Okay so I have to be honest before I get any further with this post... J.Crew and I have been on a break. Trust me, I know. I'm still having trouble processing it myself. The last two years have been very rocky for us, and I know not every relationship is perfect, but it's just been really hard. Sometimes I can barely find an outfit in the mornings. And I think my closet can tell something is up.
This all started out with a terrible fall color scheme, which translated into snoozefest style guides and ill-fitting clothing that seemed to be a designers afterthought, and before I knew it, racks upon racks of clothing were being packed up and shipped out (at 60% off). I knew J.Crew was better than this. Something else had to be up. Where was my J.Crew that I knew and loved? The J.Crew who could pick me up when I was down. Who offered me only the best selections of bubble gum pink tops, colorful tweed jackets and chevron sequin dresses? Where was that J.Crew?
Where was THIS J.Crew....
In all seriousness though, with all of the news surrounding J.Crew and their lackluster earnings in the media, it was clear a change was about to be made. Some people blame Jenna Lyons for the fall, but I don't know if this decline is necessarily all her fault. In my opinion, Jenna has kept J.Crew extremely relevant and even put them on the map as a highly coveted brand in the fashion world. I think these issues boil down to one thing and one thing only: an identity crisis. J.Crew is clinging to the foundation they were built upon, which is all-American, classic and preppy, while also trying to corner the trend-setting market. Trying to do both is sending their profits into a tailspin.
Here's my two cents: Let J.Crew run with crazy trends, sequin pants and yards of neon yellow fabric - and let Madewell be what J.Crew was. Is that not why Madewell was created in the first place?
Now with all of that said, I still had faith in their forthcoming summer collection because it always promises to be slightly reminiscent of their sequined and shimmering glory days. So last week I made a cup of coffee, sat down at my laptop and browsed through all of the new summer arrivals on the site. And I pleasantly surprised with a handful of things I saw. So surprised in fact, that I dusted off my J.Crew card and purchased a few things - like these earrings, this jumpsuit and these pants. You can see all of the looks I thought were worthy of "old-J.Crew" praise below. Each item is clickable and will take you directly to the site!
So what do you think about the future of J.Crew? With Jenna's focus diverted to the business side of the company and their new design director (pulled from Madewell) steering the ship, will they be able to make a successful comeback? Or should we start mentally preparing ourselves for the end of the colorful, juxtaposed fashions we came to expect from Jenna?