Thursday, April 11, 2013

J. Crew

J. Crew is a truly American institution. Launched in 1983, J. Crew has provided classic, timeless clothing imbued with a history of American style – sharp crew neck jumpers, lightweight cotton tees, cable knit sweaters and madras checked shirts. Starting out as a grown up Ralph Lauren, J. Crew is now the male fashionisto’s favourite – these are American basics with substance, the perfect uniform for the modern man.Although launched in 1983, J. Crew started its journey in another form, as the ‘Popular Club Plan’ in 1946, a small company selling low priced women’s clothing through in-home demonstrations. This operation continued for a number of years until, during the 1980s, Mitchell Cinader and Saul Charles, the owners, saw the potential of a catalogue service. Seeing the success of other companies who used this selling method, like L.L. Bean, Cinader and Charles created their own, naming it J. Crew. The first catalogue was mailed to customers in 1983.
Tapping into the success of brands like Ralph Lauren, J. Crew offered preppy clothing as reasonable prices. Polo shirts, chinos and oxford shirts were the staple of the catalogue, showing close ups of fabrics to ensure quality, as well as pieces shown in a number of different ways as inspiration points. As a result, J. Crew expanded hugely – sales grew from $3 million to $100 million in just five years.But it is in recent years, under the creative directorship of Jenna Lyons, who took the helm in 2007, that the brand has upped its cool factor. Adding a modernity to the staple pieces, J. Crew has become a one stop shop for luxury pieces at reasonable prices. Soaring into the international consciousness through Michelle Obama’s affinity for the brand, J. Crew has its male admirers in Johnny Depp, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Duhamel and Adam Brody, all style icons in their own right.So what is best to buy from this very American brand icon. Fashion insiders love J. Crew’s cashmere jumpers, get one in navy for a piece that can be worn anywhere. J. Crew’s chinos are also a well advised choice – a truly classic fit. Team them with a soft cotton madras print shirt and durable J. Crew brogues. J. Crew is a very modern brand icon – one that encompasses American past, present and future.

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