Madewell is the latest fashion label to follow the efforts for inclusivity in the industry. This is one of the many brands that decided to extend their size range and become a part of the revolutionary movement. It is a very important time for beauty and fashion, with the new diversity changes falling into place. It all started at the beginning of 2018 when this brand actually extended a part of their denim designs up to a size 35. But thankfully, they didn’t stop there. Now they have even bigger news to announce.
The fashion industry in 2018 is going through more changes than ever. And it’s all for the better. Inclusivity and diversity are becoming a priority for fashion houses, both fast fashion, and luxury ones. J. Crew is the go-to label for many ladies of different ages. This trending brand is always offering affordable fashion-forward pieces. Now, J. Crew has some amazing news to share. They teamed up with Universal Standard to release a women’s collection with sizes ranging up to 5X. Customers asked for it, and they are getting it!
Jenna Lyons’ departure, who is one of America’s most acclaimed designers, could be regarded as an emotional one, as seen in almost any social media account related to the fashion industry (The Man Repeller appears to be the one who is suffering most, describing Jenna Lyons as the woman who “made J.Crew cool”).
Gesina Gudehus-Wittern, engagement manager at strategic consulting firm Vivaldi, for example, perfectly explained to WWD Lyons’ impact upon J.Crew and the fashion industry, giving us a better glimpse of the possible consequences J.Crew is about to face. “Lyons has been to J. Crew what Karl Lagerfeld is to Chanel — not the brand’s founder, but the personification of everything the brand stands for in the mind of its loyal customers. It’s hard for a loyal J. Crew customer to imagine the brand without her — and dangerously, for those loyal to the brand, that loyalty is closely tied to Lyons.”
Touching messages aside, in fact, this is an extremely interesting and worrisome turn for the brand at the same time, mainly for two different reasons. First and foremost, Lyons’ legacy is part of J.Crew’s very own style and signature aesthetics, as throughout her 26 years at the label Lyon truly managed to leave an imposing footprint her successors will have a hard time to even match. Secondly, J.Crew’s decreasing sales are, at this point, no secret, and her departure could mean even more plummeting sales for the label.
According to the press note released by J.Crew, however, Lyons will keep on working with the label until the end of her contract, i.e. up until December 2017. She then will have to be subject to a year-long non-compete agreement, which means that she still has a few months to focus her creative input on something that could help J.Crew rise like a phoenix again.
While Jenna Lyons will remain J.Crew’s creative advisor for less than a year now, J.Crew’s reign will be held by J.Crew’s former head of women’s design Somsack Sikhounmuong, who just got promoted to chief design officer. “I put more pressure on me than anyone else can put pressure on me, that’s the nature of the job I have and the nature of who I am,” J.Crew’s Drexler chief executive officer Millard “Mickey” Drexler told WWD regarding Lyons’ departure, Sikhounmuong’s appointment and J.Crew’s future.
“Retail is changing at the speed of light right now and we’re excited to move forward and meet the challenges we’re faced with. The company will continue to evolve. This is a mutual decision; she had a really good run and we had a great partnership,” he added. “This is a major blow to the J. Crew brand, as it has been linked to Jenna Lyons and her personal style — not just internally, but to consumers — ever since she took the creative helm in 2008.”
With circa $1.5 billion debt coming due in 2018 and one of the most acclaimed designers stepping down from her position, J.Crew really needs to figure out how to get back its shoppers’ trusts, now!
Photo courtesy of J.Crew
J.Crew’s fall/winter 2017-2018 ready-to-wear collection was again shown as a presentation with ‘real’ people modelling the clothes thanks to the incredible reception the brand received last year for the spring 2017 presentation. People really liked seeing the inclusion of friends, family, chosen influencers and some of J.Crew’s staff and they even included some of Instagram’s comedians along with the other chosen influencers.
These two comedians are Lorenzo “Call Me Renny” Cromwell and Reggie Couz along with comedienne Sandra Bernhard. The two brilliant comedians caught the attention of Jenna Lyons, the creative director of J.Crew, who then went on to show her find to the rest of the office.
