I love J.Crew. My mom snuck me out of class to go to the store opening in Orlando, I bought my first winter coat at the Rockefeller Center store, and I wait in suspense for each new shipment of Favorite Boxers. But scrolling through the site recently, I worry that someone has replaced my favorite preppy retailer with an evil twin sister like in Double, Double Toil and Trouble. Here's why: 1. Yoga Clothes. Seriously? As Natalie points out, the Yoga trend died years ago, and more importantly, do J.Crew girls really do yoga? Don't you picture them in a spinning class, or on a tennis court? 2. Awkward Girl. This isn't a W spread, we swear. It's just a J.Crew model sitting in a most unflattering position, making this cute gingham frock look about as attractive as a t-shirt at Savers. 3. The Luggage Collection. No joke. Italian leather luggage, in white, orange and yellow no less, for $1200 to $2000. For a little more, you could buy Louis Vuitton (or better yet, Tumi plus a plane ticket to Paris). I get it. J.Crew wants to play with the big boys of luxury - thus the fine jewelry, organza ball gowns, and now editorial catalogs and insane luggage - but taken as a whole, are they really selling all of this to the same customer? Don't pull a Gap on us now, there aren't enough Patrick Robinsons to go around. --BRETT KANE
J.Crew's Former Head of Womenswear Design Is Launching Her Own Line
Marissa Web, who is in the midst of launching her first namesake line, is in a unique position as an emerging designer--because while the average fashion consumer has probably never heard of her, they've already been wearing her designs. For years. Webb was head of J.Crew's womenswear design since 2000, and as such she is responsible for some of our favorite collections from the retail giant. In 2011, the designer left J.Crew to "pursue other opportunities" and was replaced by Tom Mora. Now, according to WWD, Webb is set on conquering the fashion industry in her own name, debuting her first eponymous collection during fashion week this fall and launching in stores spring 2013.