Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Being boarding-school brats in Boston, Virginia and I were huge mail-order-catalogue fans. We dug Delia's, like most teenage girls, but we were also subscribers to J.Crew -- I mean, who in New England wasn't? I remember when the first brick-and-mortar store opened in Boston's Galleria mall, it was the most exciting thing ever until H&M opened in Downtown Crossing. Oh, how easily we were wooed by fast fashion...
It was the woolly pea coats I most coveted, in camel or navy, but now the brand is all grown up with a resuscitation story that is no doubt making case-study rounds at all other stagnant fashion-retail houses. It's gone from prep-school aspirational to quirky tomboy approachable, upping price points but gaining more fans along the way. I mean, consider the fact that in Hong Kong it's being managed and distributed by luxury behemoth Lane Crawford. And sure, I guess you can still score your basics -- summer cashmere, khaki shorts, the perfect button-down -- at any J.Crew store across the globe. But you can also get your hands on all sorts of fashion-forward classics, like a neoprene floral trumpet skirt or a pair of perfect paint-splattered boyfriend jeans.
It's nice to meet a brand that truly grows up with you.
J.Crew's women's store opens in ifc mall today, and the men's store at On Lan Street.