Tag Archives: J Crew

Spring Surfing, A New Style of “Mommy & Me”

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a Friday, where once again we are seeing gray, gloomy skies. It is after all, February in The Great Midwest.

The abundance of dreary days spurred a spot of online window shopping this week, as we sought out some bright and vibrant hues. Fortunately, the springtime fashions are arriving in stores and online, so we were able to indulge in dreams of sunny skies and warmer temps. While looking at the styles we noted the preponderance of patterned sweaters that are made of printed fabric, as opposed to the pattern being woven into the material.

We have several examples of the technique, starting with Bean’s Lightweight Printed cardigan ($59.95). The material is described as “premium pima cotton for silky softness, nylon for extra durability and a bit of Lycra® elastane for a consistent fit”.

LL Bean Printed Cardigans

LL Bean Printed Cardigans

Many of us grew up wearing sweaters with the pattern woven into the garment, like these, also from Bean. The handknit Fair Isle ($199) is seen on the left, the iconic Norwegian sweater ($139) is on the right.

LL Bean

LL Bean

More examples of the printed sweaters, a springy style from J. McLaughlin. This is the Durango Sweater ($155), also printed (and in a lovely selection of color palettes!). It is a cotton/modal blend with a touch of spandex.

J. McLaughlin

J. McLaughlin

Talbots’ cardigans are often a blend of 60% cotton/40% rayon. It is a comfortable mix of fibers, I have one and it has worn well. Below left, the Tapestry Paisley Cardigan.

Talbots

Talbots

Lilly Pulitzer also offers printed cardigans.

Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer

Someone here at the Prepatorium has several has seen these in person (cough-cough), the newer technique allows patterns that are more intricate and detailed, and colors that are rich and bold.  Initially I wasn’t crazy about the method, but gradually have come to like it, deciding there is room in the closet for both styles. Does anyone else have strong feelings about the fabric…good, bad, never noticed?

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Another style we have noticed more this spring, the knit blazer. Below we show it as interpreted by Brooks Brothers.

Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers

Talbots also offers a knit jacket, this is the Ponté knit Colorblocked Jacket (149).

Talbots Ponte Knit Blazer

Talbots Ponte Knit Blazer

And here we see LL Bean’s version, the Comfort Knit Blazer ($49.95).

LL Bean

LL Bean

It brings to mind an old theory of mine: as a rule, if the word ‘comfort’ is in the name of a garment, it’s unlikely to be terribly chic or elegant. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when viewing the gray version, in particular, the look goes a bit downhill.

Knits can be a beautiful thing, especially when traveling. Talbots has multiple pieces in the Ponté knit fabric shown above, arguably several would work on a business trip. The freedom from wrinkles alone make the textile meritorious of inclusion in many a wardrobe. But the knit blazer….? Below, Old Navy’s version ($34.94).

Old Navy

Old Navy

Observations? The jackets with patterns and/or tipping (the contrasting color edges seen on the Brooks Brothers & Talbots pieces) seem less offensive than the solid colors. Also, gray looks rather ghastly, reminiscent of sweatshirts and yoga pants. Again, nothing bad about those items in one’s closet, they have a place. It’s just similar material turned into a blazer looks very odd to yours truly.

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The final trend we noticed when surfing through some of our favorite sites, color blocking.

Via LilyWhiteClothing.com

Via LilyWhiteClothing.com

We see it in Lilly’s Heidi Cardigan ($148).

Lilly Pulitzer 'Heidi' Cardigan

Lilly Pulitzer ‘Heidi’ Cardigan

As well as J. Crew’s Colorblock Cardigan ($89.50).

J. Crew

J. Crew

And Kate Spade’s Colorblock Tees ($68).

Kate Spade

Kate Spade

As Lilly notes in describing its Irene Dress (below left), “We’re on a colorblock kick!” The frock on the right is the Colorblock Tiff Dress from Kate Spade ($358), on the far right, Kate Spade’s Colorblock Blanche Dress ($498).

