J.Crew has a new designer and a new outlook — but based on a conference call yesterday, it may be reverting to some very old roots. In response to customer dissatisfaction with the store's offerings over the past few years — one even went to the trouble of creating a website called "How to Fix J.Crew" — the company is going to focus on what it calls "heritage items." That means ballet flats, its popular Regent blazer and Jackie cardigan styles, and plenty of cashmere and denim. “Entering fall, we feel good about the assortments in stores and online, which reflect more emphasis on the key product categories that our customers love J. Crew for," said CEO Mickey Drexler, as relayed by Women's Wear Daily.
Meanwhile, the J.Crew Collection, the brand's higher-priced line imbued with Jenna Lyons' quirky put-a-sequin-on-it sensibility, will be less emphasized — oddly, just as that pile-it-on approach is gaining favor again on the runways, as seen at Gucci and Marc Jacobs.
Drexler stressed that the changes can be chalked up to a “calibration of product, not a change in direction.” "I am not going to say it’s the be-all, end-all, but I think you will be really pleased with what you see,” he promised. We'll certainly hear from their outspoken customer base either way.