They added themselves as new followers to the incredibly high numbers that the duo already earned, joining fans that include celebrities amongst them, such as Rihanna and Diddy. Along with Cromwell and Couz, Jenna Lyons also had Liv Freundlich, the 14-year-old daughter of Juliane Moore and Mathilda Gianopoulos, the daughter of Molly Ringwald. Both mothers were smiling supportively from the crowd during the presentation.
The J.Crew fall 2017 collection, which is outgoing, interesting and creatively put together, showed very well with this arrangement once more, giving depth and realism to the pieces. The collection featured rich colors and the tried and true J.Crew aesthetic, a bit preppy and chic but certainly wearable.
The wide-leg pants, button-up shirts, sweaters, layers and ruffles were a fun well-textured group of options. A few off-the-shoulder pieces and printed skirts were wonderful as well. The suit sets that were included in this collection can certainly compete with the other options showing in other collections, though J.Crew does not really have to do that.
Truthfully, one of the features of this collection was the touch of nostalgia seen in some of the sweater designs and silhouettes. These notes of nostalgia are mitigated with the toe of new and innovative design manifesting in materials used and interesting cuts and collars. Rich color is a feature often easy to find when it comes to a J.Crew collection.
Seeing these clothes on a variety of models means that it is easier for customers to imagine themselves in the clothes, thus boosting sales, which is exactly what happened and why the style of presentation was repeated.
The lineup of models also included others brought in by Jenna Lyons, and proud to say so, like Sandra Bernhard who is a busy lady with her own radio show on Sirius SM, a history of modeling for brands like Chanel and Thierry Mugler. She was very clear when she said that she was on set because of Jenna Lyons. It is due to her tastes and creativity that we have the presentation and the J.Crew fall/winter 2017-2018 collection in the manner that we do.
Photos courtesy of Zimbio
The J. Crew spring/summer 2017 presentation made a lot of waves with a 65 look presentation modelled entirely by ‘real people’. By including these ‘real people’ J. Crew’s spring 2017 collection presentation was able to boast that their clothes were on an assortment of body types, sizes and races. This is a feat that is nearly never accomplished during any fashion event, anywhere in the world at any time.
J. Crew managed to show that their ready-to-wear collection really was practical and fantastic for the widest sampling of people put together for a fashion presentation at New York Fashion Week. These people ranged in age from 13 years old to 70 years old and were the employees of J. Crew as well as the staff’s friends and family.
The show overall was charming, stunning and inspiring. The comfortable looks and easy styling more than prove that the upcoming spring and summer line for 2017 will be able to integrate into current wardrobes like a dream. Every piece can be dressed up or down, and nothing looks out of place.
Each of the looks was comprised head to toe with upcoming J. Crew fashions. The polished and chic looks were accented by little thoughtful notes throughout the presentation such as the mini bios included in the show notes that encouraged guests to learn about each other.
Off-the-shoulder pieces, long dresses, stripes and solids were interspersed throughout the collection and all of it was beautifully put together. There were distressed pieces, denim and pleated ruffles that added structure and volume stunningly well.
A favorite piece in the J. Crew spring 2017 collection is a long khaki dress with pleated ruffles and sheer underlay with polka dots at the hem of the skirt. Another is a distressed looking blue and white striped maxi skirt that was beautifully and intriguingly complex.
Somsack Sikhounmuong, the womenswear designer for J. Crew, said that the people in their office, their style and energy were what inspired them. Somsack also spoke on the casting process and what they learned about how each woman spoke on what she liked and what made her feel beautiful.
They paid attention to the differences in what one woman appreciated and felt good in as opposed to another. He went on to say “Just being able to put our clothes in that context and sort bring them to life was very cool.”
Interestingly, some of the looks for women featured use of a few menswear pieces in their ensembles. The teenagers also wore the main collection rather than the kid’s collection. J. Crew made a point of showcasing the preferences of many of their customers shopping habits, and not just the initial vision of J. Crew.
The inclusion of pieces not necessarily designed for one type of customer and how it can integrate into a great look anyway was a big feature of the presentation and made the array of khaki, creams, black and blues much more exciting. This season designers really went out of the normal ways of doing things and created a real line to customers and fans.
