Friday, October 30, 2009

J.Crew's Gotta Lock That Down {talking about Jenna Lyons of course!}

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Raina, Liz, J.Crew Guy In Canada, Nancy, Milkita (in this post), as well as RatsOnParade (in this post), who shared the following article from the Wall Street Journal (click here).

J.Crew Rewards Designer
By Elizabeth Holmes
October 29, 2009

Jenna Lyons, creative director of J.Crew Group Inc., received a special bonus of $1 million this week, according to a filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ms. Lyons's design aesthetic has been credited for the recent success of the New York clothing company. Stronger-than-expected sales in October prompted J.Crew last week to nearly double its outlook for fiscal third-quarter earnings to between 54 and 59 cents a share, up from 30 to 33 cents a share. J.Crew's casual styles-embellished T-shirts, frilly blouses and chunky jewelry-have been widely copied in the mall apparel space.

The bonus is intended to keep Ms. Lyons at J.Crew for the next several years. The terms specify that she must repay the bonus in full if she leaves within two years or repay half of it if she leaves after that but within four years. The company declined to comment.

The retail industry has been hit by a sharp contraction in consumer spending. J.Crew, like its competitors, has spent the last year cutting costs, including reducing inventory and slowing store openings. In February, it eliminated 95 positions in its corporate office and distribution centers. At that time, it also suspended 401(k) contributions and eliminated merit-based wage increases for all employees.

Neither Ms. Lyons nor any of the company's other four top executives received bonuses last year. Ms. Lyons received a compensation package, including stock awards and option awards, of $1.9 million last year, according to an April proxy filing.

Ms. Lyons joined the company in 1990 as an assistant designer, following an internship with Donna Karan. She became its creative director in December 2007 and has helped steer the brand to new levels of popularity. It has become a favorite with the White House, including specially designed clothes for first daughters Malia and Sasha Obama for their father's inauguration. J.Crew is also widely worn by celebrities, including Katherine Heigl.

Ms. Lyons has become something of a spokeswoman for the brand and is regularly featured in its marketing. "Jenna's Picks," or items she recommends, are a regular feature on the J.Crew Web site. Rival AnnTaylor Stores Corp. recently added a similar feature, dubbed "Lisa Loves," for its head designer, Lisa Axelson, to its Web site.

Ms. Lyons was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America earlier this month, alongside well-known designers from the luxury space including Alexander Wang and Jason Wu.
I have to admit, Jenna Lyons has done an amazing job over the years. It makes sense that J.Crew would want to keep her. Although I am curious what the future holds for J.Crew. Jenna Lyons has been transforming the company over the years– from updating great basics to introducing fashion-forward pieces. It will be interesting to see how they maintain the balance going forward. {Especially since the Spring 2010 collection contained more fashion forward pieces than updated basics (refer to this post).}

This article also mentions retail competitor Ann Taylor copying certain marketing elements. I have to say, as of lately I am loving what I am seeing from Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft! It reminds me of the J.Crew a few years ago in terms of styling (and that is a compliment!)

Thoughts on the article? Disagree or agree with J.Crew's decision to retain Ms. Lyon's services?

Become a Fan of J.Crew's Facebook Page {part 3}

As mentioned in earlier posts (refer here and here), J.Crew is offering free shipping for becoming a fan -or- are an existing fan of J.Crew's Facebook page (click here). On J.Crew's wall, J.Crew is offering free shipping (no minimum) with promo code JCREWFAN. This offer expires 10/31/09. {wahoo!}

Would you believe I haven't even taken advantage of the other code and I doubt I will take advantage of this code. Unfortunately, there is nothing I am interesting in getting right now. There is finally an amazing free shipping offer and I am not taking advantage of it. :(

Did you take advantage of the last (JCREWADDICT) offer? Are you planning to take advantage of this current offer? If so, what items are you planning to get?

J.Crew Email: Here's the skinny...

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Marietta, who shared the following email with us.

The email promotes J.Crew denim (click here to shop online) with a feature on the Ankle Stretch Toothpick Jean in Twilight Wash (Item 16719; $125.00). The email states:

You can do skinny. (Trust us) Our super skinny toothpick jean in a chic new ankle length.
Oh, how I want to trust you J.Crew. {sigh} Unfortunately, the skinny jeans look just does not work for my pear shape frame.

