Monday, July 29, 2013

J. Crew's Deviation from the Classics

I can still remember my very first purchase from J. Crew.  It was a v-neck navy, kelly green, and white argyle sweater vest.  That was when J. Crew was still quintessentially preppy.  We've all witnessed some of our favorite brands begin to conform to changing fashions.  Gap and Tommy Hilfiger each had "sporty" phases, and Abercrombie & Fitch deviated from its original hunting wear and novelty items.  Of course, companies do have to evolve in order to serve consumer tastes, but the issue arises when they deviate too much from what the core brand historically represented.

I'll admit to missing the true-to-preppy form that J. Crew once represented, perusing my old catalogues for the ribbon belt, argyle vest, and silk tie headband days long gone.  But I still swoon over the updated and occasionally "hipster" styles present in today's J. Crew style guides.

I caught wind of this story from the Huffington Post, and find myself impressed with J. Crew's reaction to the customer's letter of dissatisfaction.  The incident started with a simple email, and suddenly Mickey sets up a conference call to help address the customer's issue.

You can watch the video and read the article on Huffington Post Style.

While I do miss the old style, I've swooned over enough dresses, sweater sets, and shoes in recent years to still love what the brand has turned into.  I think there becomes a point where we have to loosen the tight reigns we've held onto memories of the brand we loved in the past, and judge the company and its products against what they've matured into today, especially when it comes to the ever-changing world of fashion.  J. Crew still offers many of the classics it once did, and most of them with monogramming options.   But they've also added sequined pencil skirts, painted t-shirts, and cashmere leggings to help grow a new generation of loyal consumers.  

As long as the classics never truly disappear and monogramming is still available, I'm okay with the occasional leather pleated skirt and whatever else the oh-so-fab Jenna Lyons and Mickey Drexler throw our way.


1 comment:

  1. This is a great post and great video from Huffington Post!
    I've noticed some pieces at J Crew becoming more trendy and less classic-prep. I agree with you though- as long as they keep the classics and optional monogramming- I'll always love J Crew ;)