J. Crew: Too fashion forward for longtime customers?

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J. Crew Gets a Wake Up Call from Customers (photo: Vintage Bell Telephone Ad)

J. Crew might be taking a page from J.C. Penney’s recent “We’re listening ” campaign.   Remember how J.C. Penney lost business bringing in fashion designers and discontinuing long time brands like St. John’s Bay?   Yahoo Shine reports that J. Crew “CEO Mickey Drexler recently received an e-mail from a concerned customer, who said she was disappointed that J. Crew was leaving its “core values and styling and abandoning your loyal customers.”  Mr. Drexler called the customer personally and  admitted that perhaps J. Crew has strayed from their original “classics and brand messaging.”   According to Yahoo Shine, the J. Crew CEO even sent the customer a afollow-up email stating, “We are on it for sure. I hope you see a difference this fall.”

Before Mrs. Obama started wearing J. Crew, I thought the brand had a very preppy collegiate look.   But once Michelle Obama became a customer as First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS), that’s when I think things began to change.   With Mrs. O wearing J. Crew even to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen, I think the brand felt pressure to deliver more fashionable items and high-end dresses.  They’ve even presented at New York Fashion Week and started selling wedding dresses.   Designers like Joseph Altuzarra  are now designing bridge collections for J. Crew. That’s a long way from selling Khakis.  After all the media hype around J. Crew and FLOTUS, maybe the company’s original stock of crisp shirts, polos and casual wear is what their customers really want to buy? Watch this space to see what the J. Crew fall lookbook/catalog looks like.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.