Lilly Pulitzer/Kate Spade/Kate Spade

Lilly Pulitzer/Kate Spade/Kate Spade

More examples: the Long Sleeve Sunshirt in Caribbean ($78), Stretch Perfect Shirt in Hydrangea ($88), and Boys’ Pullover in Spearmint ($49.50), all from J. Crew.

J. Crew

J. Crew

I have long been fond of this style (in moderation), it adds zip to garments that usually have clean lines and minimal embellishment.

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Our final tidbit today has nothing to do with dressing humans, but rather, feline fashions. Behold, United Bamboo’s 2013 Cat Calendar.

United Bamboo

United Bamboo

Why are we so crazy about it? It is all about the sartorial selections of those starring in the pages of the Calendar.

United Bamboo

United Bamboo

How cute is the little Regatta Blazer?

United Bamboo

United Bamboo

Or the Ruffle Pleat Dress?

United Bamboo

United Bamboo

It kind of takes ‘Mommy & Me’ to an entirely new level.

United Bamboo

United Bamboo

With that we say Happy Weekend!

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Filed under Friday Fun, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Buy Kate Spade Stock. On Facebook.

Hello-hello, and happy start of the three-day weekend.

Today we offer a touch of Friday Fun, beginning with something unusual (at least to us), an opportunity to buy Kate Spade stock. On Facebook.

For those who don’t “do Facebook,” this is what Kate Spade’s homepage looks like. Look at the far bottom right of the image below, you’ll see an orange box with the words “A Stylish Investment”.

Kate Spade Facebook

Clicking on the link brings one to this graphic.

Kate Spade Facebook

Another click actually takes the user off Facebook to the Fifth & Pacific website, Fifth & Pacific owns Kate Spade and other brands readers may recognize: Jack Spade, Lucky Brand and Juicy Couture. (Fifth & Pacific was previously known as Liz Claiborne, Liz Claiborne is now sold only at JC Penney.)

Fifth and Pacific

It turns out you can buy stock in any of the Fifth & Pacific companies, here are more details from the Journal:

Customers can spend up to $2,500 a month or make as little as a one-time $10 “fractional” investment. They can make a regular monthly commitment or a one-time investment. Fifth & Pacific pays all transaction fees.

It is an intriguing approach. You’ve heard of ESOPs, Employee Stock Ownership Plans? Well, this is being called a CSOP, Customer Stock Ownership Plan, here’s what one executive says about the approach:

“We call it the ultimate like button.”

Apparently we will see more of this, stock offered directly to consumers via a brand’s website or Facebook page.

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Next, summer beach styles at a few holiday hotspots via our pals at Guest of a Guest, their look at What to Wear to Your Favorite Summer Destinations. Here are their styles they suggest if heading to Nantucket:

Nothing says “New England” quite like seersucker. Be prepared to fit in amongst the town of grey shingles and cobble stones with preppy stripes and all American classics.

Pieces are included from Old Navy and J. Crew.

Guest of a Guest

Suggestions for Avalon (Seven Mile Island, NJ) are more eclectic:

“A little bit waspy and a little bit Springsteen… You won’t find Snookie in this area of the Jersey Shore. What you will find are private beach houses, golf clubs and miles and miles of sand…”

Guest of a Guest

No story about summer socializing would be complete without a Hamptons mention:

With sprawling fields and equally sprawling homes, the Hamptons go from country casual to uber upscale the moment the city folks start pouring in for the high season. Look the part in sweet styles with a touch of prep.

Guest of a Guest

This montage included items from Michael Kors, Delia’s, and Rebecca Minkoff. You can see the entire feature here.

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We hope you enjoy the extended weekend, and also have a moment to remember the reason for the holiday.

Reuters

The National Moment of Remembrance is Monday, 3pm local time, wherever you are in the USA.

