Hello-Hello and Happy Monday! We hope everyone enjoyed a splendid weekend!
It seems this past weekend had a bit of a J. Crew management theme in some of the national media. As previously mentioned, J. Crew Grand Pooh-Bah Mickey Drexler was profiled yesterday on CBS’ “Sunday Morning” program. The feature looks quite interesting, click here to see the full story.
Also this Sunday, the LA Times carried an interesting story on Jenna Lyons, J. Crew’s Design Director.
If curious about what duties and responsibilities her job actually involves, the story explains:
“That title means she’s in charge of every design element of the company, website and catalog, and it’s her attention to detail — delicate beading, raw edges, crepe de Chine ruffles — that sets J.Crew apart from other mall stores. The company’s ability to be both aspirational and attainable has made it popular with Indianapolis career women and Birkin-toting Malibu trophy wives alike.”
Fashion Critic Booth Moore’s article looks at the ‘cult of Jenna’:
“Bloggers evaluate her personal as well as professional style, contributing to the budding cult of Jenna. They wax eloquently about her love of neutral colors, Sharpie pens and Maybelline Cool Watermelon lipstick.
When it comes to the monetization of this phenomenon or other tangible values attached to such popularity, stock analysts aren’t necessarily seeing it:
“But praise in the blogosphere can’t guarantee a surge in sales of all those pencil skirts and cardigans. “Nobody needs another one-pocket tee or twin set or pleat-front skirt,” says Richard Jaffe, a retail analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus and Co. “Your closet is full of them.”
This feature on Ms. Lyons, when read in tandem with the CBS profile on CEO Mickey Drexler, provides insight into the business of fashion. More from the LA Times piece:
“The chief executive and the designer behave a little like a father-daughter team. Over lunch at Cecconi’s in West Hollywood, she tells him that “being back here even for one day, all my insecurities come back. Women here are in such great shape. Everyone is blond and beautiful. Girls are trying on bathing suits and coming out of the dressing rooms and I’m like, ‘Just stay in there!’ “
The story also offers a look at select items from the Fall 2009 J. Crew Weddings & Parties line.
The dress is a poly/cotton/silk blend retailing for $2500. Also shown, the cotton Erica dress in Cypress, a color available this fall. (Note: our link connects to the current Erica dress, with most colors on sale for $99.)
And finally in our “J. Crews News section” this morning, word the company’s spinoff brand Madewell 1937 is launching a jeans collection deemed “… a bit more price friendly.”
This morning’s WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.) reports on the new line, Madewell ’37s, focusing on a single “skinny skinny” jean available in five colors. Perhaps most importantly,the new jean will retail at $58.50; other Madewell denim starts at $78.
As far as differentiating the new jeans from other ?
“The tag line for marketing the ’37s is “Cool jeans. Great price. We’ve got your back.”’
This article also quotes J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler:
“There’s a new world today. The denim customer is no longer trading up to higher price points. With customers giving us feedback and the marketplace changing, it was pretty clear there was a need to come out with a collection of jeans a bit more price friendly. Jeans at $92 to $110 represented the heart of the business.”
While we are not exactly the Madewell demo (cough-cough), it is good to see retailers being smart in pricing.
Our final item today has *nothing* to do with either J. Crew Group or Mr. Drexler, not that we are Drexler-averse, to the contrary, we think very highly of his skills. We just need to chat about something else, don’t you think?
No, our next item involves a statement contained within this story in yesterday’s Times, a feature looking at the continued demise of the crossword puzzle, along with other puzzles, in many publications.
“The Atlantic’s Puzzler, which will take its final bow in September, and The New York Sun’s crossword are among the most notable recent casualties, in part because of their Ivy League street cred. (Let’s face it: the crosswords in TV Guide and People magazine seldom generate heat at Hamptons dinner parties.)”
“Ivy League street cred?” Now, TP adores her crossword puzzles. Nothing is quite as comforting as settling in with pen (it must be a very specific pen you understand) and newspaper, generally the Times, but we have been known to utilize others in a pinch. But we have never heard them associated with an Ivy, that is a new one for us.
Have you heard of such an affiliation in anyone’s mind previously? More importanly, do you use pen or pencil when you do the puzzle? When pondering how to best answer these deep questions, do keep in mind the world’s fate hangs in the balance. (Heh-heh.)
With this wackiness we say G’bye until next time!