J Crew has made several unexpected moves this year such as stocking items from the Levi's archives, adding MiH Jeans to their "In Good Company" store and now according to WWD, partnering with self-proclaimed artisan brand Imogene + Willie. This seemingly strategic selection of niche brands makes me wonder if J Crew is trying to shatter their long held preppy image. Hello, um Gap. You might want to pay attention.

Imogene + Willie is a denim brand based in Nashville run by husband and wife team Matt and Carrie Eddmonson. They both have impressive resumes that include stints at Rogan, Ralph Lauren Polo RRL, Lee, Girbaud, Diesel, Levi's and Replay. Every pair of jeans stocked in the brand's store, which used to be a 1950's gas station, has been personally washed by the couple using a tub in their backyard, which gives them intimate knowledge of every piece sold. A quick visit to their website shows a tagline which reads "Wash Your Jeans Like Real People" while a video of the young and hip washing their jeans in anything but ordinary circumstance plays underneath. Who knew Nashville, the home of country music, could produce people with such a creative flair.

Other than this new partnership with J Crew, the brand is only sold in their eponymous store as well as Austin boutique, Stag. J Crew will stock a 40's-inspired slim, straight leg with a dark wash retailing for $375 and the lighter wash retailing for $425. A leather tote will sell for $800 and a vintage US mail bag will sell for $650. 

For more information about them visit imogeneandwillie.com.