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An Inside Look at J. Crew & Its CEO

Hello-Hello, happy mid-week. In reality it is a bit beyond that, as Friday is a half-day at many places of business.

We thought readers might be interested in a television program airing tomorrow night on CNBC.

CNBC

J. Crew & The Man Who Dressed America” is an hour-long special focused on Crew’s CEO Mickey Drexler.

CNBC

The show airs on CNBC at 10pm:

J.Crew has transformed from a once-flailing, lackluster brand to a fashion force. Leading J.Crew is CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler, known for his intuitive sense of what the public craves and his ability to lift troubled companies to new heights.

J. Crew Collection

Back to the news release:

Since taking over J.Crew in 2003, Drexler has successfully introduced designer quality clothing for the masses — driving the company’s revenues up 170 percent.

J. Crew

Those fond of the retailer, along with those interested in the fashion industry, are sure to enjoy this one. One of the segments is a behind the scenes look at putting together a J. Crew catalog. (Click here for a preview of the segment.)

CNBC

From a review of the show in North Jersey:

J. Crew is one of America’s most ubiquitous brands. Step into any mall and you’ll likely see one of the stores. It’s associated with words like “preppy,” “classic” and “all-American,” a place where you can buy button-down shirts in myriad colors and a pair of jeans fit for work or play.

CNBC delves into the inner workings of Drexler’s intense and borderline obsessive involvement in the company…

Jenna Lyons is featured throughout the documentary, including a segment on the Fall 2012 collection. (Click here for a preview of the segment.)

CNBC

More from North Jersey’s story:

The hour-long special delves into everything from Drexler’s days growing up in the Bronx (he still eats lunch with his childhood friends) to his intensely hands-on style of management (he installed a loudspeaker system in J. Crew’s New York City headquarters and often spouts words of wisdom through its halls).

Boston.com has their own reason people should watch the program:

….you can see the always unnerving collected Vogue editor Anna Wintour dish about J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler on CNBC’s “J.Crew and the Man Who Dressed America.” It’s no visit with Stephen Colbert, but Wintour does offer some good tidbits on Drexler.

The company continues to evolve, energy has recently been redirected back to basics like its popular ballet flats.

J. Crew

We’ve been tediously repetitive candid in this space about concerns the retailer drifted away from its roots in efforts to reach a more “fashion forward” clientele. I’m looking forward to watching the special,it’s likely we’ll be able to tell form the interviews if the focus will remain close to Crew’s lineage or not.

A quick Sales & Savings note: Crew’s Memorial Day Sale offers an additional 30% off sale merchandise with the code LOVEIT. (With apologies, I have no idea why this is blinking, or how to make it stop.)

J. Crew

(My inability to make that stop blinking is arguably today’s greatest failure.)

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One other tidbit today, word of a new company with prep leanings (at least new to us), Chicago Belt.

Chicago Belt

The Prepatorium is located in The Great Midwest and we love learning about things reflecting our roots. The company features grosgrain ribbon belts made in the USA, including this one showcasing the Great Lakes.

Chicago Belt Company

An added bonus? 10% of sales from this belt goes to the Shedd Aquarium (one of our favorite places to visit) and its “Keep the Lake Great” program. Our thanks to Great Lakes Prep for the tip on this one!

Thanks for popping in, g’bye until next time!

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Is the Gap Back? Also, ‘A Proposition for Prep’

Hello-Hello, happy top of a new week to everyone.

Today we begin with a look at a topic we have been pondering lately, how things are going for the Gap. Some may recall earlier posts in this space about challenges facing the retailer, this weekend’s Times carried an interesting story about the company, “A Humbled Gap Tries a Fresh Coat of Pep“.  The lead sentence makes perfect sense to someone like myself who has been following Gap’s misfortunes, and wondering about the company’s marketing plan.

“THIS can’t be a Gap: the mannequins look kind of happy.”

