But, from a marketing angle, this makes sense. J. Crew already has a solid and established customer-base, and to many others, it's a "designer" brand worthy of prestige, so slapping some young, hip designer's name onto another commercial line of theirs just makes that line more attractive to some people-- for no other reason then that it has some designer's name on it, even if it's identical to anything else from J. Crew. The power of branding.
Completely underwhelming, not to mention very overpriced for what it is.
Think of it in relation to the Prabal collection they did for holiday. Those pieces were well above J. Crew's usual pricepoint, but they seemed worth it because you were essentially getting a designer piece, that looked like the designer's work, for a fraction of that designer's retail price, yet it was all in keeping with J. Crew's image. This, on the other hand, bears no real resemblance to Altuzarra's work and is comprised of pieces that can be gotten anywhere...including J.Crew itself.
Did his company have any input on this whatsoever?
You need to move fashion forward when there's a reason to move fashion forward - Tom Ford