January 30, 2008
Danny Seo is a prince and JC Penney is the frog who hopes to transform itself into something a bit more dashing. This morning I had the pleasure of watching them both kiss and present their new line of "Simply Green" home products in a swank penthouse at the Gramercy Hotel.
The rooms at the Gramercy are beyond cool. They are luscious, colorful and odd, but Danny's designs for JC Penney fit right in. He showed off bedding, towels and bathware, glass accessories, a bit of lighting and a new eco mattress from Simmons. All of this is to spearhead JC Penney's green initiative with Danny as their leader.
Danny is a great choice. Energetic, affable and able to pitch right when the camera rolls without hesitation, he easily and modestly wins you over. He cares about his green angle and it is nice to see these companies pulling him up (Danny actually said that he was courted by a number of big retailers who wanted to do a green line and was just about to sign with a BIG company (nameless), but JC Penney won him away at the last minute. Why? It wasn't entirely clean, except that JC Penney may have given him more latitude and made more effort to actually go green.).
That said, Danny's name is not on this line of products, though he is the designer. Many of these green products are in JC Penney now, but the official launch is in two months and they'll be easier to find then.
The takeaway? The style of these new products is modern and clean, though nothing you haven't seen before. The ingredients, while termed "green" are not ALL green and JC Penney has decided that this is a long process and simply getting close is good enough for now. For example, the Bamboo Throw Blanket (very soft) was made out of bamboo, rayon and polyester. True EcoHeads, ourselves included, will be disappointed. As for price, they've got you there. Everything is extremely affordable.
To the prince and the frog, I applaud your efforts and hope that this love affair continues to progress towards beyond Simply Green and reaches Truly Green. If we're to have more stuff in the world, let it be good stuff.
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