The outfit above also includes Silk Ruffle Cascade Jacket (Item 20942; $188.00). I have seen this jacket in my local brick & mortar (B&M) stores and don't know if I like it or not. I can't decide if I like the ruffles or its ruffle overload.

What are your thoughts on the Ankle Toothpick Jeans? Do you like the skinny jean look? Thoughts on the Ruffle Cascade Jacket? Are the ruffles a lovely or over-the-top feature?

Seek & Find: Will you visit J.Crew this Weekend?

This is the weekly "sale watch" post, to help each other find sale items at our various local J.Crew stores. ;)

If you are stopping by a J.Crew store this HALLOWEEN weekend to see what's available in the early Fall sale, or to see some new Fall arrivals {sigh!} in person, maybe you might be willing to share that with us in this post. In particular, if you could share with us a few of the noteworthy items that are available, at what prices, and potential sizes the store is carrying (as well as the store location)- that would be fantastic!

Also, please let us know if your local store is carrying an additional percent off sale. Thanks in advance!!! :)

P.S. I noticed that many of you have already been reporting sale items (and in which stores) in other posts which by the way "thank you!" :) I really appreciate how helpful we are for each other!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

J.Crew Email: You've earned a J.Crew Rewards Card

"Thanks!" to Em who let us know about an email sent to card members from J.Crew.

As mentioned in Monday's "J.Crew Rewards Card {around the corner!}" post, J.Crew is mailing out the Rewards Card to qualifying card members. The rewards card expires 12/15/09.

Also, "thanks!" to MissMasala who shared the following images of the most recent rewards card being sent. Click on any image above to view larger. :)

So if you are a card member, *check* your mail to see if you got your Rewards Card! :)

J.Crew Email: We're celebrating in St. Louis + $25 off

A big "thanks!" to Laura who let us know about another wonderful offer from J.Crew. The J.Crew in St. Louis, Missouri is having its first anniversary. To celebrate, J.Crew is offering local customers $25 off any purchase of $150+. This offer is good from 10/31/09 through 11/14/09.

Just click on the image above or here (which will take you to a larger version of the image) and print it out (so the associate can read the email).

The location for the store is:

St. Louis Galleria
1428 St. Louis Galleria
St. Louis, MO 63117
(314) 727-2534

Congrats to all those in the area!!! :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Become a Fan of J.Crew's Facebook Page {part 2}

As mentioned in the October 24 "Become a Fan of J.Crew's Facebook Page" post, J.Crew offered free shipping for becoming a fan. However, many JCAs reported receiving nothing after becoming a fan (or as an existing fan).

"Thanks!" to JR who let us know that if you become a fan -or- are an existing fan of J.Crew's Facebook page (click here), you will see a new code being offered on J.Crew's wall. J.Crew is offering free shipping (no minimum) with promo code JCADDICT. This offer expires 10/29/09. {wahoo!}

Happy shopping! :)

J.Crew Email: Up to 30% off select women's shoes and boots. Online only.

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Marietta, who shared the following email with us.

J.Crew is running a new promotion by offering 30% off select footwear for Women. This offer is only good for online purchases (click here to shop online) and is for a limited time only.

The email features both the Pippa Patent Peep Toes (Item 20343; Regular $198.00, now $150.00) and the Pippa Mirror Peep Toes (Item 20345; Regular $215.00, now $160.00). Some other items that have been reduced include the following:

  • Jacquard Ballet Flats
    (Item 20323; Regular $135.00, now $98.00)
  • Vivi printed Ballet Flats
    (Item 20326; Regular $145.00, now $110.00)
  • Megan Satin-Wrapped Suede Heels
    (Item 17651; Regular $198.00, now $129.99)
  • Harper Suede-and-Patent Platform Heels
    (Item 17497; Regular $228.00; now $175.00)
  • Molly Flannel Heels
    (Item 17653; Regular $225.00, now $175.00)
Are you planning to take advantage of this promotion? If so, what items are you planning to get? Have you tried on or purchased any of the latest shoes from J.Crew? If so, please share! :)

Happy Halloween! {are you celebrating with J.Crew?}

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!!
Okay, I am super early with this. However, I am really excited about Halloween this year. It might be because I finally live in a neighborhood where we get {adorable} trick-or-treators. I even went all out this year, from decorating the foyer of the house to creating goody-bags. I think Target and Wal-Mart had a big role in my excitement considering how much fun & cute stuff they brought in this year.