That covers a broad swath of things related to Gap’s ongoing dilemma, more on the company’s situation can be found in Stephanie Clifford’s story:

After defining 1990s khaki culture, Gap fell hard in the early 2000s. Management missteps, executive turnover and, not least, unappealing fashion punished sales. It was a remarkable comedown for a chain that once seemed to dictate how America dressed.

What went wrong? Dozens of interviews with current and former executives depict a company that chased after rivals, rather than charting its own course, and that cut quality and lost touch with customers. Simply put, it filled its stores with stuff that people didn’t want.

I don’t know about your Palace, but that second paragraph resonates here at The Prepatorium, especially the quality issue. Parenthetically, it is also a description one could apply almost verbatim to Talbots current status.

It looks like some basics are back on track, like Gap’s Oxford Shirts.

Gap

While not a close observer or customer of the Baby Gap line, it seemed from what we noticed in online and print ads that this part of the company retained its focus and core products fairly well….yes?  For those in touch with the children’s clothing, was quality an issue here as well, or not so much?

Baby Gap

The DVF for Baby Gap and Gap Kids line is insanely cute. (More on this collaboration may be found here.)

DVF for Baby Gap

Below, two marketing images from this spring demonstrates the retailer’s commitment to vivid colors.

Gap

More from the NY Times story:

But recent moves seem to be spurring sales. The clothes are bright and fabrics better. (Mr. Peck mandates a minimum weight for T-shirts and knits.) And Gap has added production flexibility so it can chase trends it initially missed — for instance, it just rushed in floral-printed jeans for women.

Again, the emphasis on plenty of brights.

Gap

The back to basics mantra is also influencing the men’s clothing and accessories.

Gap

Other initiatives don’t seem as popular, like the brand’s flip-flops, at least if judging by comments left on the Gap Facebook page, there is some push back on these when it comes to the price, $24.95.

The story closes with a paragraph about Gap’s collection for this winter.

Mannequins wore winter gear, like an updated cable-knit sweater with a slouchy fit. The rest of the collection was red, navy and camel — peppy and preppy.

It looked like something that had been missing for a long time: it looked like the Gap.

It would be wonderful to see Gap back again.

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Also today, a quick look at a piece done over at The Bag Snob titled “The Top 5 Preppy Bags: A Proposition for Prep“:

The Bag Snob

In the story Bag Snob Tina writes:

The word “preppy” tends to have a very specific connotation. Somehow, eighties imagery of Lacoste alligators, Nantucket Reds, and Sperry topsiders (not that they’ve even left preppy dudes’ closets) still hover.

But I’m noticing a freshly cut crop of clean-cut bags that put the “hip” in “prepster,” if you will. Whether you carry yours with a hint of irony or without blinking an eye, it’s time to embrace a little bit of modern prep.

The Anya Hindmarch ‘Nevis’ color block tote is very attractive, that color combo is perfect for the summer!

Until next time may your skies be bright and beautiful!

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That New Sex & The City Show, & J. Crew Collaboration Announced,

Hello-Hello, welcome to the middle of a fabulous week, we hope yours is going splendidly.

We begin today with something creating a little buzz about the interwebs, the upcoming Sex and the City prequel series. The new show will air on the CW, it makes sense for this network, already home to other popular dramas like Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries and One Tree Hill.

The show is shooting in the city this week, featuring scenes with the “new Carrie,” played by actress AnnaSophia Robb.

Via AnnaSophiaRobb.com

The “Carrie Diaries” is slated to launch late this spring, with the pilot airing in May. We show the actress in character above, and below.

Photos Via AnnaSophiaRobb.com

Many recall that the popular TV series ended in 2004, and there were also the two SATC films. Set in the 1980s, the new program features Carrie during her teen years.  There isn’t universal approval of the new show, below a tweet sums up a reaction we have seen expressed by others.

Via Web Pro News

Style experts Tom and Lorenzo shared their thoughts on the new series today.

The more we hear about this Sex and the City prequel, the less sense it makes to us.

