filmed an exclusive interview with JCPenney.
“It’s important that our customers can see themselves reflected in our merchandise,” said Michelle Wlazlo, chief merchandising officer for JCPenney. “The Hope & Wonder brand uniquely allows our associates to connect with our customers over shared culture and traditions and enables us to better advocate for our communities through our philanthropic partnerships, which are chosen by associates.”
In 2023, beneficiaries included Black Girls Smile, JA Worldwide, The Asian American Foundation, Point Foundation, Unity Unlimited, Inc. in support of Opal’s Walk for Freedom and Latinitas. JCPenney’s support of these organizations goes beyond monetary donations through authentic engagement with their leaders and the causes they support. For example, in 2023, JCPenney associates marched alongside Dr. Opal Lee for the third year in a row at Opal’s Walk for Freedom in Fort Worth, TX, honoring her life’s work to have Juneteenth recognized as a national holiday. Additionally, Latinitas named JCPenney its Corporate Partner of the Year for 2023.
In 2024, JCPenney is excited to support the important work of Black Girls Smile, Dress for Success Worldwide, The Asian American Foundation, Point Foundation, Unity Unlimited, Inc. and Latinitas by continuing its corporate commitment and by donating 100% of net profits through sales of the Hope & Wonder brand.
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JCPenney is the shopping destination for America’s diverse, working families. With inclusivity at its core, the Company’s product assortment meets customers’ everyday needs and helps them commemorate every special occasion with style, quality and value. JCPenney offers a broad portfolio of fashion, apparel, home, beauty and jewelry from national and private brands and provides personal services including salon, portrait and optical. The Company and its 50,000 associates worldwide serve customers where, when and how they want to shop – from jcp.com to more than 650 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
In 2022, JCPenney celebrated 120 years as an iconic American brand by continuing its legacy of connecting with customers through shopping and community engagement. Please visit JCPenney’s Newsroom to learn more and follow JCPenney on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.