So similar to last year and in honor of Halloween, it might be fun to have a post on what we plan on wearing this Saturday. :)

Even though I won't be wearing an actual costume, I am still dressing up for Halloween. I intend on wearing the Piazza Jacket (Item 81751; $140.00) in Orange, Striped Victoria Ruffle Shirt (Item 99693; $98.00) in Black & White (might be substituted with the Victoria Black Cami), a pair of dark trouser jeans from the Gap, Salina Patent Ballet Flats (Item 95898; $138.00) in Black, and the Chiffon Flower Headband (Item 98117; $26.50) in Black & White.

Side Note: As I was looking for two Halloween-esque photos for the post I ran across the top two. The one on the left is a cute outfit (minus the trouser socks) to wear on Halloween. The one on the right is, if I can borrow from the theme song of 80's fashion & rock icon Jem, truly truly outrageous. It looks more like a costume than an actual outfit. Oh J.Crew, you can do better than that! ;)

What are you planning to wear this Halloween? Will you be trick-or-treating? Are you planning to go "head to toe" J.Crew or parts J.Crew?

J.Crew Flies High with Belstaff Bomber

A big "thanks!" to Marietta who shared the following news from J.Crew with us.

Belstaff Bomber Featured on the Big Screen

In the recent film debut, Amelia, Hilary Swank takes on the role of Amelia Earhart where she is featured in a leather bomber designed by the famous Belstaff—who collaborated with the film on key wardrobe pieces. Belstaff’s Executive Vice President, Franco DiCarlo, sees this leather bomber as “…marrying function and style in a way that finicky fashion has embraced through the years…”


We are now excited to report that a version of this leather Bomber Jacket—now in black—is available exclusively at J.Crew—and truly can’t be found anywhere else. Our Belstaff Leather Bomber Jacket, 22896, $1195, is available at jcrew.com, in our Aspen store and will arrive at the Collection store this week.
I wasn't too excited when I first saw this jacket as one of Jenna Lyon's Picks. However, J.Crew did an excellent job styling the Belstaff Bomber in their catalog & online images. As for the price tag... well, it's a tad (okay, more than a tad, a wallop) too much for my wallet. :)

What are your thoughts on the bomber jacket? Do you like or dislike the style? Have you seen the jacket in person? If so, please share. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dear J.Crew, What Is Up With the Sale Section?

As many of you JCAs have pointed out, J.Crew has not updated their sale section (click here) in awhile. Yeah, there is a small update each day, but it is really small. (Like the accessories section will jump from 3 items to 6, big deal.)

I can't help but feel like something is up here. I remember certain items being in stock for all sizes {hello gorgeous Ikat Halter Dress (Item 15197; $225.00)} right after the "extra 20% off final sale" two weeks ago and then disappearing altogether from the site one day.

Is it because the "final" is gone in the sale section? Is it because some {pre-selected} JCAs are receiving free shipping (with no minimum) on their purchases until November 1st?

What are your thoughts on the sale section? Disappointed that it's not updating or happy (for your wallet) about it? :)

Product Review: Campo Messenger Bag

Campo Messenger Bag
Click here for product page
Item 17542
Regular: $350.00
Now $199.99

J.Crew must really like this name because they ended up using it twice for two different bags. So this review is not about the other Campo Messenger Bag (Item 20302; $268.00) that is now available. :)

I have been stalking this bag for sometime now, ever since I saw it in-person at the Collection Store in NYC over the summer. After J.Crew ran the promotion for 20% off final sale, I decided to go ahead and green light this purchase. I am glad I did as this little number keeps coming and going in the final sale section. As much as I love the thrill of snagging a pop-back, I hate even more the dread of the cancellation email. ;)

J.Crew describes this messenger bag as the following:

A bag to love now—and one you'll love even more later. Crafted in smooth oiled leather that, over time, wears to a unique, one-of-a-kind finish of color depth and patina (the more you use it, the more beautiful it will become). The oil finish also allows the leather to recover—meaning light surface scratches will work themselves out with wear or can be lightly buffed out with a soft cotton cloth. Adjustable leather shoulder strap. Hidden magnetic closure under foldover flap. Shiny gold-finish hardware. Exterior front-wall pocket underneath flap, interior front-wall split-patch cell pocket, center zip divider pocket, back-wall zip pocket. Cotton twill lining. Part of the J.Crew Collection. Import. Comes with a dust bag. Adjustable shoulder strap fully extends to 22". 12 1/2"H x 12"W x 4 3/8"D.
The leather of this bag is just lovely! It's not as buttery as the Jamie and Sean bags, but it is quite soft & smooth. Although it is prone to scratches, I am not worried about it (like I am with the Jamie and Sean bags).