Photos courtesy of J. Crew
When J.Crew named its new head of womenswear last year, it was an essential decision to appoint someone who knew the brand and could replicate what its consumers look for. And so, Somsack Sikhounmuong was plucked from Madewell and placed back in J.Crew, where he had worked for 15 years in the past. Because of this time spent, he would easily be able to pick up on the brand’s signature and place it where it needed to go in the line. And for the J.Crew fall 2016 ready-to-wear showing at New York Fashion Week, that expertise showed in the upbeat and downright happy clothes presented for the season.
“I was inspired by pretty, and what does pretty mean – pink, ruffles and silk scarves,” the designer told WWD. All of these aspects played a role in this season’s collection, but it certainly wasn’t limited to those three things.
The garment colors were all over the map, from bubblegum pink to mustard, yet everything worked toward a functional winter color scheme. The line was overtly feminine, from the chosen shades to the ruffles and accessories, but was interspersed with the pristine tailoring of the outerwear. For a fall/winter line, the outerwear was crucial to its success, and the jackets and coats certainly were on a level of their own. Out of all the garments in the overall collection, I would say it was the outerwear that was to die for, and which were the most youthful. That much cannot be said for all of the other looks beneath the coats in the line.
None of the pieces stood out as being poorly executed or unflattering for the season, but sometimes the looks became drab, and lacked a sense of freshness or youth, which would have amplified the vibrant J.Crew spirit. Some skirts, for instance, were right on target with their hemlines, especially those that hit right above the knee. Others, however, seemed just an inch or two too long, such as with the tea-length turquoise skirt with ruffled bottom. The slightly oversized skirt didn’t benefit from the additional length, especially when paired with the slightly baggy sweater on top. Perhaps in a different context the looks would work better, although in this showing, pieces like these started to bring the collection down.
Many of the looks were styled in a way that was just a bit too matured for the J.Crew standard. The brand has always been able to find the perfect balance between the two generations of customers, which made their clothing unique and diverse across the ages, but this season it seems the scales have tipped just a little bit too far in the one direction. Individually, the pieces do seem to have the potential for the gold standard J.Crew wow moments, but the overall styling didn’t play to the label’s advantage.
Maybe this is on account of Sikhounmuong getting used to his new position within the brand, but loosening up a bit should definitely be on the agenda for the brand’s next seasonal campaign, or its showing for next season. Because even loosening the models’ tight buns could have potentially done wonders for freshening up the outfits.
All in all, the potential in this line is tremendous. There is no doubt that Sikhounmuong knows what he is doing as a designer, especially amongst the J.Crew crowd. So the outlook is positive for the brand as it progresses into future lines. These garments are ready-to-wear, and will look great lined up on the racks in store locations, so if there’s any doubt now, just wait for the seasonal release.
Photos courtesy of WWD
With the wedding season just around the corner, J.Crew has just released its newest bridal collection that will make decision-making regarding the wedding dress definitely much easier. Outdoing itself, the J.Crew spring 2016 bridal collection is anything but boring, as it showcases some of the most diverse, dreamiest and basically most stunning bridal dresses you will probably see this upcoming season. It features everything a bride whishes for, from long princess-like dresses to short fringed frocks, from tulle skirts to even bridal jumpsuits that you can already buy at JCrew.com.
Mixing unconventional styles with the traditional white hue, J.Crew’s lineup also takes different body shapes into consideration, making sure each bride-to-be’s figure has its time to shine and feel at ease. With price tags ranging from $400 to over $1000, the retailer’s offerings were mostly inspired by the Greek goddesses, whose classical elegance will help give your big day unforgettable moments.
Of course, J.Crew did not forget about the bridesmaids, a.k.a. the main bride’s supporters, and released a collection of more than 20 styles of bridesmaid dresses, the prices ranging from $200 to $300. Here too the bride has a lot to choose from, whether she’s looking for cute short frocks or flowing long dresses, whether she gives preference to pastel colors or more eye-catching shades.
When it comes to the bridal dresses, there are so many standout designs it is almost impossible to make a choice. If you like draped long dresses, which here may be defined as a mixture of a Greek Goddess and a Fairy Princess, J.Crew’s Adrienne gown could be just what you have always been looking for, and you could even pair it with one of the Jennifer Behr tiaras (as J.Crew did it in its lookbook).