The choice of actress for the iconic Sarah Jessica Parker role is irksome for the witty duo, but nowhere near as much as fashions being seen on set.

But okay, let’s go with the idea that you can take a character with an established history and simply erase it to make her palatable to a younger audience. Let’s assume all that is a brilliant move.

What we absolutely canNOT accept is some costume designer getting an “’80s New York” brief and thinking a few paint splashes on a standard purse will get the job done.

Methinks they are referencing this bag.

Via AnnaSophiaRobb.com (L)/TomandLorenzo.com (R)

Back to their thoughts on the new show.

No teenager in the ’80s ever dressed remotely like this – unless they were going to a costume party as their mothers. And it’s not like ’80s teen fashion is some obscure phenomenon that would require extensive research.In other words, the thinking behind this prequel seems to be:

  • Carrie Bradshaw: Anyone with curly hair.
  • ’80s fashion: Just like 2012 fashion, except with more paint splashes.

So you can understand our disappointment and confusion.

Ouch.

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We also have news today about another designer collaboration for J. Crew, this time with Joseph Altuzarra.  More from Fashionista’s story:

Earlier this month, speculation was running wild regarding a collaboration between CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Joseph Altuzarra…and J. Crew and now we have a verbal confirmation from Altuzarra himself. We caught up with the always cute and friendly designer on the red carpet at the Jeffrey Fashion Cares event last night and he dropped this tidbit on the collab.

Below, we show three spring 2012 styles form the designer’s existing line (*not* the J. Crew line), as seen at Barneys.

Barneys New York

Back to the Fashionista story:

So what should we be expecting from the celebrated young designer who recently showed some tricked out coats for his Gypsy-themed collection for Fall 2012?

“Well, it was a really interesting project because it was like a conflation of their language — or of their world — [and] of our world and putting it together,” he hinted after realizing maybe he gave up too much info. “And I think that was really interesting for me to work on.”

The new collection is expected in J. Crew stores in a few weeks, we’re intrigued to see how it looks and what the price points are.

That’s it for now, goodbye until next time!

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“Nu Preppy,” “Preppy Chic,” and Is It Goodbye to Platforms?

Hello-Hello, it is a simply gorgeous day here in The Great Midwest, we hope you are enjoying the same.

Because someone we know is incapable of adequately planning the most rudimentary of calendars  As is often the case on Tuesdays, multiple commitments away from the Prepatorium mandate a brief post, so we jump right in with a look at a style being referred to as “Nu Preppy” by the folks at Miami Fashion blog.

ASOS Courtesy Photo via Miami Fashion Blog

From the post:

“It used to be that traditional Ivy League garb set the standard – crewneck cashmere, crested blazers, preppy plaid, and the ubiquitous pearls and penny loafers were the must-haves of the school set. These days, this posh, buttoned-up look is anything but – the sweaters are looser, the skirts are tigher, and the shoes are much, much taller.”

We’ll address that taller shoe issue in a bit, but first a description of two pieces we show below from J. Crew (L) and MiH Jeans (R).

“…do conservative-meets-cool with an oxford-sweater combo; the Swing Cotton Shirt from MIH Jeans is the perfect preppy light-blue, and perfectly fitted as well. Instead of a classic cable knit, top it off with a tactile Mohair Rugby-stripe Sweater from J. Crew.

J. Crew and MiH Jeans via Miami Fashion Blog

The story references several runway styles from the varying Fashion Weeks, here is more on ‘Nu Preppy’:

Classic collegiate style is back in a big way for Fall and big-name designers and cult-labels alike are jumping on board. Paul Smith, staying true to form, sent his girls down the runway in preppy sweaters, tailored pants, collared shirts, boyfriend blazers and thick-rimmed black eyeglasses. Unexpected details like a completely sheer oxford shirt, polka-dots, or oversized, off-kilter layers kept the look fresh and far from cliché.”

The rest of the styles described can be seen in this montage.