There are lots of compartments in this bag, including the center zippered pocket. Even though the fold over flap is closed by a hidden magnetic closure, it is completely secure. (Which is a definite must for me.)

This messenger bag is big. Really big. This is something to consider if you are thinking about getting this bag. I think the size might be a deal breaker for some JCAs. (...slightly random thought but I can't help but think of Liz Lemon on NBC's 30 Rock saying, "That's a deal breaker, Ladies!")

If you usually carry a medium or small size purse and then transfer those contents to this bag, you might find yourself really reaching at the bottom to pull the stuff out. ;) You may find it too bulky for your everyday needs. Also, the strap on this bag is quite long, even when you shorten it. Especially if you choose to wear it on your shoulder, instead of crossed over on your body.

If you love the look of the messenger bag, but turned off by the size of this Campo Messenger Bag, you may want to look into getting the Large Andi Bag (Item 17201; $235.00) which is a manageable size. I checked this bag out at a brick & mortar (B&M) store and thought the size is just perfect. I also loved that it can be converted from a shoulder to messenger bag, without looking like a shoulder-only or messenger-only bag. (I hope that last part makes sense. Sometimes, me no write so good.) ;)

With all that said, I think the Campo Messenger Bag is a great office bag. A really scrumptious and feminine alternative to a briefcase.

Darlings, is it time for a J.Crew coupon code?

Yes, it is that wonderful time!

J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code KC-870. This offer expires 11/1/09. :)

P.S. I have noticed that other blogs & websites post J.Crew codes & coupons *after* this blog does. If you happen to get codes & coupons from the JCA blog & post them at your site, could you please give give a "shout out" to the JCA blog? This way more JCAs are inclined to share. TIA! :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

J.Crew Rewards Card {around the corner!}

A big "thanks!" to many of you, including Pamela, Lauren H., & Roxy (in this post), who shared the following news:

J.Crew has sent out the latest Rewards Card!

Also, "thanks!" to MissMasala who shared the image above of the most recent rewards card being sent to card members. :) The rewards card expires 12/15/09.

So if you are a card member, *check* your mail to see if you got your Rewards Card! :)

J.Crew Email: FREE SHIPPING. 3 days only.

"Thanks!" to many of you, including CheesyGoodness (in this post), Marietta, & JBird (in this post), who shared the following email with us that J.Crew sent today.

J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $100+ with promo code TRICKORTREAT and on $150+ with promo code PUMPKIN. Both of these offers expire 10/28/09. :)

Happy shopping! :)

Darlings, is it time for a J.Crew coupon code?

Yes, it is that wonderful time!

"Thanks!" to Heidi (in this post) who let us know that J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $175+ with promo code WEEKEND. This offer expires 10/31/09. :)

Just a reminder that J.Crew's Man In Manhattan sweepstakes is still going on. The sweepstakes ends 10/31/09, so make sure you enter *daily* until then! Click here to enter and good luck! For official rules, click here.

P.S. I have noticed that other blogs & websites post J.Crew codes & coupons *after* this blog does. If you happen to get codes & coupons from the JCA blog & post them at your site, could you please give give a "shout out" to the JCA blog? This way more JCAs are inclined to share. TIA! :)

The Great (Weekly) Exchange {looking to sell}

This post (of weekly posts) is for individual members who want to swap/sell/share among yourselves. This post is where you can mention your items and outside listing/ auction site (like eBay and eCrater & the corresponding user ID). Please note: this posting is not for resellers.

Please note that any transactions are independent of this blog. (Especially since you will be using an outside listing/ auction site like eBay or eCrater.) I have no dealings or interactions with any of the potential communication, listings, or transactions. :) Moreover, please limit comments about items to swap/sell/share to the "Great (Weekly) Exchange" posts. (Refer to "A Quick Note to J.Crew Aficionadas" post.)

Do you have any items you would like to swap/sell/share among yourselves through your outside listing/auction site?

Sidenote: What's up with JCAs writing "sub" or "subscribing" as their comment? It just means they are subscribing to all the comments (which are then automatically sent to their email) in that particular thread. This way they can stay aware of all the comments posted. :)

The Great (Weekly) Exchange {looking to find}

This post (of weekly posts) is for individual members who are looking for and interested in buying certain items. Please feel free to share a J.Crew store location and/or your outside listing/ auction site if it matches the requests made in this post. Please note: this posting is not for resellers.

