It may only be Halloween weekend, but according to the fabulous folks at J.Crew, it’s already beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Yesterday evening, American Express and the classic-cool high street store joined forces to celebrate the launch of the latter’s Holiday 2010 collection at their Fifth Avenue flagship store.
As a line of eager shoppers wrapped around the block outside, J.Crew’s creative team mingled with those inside—and were more than happy to spill the details on their holiday gifting lists. “I think I’ve bought something like 12 gingham shirts at this point,” laughed Jenna Lyons, the brand’s President and Executive Creative Director (and our own longtime girl crush). “And lots of cashmere socks—I mean, who would actually spend $30 on a pair of socks for themselves? They’re the sort of extravagant thing you’d never treat yourself to—which is why they make for a great gift.”
Meanwhile, we couldn’t help but grill J.Crew’s dapper VP of Men’s Design, Frank Muytjens, about what to buy for the guys in one’s life. “I love our Thomas Mason oxford shirts…and the Alden for J.Crew wingtips,” he said. “Every man should own a great pair of wingtip shoes—once they’re broken in, you’ll have them for the rest of your life.”
As the event’s media hour wrapped up, J.Crew’s head honchos took their places on the store’s main staircase to greet their friends and fans—and share more about the new holiday line. “We saw this amazing picture of a decrepit, old mansion,” explained VP of Women’s Design Marissa Webb, “and that raw, rustic, faded-out image inspired this whole collection. It’s about the idea of contrast, of taking a raw space and bringing it to life with shine and color. After all, J.Crew stands by the idea of mixing and matching!” Judging by Marissa and Jenna’s own attire—both wore festive, embellished pieces paired with outdoorsy olive field jackets—it’s clear this store’s team practices what they preach. Added Muytjens, “We love things rooted in history–things with a patina.”
As for the new collection itself, it was chock-full of the classic standbys for which the store’s known—think luxe cashmere knits in an array of autumnal mustards and rusty reds, plenty of sequined skirts and cardigans, and the occasional hit of plaid. And following J.Crew’s successful collaborations with both Essie and Stila, Webb hinted that the company is planning to pair up with other beauty brands in the near future. As far as Lyons is concerned, however, there’s one label she’s truly courting for a J.Crew collaboration. “Christian Louboutin!” she exclaimed. “If he said yes to the idea, I would die and go to heaven.”