Other classics are the Lana, Karlie and Francoise gowns, which keep on revisiting the ancient Greek Goddess theme, as well as the Marbella and Sara gowns, which will make all those who love the empire silhouette giggle. The Sara gown also features intricate lace embroideries, which just make everything effortlessly romantic and feminine.
If you are all about sparkle, J.Crew’s Dalila floor-length tulle skirts as well as the below-the-knee Adele dress could be the best option, as they instantly enhance anyone’s mood with tons of sequins and gemstones. Those who love the Roaring Twenties style will be more than pleased to discover J.Crew’s flapper feathered dress, as the feathery appliqués perfectly combine a timeless look with a hard-to-be-forgotten frock. Last but not least, if you like to keep it classic but floor-lengths are just not your thing and you would rather go short, J.Crew’s Kiera dress is so cute you will hardly help falling in love with it.
To top it all off, J.Crew’s bridal spring 2016 lookbook suggests us also fabulous accessory combinations that are just the icing on the cake, as they really prove that one should never give up on individuality in favor of tradition, when it comes to one of the biggest day of a girl’s life.
Photos courtesy of J.Crew
For the much anticipated and looked forward to Design Miami, annually held in December, J.Crew has created a travel-friendly accessories collection, using the talent of French illustrator Pierre Le-Tan, who is also the cover artist for The New Yorker. If the name sounds familiar, you may look to Olympia Le-Tan, Pierre’s daughter and famous bag designer. It’s definitely recommended, however, that you snag at least one item from this collection while it is available on J.Crew’s website!
The J.Crew x Pierre Le-Tan collection features anything you may need for a trip, from notebooks and scarves to totes and umbrellas. When you see this collection, you’ll be in for a fun, whimsical take on very practical accessories that will be beneficial for anyone who purchases them. With a total of 10 accessories in this line, you’re sure to find at least one item (but more likely 10 items) you’d love to own for yourself.
In order to expand on the design process, Vogue held an interview with Le-tan. “Design Miami has a very interesting mixture of contemporary and 20th-century decorative art, which has always been an inspiration in my work,” the artist said. “I’m completely about the old-fashioned way of doing things, and everything I do is totally handcrafted.”
And the inspiration was crystal clear with the accessories featured. Each piece features an Art Deco or Miami inspired print, created by Le-Tan himself, that are irresistibly adorable. The designs were penned by Le-Tan’s own hand, and the pride he takes in his work shined through in the collection.
Whimsical images of flamingos, sunglasses, resorts, and so much more adorn each individual piece, working as a quirky print. It almost has a childish vibe, but in the best way possible. The best parts of your wardrobe are the pieces you can look at and smile, and even more so if you know it can brighten someone else’s day as well. Whether you’re carrying around a fun tote for a day out, or a notebook to document inspiration on your daily travels, the print will add a little ray of sunshine to your day.
But of course, the best part about these looks is how easy it is to use more than one in one daytrip. If you really couldn’t get enough of the pattern for one look, you could even use most of the pieces, by carrying the tote, where many of the other products could fit into it, and by accessorizing your outfit with a scarf, socks, or even the fun bow tie featured in the collection!
At the Design Miami fair, these looks were shown starting on Dec. 2, and will continue to run through Dec. 6. And of course, you can always look on the J.Crew website to see the pieces for yourself, and to place your order to brighten up the seasons to come!
Photos courtesy of J.Crew
Flooded with to-die-for pieces of clothing that are also comfy and cozy, J.Crew’s winter 2015 lookbook is finally available on the brand’s website. J.Crew’s new style guide pictures a country chic Toni Garrn wearing an assortment of cozy and stylish sweaters, as well as peacoats, slim-fit pants and parkas.
Made in New York, where the company’s designers bring its pieces to life, this winter 2015 collection originally interprets the year’s boho trend, injecting a more country chic attitude into the designs rather than using conventional urban chic sources of inspiration as many brands do now. J.Crew’s ideal winter line takes the 23-year-old German model to the breathtaking Irish countryside, the earthy colors and famous jagged shorelines of which perfectly resemble the collection’s main theme.