Miami Fashion Blog

While you won’t see your trusty scribe in the looks seen above, we do enjoy seeing the different interpretations of ‘preppy styles’.  In fact, we share yet one more interpretation, this one from a German perspective: “Striped blouses, polo shirts, chinos: preppy style is back.

“Neat and proper, the preppy look includes polo shirts, cable knit sweaters, striped blouses and trousers with pleats in the front..the upscale, elite society of the US east coast is the source of inspiration for a number of current styles. Preppy chic has come back into style.”

Thank heaven, I know you will all be sleeping better tonight with the news we’re back. (Heh, heh, heh.) This second story comes via Monsters & Critics (the website, not Tolkien’s lecture/essays).

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We mentioned heel height up above, here is why we feel it merits a bit of discussion.

All Photos by Getty Images

Those are photos from today’s Chanel runway show at Paris Fashion Week. The absence of towering platforms and sky-high heels was glaring. It wasn’t limited to just a few looks in Karl Lagerfeld’s undersea world, here are three more.

Getty Images, AP Photo, Getty Images

A very welcome sight indeed. We’re not sure about the space age silver booties, but dialing down the ridiculosity meter is a lovely thing to behold. We share one other look from the Chanel show, and this one isn’t from the runway, it is a guest.

Getty Images

Princess Siriwanwaree Nareerat of Thailand, the details of her jacket, jewelry and bag are so exquisite they caught even our jaundiced eye, it is all simply lovely.

Goodbye until next time!

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Is Pendleton….Hip? Also, J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons Profiled Everywhere

Well now, didn’t yesterday turn out to be more than a little wacky? With all that shakin’ going on and Hurricane Irene looming, we take a moment to send good thoughts to everyone impacted, batten down the hatches.

We move on to chatter about a company we have long been fond of, Pendleton; it’s one of those brands many of us grew up with, representative of what many refer to as ‘pure prep’.  It is still a name we think of every now and then, the memory jarred by a decades-old skirt hanging in the winter closet, or a neatly folded sweater stashed away until colder temps return. We also enjoy popping into our local Pendleton boutique, the quality of the clothing is one reason we harbor such positive feelings about the company, everything is very well made.

But let’s be honest, when you hear ‘Pendleton,’ is this what you think of?

Pendleton Woolen Mills

Would you be surprised to learn these are also part of the fall collection?

Pendleton

Above left is the company’s Soho skirt and on the right, its Consuela Short Skirt.

Last week one of our favorite columnists at The Los Angeles Times wrote a piece asking the question “Can Pendleton conquer the hipster class?” More from Times fashion critic Booth Moore:

For many, the brand is associated with career clothes and mom jeans, with Indian blankets and plaid shirts worn by the Beach Boys.

Pendleton via The LA Times

The picture is from 1963, it was used on the cover of the band’s “Surfer Girl” album. In a recent story Mr. Moore delves into Pendleton’s history and future, with a detailed look at the brand’s upcoming Portland Collection.

But Pendleton has been working to attract a new generation of contemporary customers for the last few years… Now Pendleton Woolen Mills, Oregon’s 102-year-old, dyed-in-the-wool blanket brand, is continuing its move into the boutique fashion business by tapping into the indie cool of Portland…

Styles from the Portland Collection.

Courtesy Photos

More styles.

Courtesy Photos

Back to Booth Moore’s article:

“The clothes nod to the season’s western trend, but in a quirky, alterno kind of way. The Pendleton jacquards, done in black and white, read more graphic and modern than Santa Fe style circa 1990. And the famous plaids aren’t outdoorsy so much as they are nerd-chic.”

Clearly, your trusty correspondent is unlikely to be found in pieces from the new line; we applaud Pendleton’s efforts to evolve the brand while remaining true to its core audience. As Mr. Moore’s story points out, they aren’t alone in this kind of endeavor.