Also note that any transactions are independent of this blog. (Especially since you will be using an outside listing/ auction site like eBay or eCrater.) I have no dealings or interactions with any of the potential communication, listings, or transactions. :) Moreover, please limit comments about items to swap/sell/share/finding to the "Great (Weekly) Exchange" posts. (Refer to "A Quick Note to J.Crew Aficionadas" post.)

Is there an item (or items) that you are looking for and interested in purchasing?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Additional Sneak Peeks for J.Crew's Collection in 2010

J.Crew went all out and invited quite a few fashion reporters & bloggers (except for me! I am sure my invite got lost in the mail with those earrings or something... ;) ) to partake in their Spring 2010 preview fashion event. We got to see some previews in Friday's "Sneak Peek for J.Crew Men's Collection in 2010" post and Thursday's "Sneak Peek for J.Crew Women's Collection in 2010" post

Well, the following are some more articles covering the event:

  • "Thanks!" to Rosa who let us know that NY Magazine's The Cut covered the Women's Collection for 2010. To read that article, click here.
  • "Thanks!" to Amanda (in this post) who let us know that Coutorture covered the Women's Collection for 2010 as well. To read that article with lots of images, click here.
  • "Thanks!" to Amanda (in this post) again who let us know that the blogger behind Secret Forts covered the Men's Collection for 2010. To read that post with lots of images, click here.
Also, "thanks!" to tweedybird who shared the following article from WWD (click here).

J.Crew Spring Presentation: Opposites Attract
By WWD

October 23, 2009


In an upbeat presentation, J.Crew's Jenna Lyons started with a Hockney-inspired palette of neutrals with pops of neons. She applied this to looks rooted in counterpoint: whimsically ruffled and otherwise embellished pieces juxtaposed with boyish military-inspired outerwear. For the most part, the contradiction worked like a charm, even if one or two looks felt overstyled.


Frank Muytjens' men's lineup offered classic pieces in unexpected combinations. A dinner jacket with satin lapels, for example, was shown with distressed jeans, and an oilcloth fireman's jacket was paired with white jeans and a skinny tie. "We're mixing dressy with utilitarian," said Muytjens, J.Crew's vice president of men's design. "The inspirations are familiar but in a different context."


On the financial front, J.Crew said Thursday its third-quarter profits would rise to 54 cents to 59 cents a diluted share, ahead of the 30 cents to 33 cents previously projected. The update drove J.Crew's stock up 15.2 percent to $43.49 Thursday.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Become a Fan of J.Crew's Facebook Page

J.Crew has made being a fan a bit sweeter! If you become a fan of J.Crew's Facebook page (click here to visit) they will give you a little something something in the form of a free shipping code.

J.Crew already does a similar offer when you sign up to receive J.Crew's email promotions. Typically, the offer is for free shipping on orders of $150+.

I am already a "fan" so I got nothing. ;) However, I am curious for those new fans what the free shipping code will be for (no minimum?, with a minimum?, what amount?).

Are you already a fan of J.Crew's Facebook page? If not, are you planning to sign up? If so, please let us know what special something you get! :)

Crewcuts Email: get to know cooper's picks

"Thanks!" to Marietta who shared the following email with us that Crewcuts sent today.

Crewcuts (click here) is now doing their own version of "Jenna's Picks" for Women, by introducing "Cooper's Picks". Jenny Cooper is the designer for Crewcuts.

They are also reminding us about free shipping on all Crewcuts orders (with no minimum).

Have you checked out the picks from Crewcuts designer Jenny Cooper? Are there any items that you are liking? Are there any styles that you are surprised to see? :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

J.Crew Email: $10 off women's corduroys. In stores and online.

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Suzy (in this post), as well as HeidiG & Marietta, who shared the following latest email from J.Crew.

J.Crew is offering $10 off all Women's corduroy pants. This offer is available for a limited time both online (click here) and in brick & mortar (B&M) stores.

Will you be taking advantage of this offer? If so, which pants are you planning to get. :)

Off-topic: Many JCAs are starting to get the hard copy of J.Crew's latest catalog by mail. Double check inside to see if you received a special one-time coupon. :)

Seek & Find: Will you visit J.Crew this Weekend?