First things first, it is interesting to notice how carefully J.Crew designer team has focused on cable-knit sweaters. Mainly made of cashmere or wool (which is kind of rare, nowadays), J.Crew’s sweater line-up includes turtleneck sweaters with rib trim, crewneck sweaters and stripe pieces, the designs and colors used for which will make any winter enthusiast extremely happy. Regent and Rhodes blazers in puppytooth are other good warm alternatives included in the collection if you are looking for 100% wool or cashmere pieces of clothing.
Each one of these sweaters and blazers seems to be perfect for pairing with J.Crew’s slim-fit denim pants, as well as with the bell-bottom jeans with iconic cuts bringing back the Seventies and looking absolutely dazzling with chunky ankle boots. For those who would rather not buy another pair of jeans, J.Crew offers casual-chic suede patio pants that will look good with almost any pair of shoes.
The all-American company made it also possible to keep the country chic theme with some delicate tweed mini-skirts, which graciously create a stylish contrast with the cable-knit sweaters.
As for the coats, get ready for another set of timeless must-haves. From duffle coats to belted zip trench coats, from peacoats in Hamilton plaid to Nordic parkas, J.Crew definitely has it all, making it possible for us to invest in a cozy and fashionable outerwear.
The lookbook works also as an extremely useful source of inspiration if you are looking for one-of-a-kind Christmas presents. It features warm pinstripe cashmere scarves and stylish popover shirts that could make anyone happy. Regarding this, just remember that Black Friday is coming next week, which means that Christmas shopping season is finally beginning!
Photos courtesy of J.Crew
The next season seems quite nostalgic and inspirational to many designers. J. Crew has just come up with its new spring 2016 RTW collection placing the emphasis on those key features that will instantly remind of J. Crew’s preppy chic style only, as the creative director of the brand Jenna Lyons revealed. Oh yes, we have been missing those irreplaceable must-have gingham shirts for a long while that brought light of freshness to our closets. And what is more thrilling about the latest J.Crew spring/summer 2016 collection is that those shirts are expanded into classy loose straight pants, cardigan-pullovers and even long dresses.
There is an interesting indescribable feeling we might all have concerning papery cotton fabrics, which feel so comfy, trendy and always new when we wear pieces made of such materials. Now you have a huge abundance of such pieces in J. Crew’s new collection available in the form of dresses, overalls, shirts, pants and even skirts. This spring will be full of light sun-kissed colors according to the brand, which is well indicated in the numbers of the line. The loose off-the-shoulder light green midi dress with sailor striped belt, high-waist straight shorts with floral patterns on a pastel beige color or the yellow midi circle skirt that looks absolutely amazing when matched with the off-the-shoulder cape-sleeve sky-blue top are ultimate must-have pieces for the next season to come.
We see a lot of blues – an off-the-shoulder belted gingham overall, midi denim pencil skirt with a front slit, cowboy shirts that look amazing when teamed with straight pants of a matching pattern, bright blue front-buttoned bell-bottom pantsuits and, of course, a long sleeveless V-neck dress that seems to have been taken from our moms’ closets. We kind of see a cool inspirational mix of ‘70s shapes and ‘80s fresh hues in the collection, which is undeniably amazing here. However, the combo does not spread over the whole line, namely the many pastels and classic numbers. These make up the next color subgroup with must-have pieces like straight and wide beige capris, straight midi skirts with vertical layers at the bottom, an oversize shirt-like dress with lace details on the neck, classy blazers with thin stripes and gold buttons. In general, the line is full of stripes hinting on the season’s favorite activities – traveling to the see and sailing. You can find them on the second-skin floor-length dresses, short-sleeve tops and rainbow shirt-dresses that are perfect for cool and effortless looks. And for a more complete pack, you have multiple medium-heel sandals and flip-flops with matching patterns to the numbers of the line.
We see neither much makeup nor complicated hair ideas here just going for a color hint and messy top buns. Instead, there is a bunch of accessories you would like to wear, including the big earrings, necklaces and wayfarer or butterfly sunglasses. Seriously, who needs to overthink the outfit when the weather and crazy life call out? Just put on a dress or a skirt with a matching top, one of the amazing graphic clutch-like or tote bags, gather your hair into a loose top knot and go to have fun!
Photos courtesy of Vogue