Pendleton, headquartered in downtown Portland, follows several other American heritage brands in looking to the past to forge the future (Lands’ End, L.L. Bean, Woolrich Woolen Mills).

An image from the firm’s website shows a reference to its storied past with the ‘Right Then, Right Now’ graphics.

Pendleton

We have previously looked at Pendleton’s evolution, including this post in 2009 previewing its collaboration with the oh-so-hip Opening Ceremony.

The Portland Collection launches right after Labor Day and will even be available at some Anthropologie stores.

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Also today, word of some unhappy J. Crew customers in Canada. The retailer opened its first store there last week and pricing differences between the two countries has upset shoppers. From a story in the Globe and Mail:

“For online customers, taxes and duties raised the final price for orders in some cases by as much as 50 per cent compared with the U.S. site they previously ordered from.”

One challenge facing anyone opening new markets: technology that simply wasn’t around fifteen years ago, making pricing information available to anyone.  Back to the story:

“…the quick and angry response from customers to J. Crew’s hiking of domestic prices underscores its customers’ familiarity with its products and prices, and the easy access to its e-commerce site to make fast price comparisons.

Here is more in a story titled Why is J. Crew charging us so much?:

“The disparity is particularly noticeable online, where the final prices on J. Crew’s Canadian site are as much as 40 per cent higher than on its U.S. site once taxes and shipping are added.

For example, the U.S. price for a pair of Café Capri plaid wool pants is $138 while the Canadian price is $160, a difference of 15 per cent. Once shipping and taxes are added, the U.S. price is $159, while the Canadian price is $223, a difference of 40 per cent.”

Below we show two pair of the Café Capri pants, in Plaid and in Houndstooth, both are priced at the amount mentioned above, $138.

J. Crew Café Capri pants

In all fairness, most retailers entering the Canadian market charge higher prices, it is more expensive to do business in that country for a variety of reasons: higher taxes, additional fees, fewer (if any) distribution points, etc.  More from the Globe’s story by Marina Strauss:

Other retailers have felt consumers’ wrath about higher prices in Canada compared with the U.S. Last spring, a study found that Canadian prices were 20-per-cent higher than those of the same products in the United States, while two years earlier the spread was less than 7 per cent.

Crew is also launching online shopping in the UK soon, its experiment selling through Net-a-Porter has been so positive a dedicated website is in the works, more from The Telegraph:

“Admirers of Michelle Obama’s colourful style will be happy to hear that J.Crew, her go-to retailer for affordable and stylish additions to her wardrobe (and that of her two daughters), is to launch in the UK at the end of the summer.

Although yet to be confirmed, prices are likely to come a little bit higher than in the US due to import duty, as reflected in their offering on Net-a-Porter.”

There have been several recent profiles of Crew’s CEO Jenna Lyons including a Q&A format in the National Post and New York magazine’s in-depth piece, it goes back to Ms. Lyon’s early days with the company

J.Crew was a small company in 1990, when Lyons went in for an interview. The brand styled itself as an energetic all-American label that was neither Talbots nor Ralph Lauren nor L.L. Bean. “J.Crew was the life that you could have,” Lyons says. “It was about hanging out. There was no price of entry. You might have a house in Maine on the beach, but you didn’t have a yacht and twelve horses.”

Below we see Ms. Lyons at work.

Martine Fougeron for New York magazine

More from Molly Young’s article.

Where feathers and sequins meet J.Crew is largely a matter of styling, and though Lyons dislikes the word preppy, her choices always invoke the core prep values of ease, cleanliness, and conservatism. If her company has always prized a kind of sartorial comfort—nothing too tight, too short, too synthetic—then Lyons, with her bare face and occasional bralessness, is what happens when comfort meets chic.

I very much enjoyed the story, click here to read the entire piece.

We leave you with this image from the just launched Lulu Frost for J. Crew collection.

Lulu Frost for J. Crew

The collection is now available in stores and online, princes run from $45 to $135.

Until next time. have a splendid day!

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