This is the weekly "sale watch" post, to help each other find sale items at our various local J.Crew stores. ;)

If you are stopping by a J.Crew store this weekend to see what's available in the Summer / Fall sale, or to see some new Fall arrivals {sigh!} in person, maybe you might be willing to share that with us in this post. In particular, if you could share with us a few of the noteworthy items that are available, at what prices, and potential sizes the store is carrying (as well as the store location)- that would be fantastic!

Also, please let us know if your local store is carrying an additional percent off sale. Thanks in advance!!! :)

P.S. I noticed that many of you have already been reporting sale items (and in which stores) in other posts which by the way "thank you!" :) I really appreciate how helpful we are for each other!

J.Crew's CEO to Appear on CNBC Today



A big "thanks!" to Liz who let us know that J.Crew's CEO Mickey Drexler is scheduled to appear on CNBC this morning– on the "Squawk Box" at 8AM. After watching his segment, some highlights include:

  • Brings right product to stores & are as creative as ever
  • Have been respecting customers, differentiating from all the sameness, & producing products of up-most quality
  • Always respecting customer on quality & value demands
  • Their mission is value-style product
  • Their model is why do you need all the middle people selling a great brand (so eliminate that & control own distribution)
  • When Mickey took over (7 years ago), he fired 70% of their factories & searched for ones with best fabric, best quality, etc.
  • Mickey believes they have (1) the right fashion, right now, (2) a good design team, & (3) the content of the stores consist of items of "what they are famous for"
  • Constantly evaluate their assortment, in particular those predictable items that evolve (sharpen their edge) like the Minnie pant, cashmere sweaters, or jackets for Women and the Wash Shirts for Men
  • There's a "J.Crew Look" which is a style with no logos
  • Never want to compete on price & can't buy products on sale anywhere else
  • Considers First Lady Michelle Obama wearing J.Crew clothes an "act of God" (then one of the hosts made an inappropriate "joke", which was *not* funny and flustered Mickey Drexler)
This appearance is on the heels of J.Crew's recent buzz concerning it's financial performance. The following article from ABC News (click here) re-caps the good news.

J.Crew Boosts Profit Outlook as Sales Improve
J.Crew raises 3rd-quarter guidance, upbeat about sales; shares jump to 52-week high

By Michelle Chapman

October 22, 2009


Shoppers still have an appetite for fashion during the recession, as evidenced by apparel retailer J.Crew Group Inc., a favorite of first lady Michelle Obama.


The chain significantly boosted its fiscal third-quarter profit forecast Thursday on better-than-expected sales and margins — two components most retailers have struggled with as consumers continue their discretionary spending clampdown.


The company, which has grown in popularity partly because Obama wears the chain's clothes, saw its stock soar $4.41, or 11.7 percent, to $42.15 in midday trading. The shares hit a fresh 52-week high of $42.94 earlier in the session.


J.Crew has been on a surge of late, with its stock up 37 percent over the past three months. The chain has managed well during the recession by keeping a close eye on its inventory levels while continuously rolling out products that appeal to its customers.


With higher sales and margins than anticipated for the third quarter, the retailer pushed its earnings guidance to a range of 54 cents to 59 cents per share. That's a marked improvement from the 30 cents to 33 cents per share forecast issued in August.


J.Crew expects the good times to roll into the fourth quarter, assuming sales and margin trends continue. The retailer now anticipates a mid- to high single-digit increase in sales at stores open at least a year and a low single-digit rise in direct sales for the fourth quarter ending Jan. 30. The company previously forecast a low single-digit increase in both sales at stores open at least a year and direct sales.


Sales at stores open at least a year are a key indicator of retailer performance since they measure growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.


Heading into the holiday season — a critical time for most retailers — BMO Capital Markets analyst John Morris is confident that J.Crew will fare well due to its inventory management efforts and favorable product mix. The analyst reaffirmed an "Outperform" rating in a note to clients, saying he has "great confidence in the company's growth potential."

Madewell in the News: It's On Its Way

There is an interesting article over at the LA Times, that discusses J.Crew's sister store, Madewell (click here to read it in its entirety).

Madewell paints the town denim
By Booth Moore
October 21, 2009


At last, Madewell is ready to step out of J.Crew's shadow. The denim-based fashion purveyor, a family-owned work wear label founded in Massachusetts in 1937 and resurrected by the J.Crew Group in 2006, is gearing up for an e-commerce launch in the spring. Madewell has always been cast as J.Crew's edgier little sister, so it's only fitting that J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons would give the brand a boost by including a couple Madewell pieces (the sparkle cardigan and slim slouch jeans) in her October Jenna's Picks feature on the J.Crew website.


