She goes up-tiddly-up-up...she goes down-tiddly-own-own

I seem to be having mood swings at the moment in relation to J Crew...there are the highs...and the lows...and the things that just make you scratch your head...

For example, I just received their most recent catalog in the mail and as I was flipping through I noticed a rather nice, sparkly bracelet. "Oooh", I thought, "just the thing to quench my current glitter fixation". Then I noticed the small print, Diamond jewelry by Fred Leighton.

Now...this doesn't seem to be playing fair as almost anything is going to look good if you stick a sizeable clump of diamonds next to it. And somehow I don't think those khaki shorts are going to have the same Grace Kelly insouciant vibe when the year's salary worth of gems is missing. But my main gripe is, what is the message here? J Crew makes jewelry...so this isn't a case of bringing in the diamonds because there was no other option...it's a conscious choice (and one that has already been taken by Gap in their ads featuring Sarah Jessica Parker) a choice that, in my mind at least, seems to disparage the jewelry that they themselves are trying to sell.

I think the underlying problem that I'm having is that I've never thought of J Crew as aspirational clothing...they do good, cute, preppy basics...but with the heavy duty jewels and the pricing of their "Collection" pieces they seem to be trying to move to higher ground...but with this transition isn't there a risk they may alienate their current clients and make them feel priced out?

 
 
 
 

Post a Comment 3 comments:

  • elizabeth said...
    8:32 AM
    You know, I was looking at this this morning and I didn't notice the FL jewels. This actually doesn't bug me too much--I would much rather them use real diamonds than try to make a lousy crystal version that will still cost far more than it's worth. It's certainly better than years ago when the models would be in something adorable and then you'd read in the caption "[awesome item], model's own." That always drove me crazy.

    Something I do love in the new catalog, though, is the Hermes vibe I'm getting from the enamel bangles, without them blatantly copying one of the Hermes designs (though the orange is a little suspect...).

    Now I'm very curious to see what they have in-store when I go into town on Saturday...
  • Ellen said...
    9:28 PM
    I agree with you. Lately, I think their clothes have had a more grown-up, classic vibe without having the overly preppy vibe we've come to associate with the label. However, with this new direction, I feel they may lose their current customer, especially as the middle class slowly dissolves and the luxury goods market continues to flourish (http://fashionista.com/2007/11/over_the_past_few_years.php). I love J. Crew as much as the next girl, but they have got to tone down their pricing. It's getting outrageous. Nowadays, I could purchase a Marc by Marc dress for the same price as a J. Crew one. And I know which one I would choose.

    But I totally dig that blue sequined number on the scanned right page of the catalog. Sorry for the wordy post!
  • tienda said...
    4:12 AM
    Very useful material, thank you for the article.

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