But soon Madewell will have its own stylish face, to be announced in the coming weeks. Who could she be?
There were plenty of contenders at the Bar Marmont last night, where Madewell and Lucky magazine celebrated the last stop of their national, in-store denim tour with lemon drop cocktails, mini lobster rolls and starlets galore, including Rachel Bilson, Lauren Conrad, Joy Bryant, Kristen Bell and Mandy Moore. Bilson's mom, Janice (a self-proclaimed spiritualist), read tarot cards, and guests posed for photos that were made into flip books.


Plenty of fashion industry types were there, too--L.A.'s hot new shoe designer Jerome Rousseau--just back from showing his line in Paris, Fug Girl Jessica Morgan, hair colorist Byron Williams, L.A. boutique owner Hillary Rush, and her old boss from when she was advertising director at the Gap, J.Crew Chairman and CEO Mickey Drexler.


It's all in the family for Lucky and Madewell. Former Lucky magazine editor Gigi Guerra is the brand marketing director at Madewell now, and her quirky style seems to be the perfect match. At the party, Guerra wore a Madewell cropped knit biker jacket pinned with a Masonic pendant she picked up at a flea market. She's helped create some interesting features on the site leading up to the e-commerce debut, including a forum for real world twenty-somethings to share how they wear the clothes, and a monthly newsletter; the October issue lists music blogger Largehearted Boy's favorite female artists.

Guerra says that jeans are the No. 1 seller in Madewell stores (specifically the "ex-boyfriend" style--love that name--and the legging jeans), followed by boots and the tasseled and fringed scarves that have been one of the brand's cool chick mainstays from Day 1.


Guests left the party with a scarf, as well as a canvas Madewell tote and a bottle of OPI "Madewell to Order" nail polish, a special dark purple mixed just for the occasion.


It's been years that J.Crew has discussed launching an e-commerce site for Madewell. The worst part is they always state when it is going live only to push it back a few months, and then start the process of announcing the new launch date that gets pushed back again. So I guess I will believe the news about going live this Spring, when I actually see it. ;)

The news about hiring a "face" for Madewell sounds super interesting though. I wonder who she might be? (Kristen Bell sounds like an excellent choice!) :)

What are your thoughts on the article? Looking forward to seeing the e-commerce site this Spring? Do you think it is a good marketing move to have a "face" for Madewell? Who would you like to see in that role? :)

Sneak Peek for J.Crew Men's Collection in 2010

"Thanks!" to Amanda (in this post) who let us know about a post over at Urban Daddy's Kempt featuring a sneak peek at the Men's Collection for 2010 (click here to see more of images).

The Latest Crew
By R.B.

October 21, 2009


We got a look at the J.Crew Spring/Summer 2010 preview today, and in addition to adding Hill-Side ties and Clarks Wallabees to their stable of collaborators and buddy brands, they’ve kept things moving in the same solid direction as the last few seasons. If it ain’t broke…


There’s a new navy sharkskin version of the Ludlow Suit and a reliably pleasing assortment of chambray, but we also really liked the rugged Fireman’s Jacket, a light, clasping jacket that should be the perfect antidote to summer rainstorms. (No word yet on how it holds up against fire.)


From the images above, the Men's Collection is looking good. The Men's stylist just gets it (e.g. no ridiculous layers, no ill-fitted pants, etc.). That's how you dress! :)

Thoughts on the upcoming arrivals from J.Crew? Any pieces that you find particularly exciting? Are you liking the styles from the men's section?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sneak Peek for J.Crew Women's Collection in 2010



A big "thanks!" to PrettyBallerina (in this post) who let us know about a post over at Fashionista featuring a sneak peek at the Women's Collection for 2010 (click here for their post).

J.Crew Goes Girly for Spring
By Britt Aboutaleb

October 22, 2009


Editors swooned over J.Crew’s spring/ summer collection at the company’s Astor Place headquarters yesterday.


Creative Director Jenna Lyons presented a slouchy, girly, heavily layered look. There were liberty print rompers (that won’t make it into stores, even though I’d buy five), camo jackets, sequined shorts and tanks, a bunch of grandpa cardigans and one great gown all paired with brogues and what looked like Kork-Ease wedges.


There were touches of neon everywhere (even more than for fall) and chunky jewelry layered atop itself on wrists and necks, including those Miriam Haskell pieces Lyons was so excited about.


Pants-less looks made more than one appearance, with plaid ruffled high-waisted bloomers and what looked like grey knit short, short shorts. And though the clothes were fantastic, it’s the brilliant styling that made everyone want to jump in and live in J.Crew world.
That and the pigs in a blanket they were passing around.
Also, "thanks!" to Amanda (in this post) & AMW who let us know about a post over at Vogue (click here) featuring three additional images of the Women's Collection for 2010 as well. Click on any of the images below to see them larger.
Something Old, Something New:
How to Dress for Spring 2010 the J.Crew Way

By Mark Holgate

October 22, 2008


When plenty of women are diving into that little boutique at home called Their Own Closet, how does fashion convince them it might be time to go buy something exciting and new? Well, here are the options: Ignore that idea of home shopping and just keep producing more and more stuff. Acknowledge that it’s happening, do your darnedest to produce beautiful things, and pray that that economic sunny day will shine soon. Or, if you’re like J.Crew, go with the flow and smartly rationalize that new and old can—and will have to—work together brilliantly.


Which brings us to J.Crew’s presentation yesterday afternoon at its HQ near Astor Place in New York. Specifically, to the necklace worn by J.Crew’s creative director Jenna Lyons, assembled from all sorts of bits and pieces: a yellow enamel flower brooch, a gilded bee, wooden buttons from a cardigan that never made it into production, and strands from a diamante necklace that got smashed up and stitched onto this one. “The necklace started with things that we never used or that no one wanted but that we kind of liked,” Lyons says. “So, we decided to use them; recycle them, in a way.” Those necklaces are actually on sale right now at J.Crew, but the approach Lyons and her team took played a big part in shaping how they designed spring.


For instance, the pale pink shorts (above) actually started out as khaki pants, but Lyons wasn’t into them, so she decided to rework the shorts when completing the collection. She cut them up and dip-dyed them, and then they were paired with a tweed cardigan jacket and a slouchy striped top. Her feeling is: If you like the idea of casual shorts with something sparkly and smart, then why not buy the top and jacket and doctor your own shorts? And if you don’t want to do that, well then, simply go get the spring 2010 shorts instead.


This idea is now more important and relevant than ever before: Be happy with what you already have, but also allow yourself the pleasure of buying a new piece or two to add to the mix. And there was plenty at J.Crew with enough newness to spread some joy around, like the floral military jacket in camouflage colors; or the lightweight linen blazer, its perfect, lean proportions contrasting nicely with the crumpled, love-worn texture of the fabric; or embroidered sequined dresses which can be worn with tees underneath; or, one of the delicate Swiss lace blouses or short, ruffled skirts in next season’s palette of pale, makeup shades. Chances are you’ll have plenty already you could wear with any of these. Lyons certainly does. The jacket she was wearing at the presentation? A washed-green utility number that’s from this fall’s collection.
After looking through the photos, I am disappointed. I thought the sneak peek was for Madewell until I read the articles that clearly state it is for J.Crew. First, I am not excited about any of the pieces. Maybe, just maybe, the striped skirt (or is it a dress?) that was paired with the denim jacket in the slideshow. Second, I am tired of neon. No more, pretty please. Third, what is going on with some pieces? Is the brown sack for a shirt with the sleeves rolled up a for-real item?

I should add, that the previous {quick} judgments are based on these initial photos. I have been known to change my mind once I see them in person. ;) Moreover, if J.Crew is listening... One of the reasons I love your clothes is because it is lovely at any age and many of the pieces are timeless classics (e.g. Jackie Cardigan). As Roxy (in this post) eloquently put it, "You stay classy, J.Crew!"

Thoughts on the upcoming arrivals from J.Crew? Any pieces that you find particularly exciting? Are you liking the styles from the women's section?

J.Crew's Styling: Let's Take a Step Back Please

As Cass (in this post) pointed out, J.Crew updated its homepage this morning featuring a new Flash slide show of "Plays On Texture" styles (click here).

I also couldn't agree more with Cass' comment: "...more whacked out styling going on.." Just take a look at exhibit A, B, and C below as just a few examples. Now each outfit isn't horrible if a few items were removed from each one. Exhibit A, remove the Shadow Shearling Jacket (Item 20889; $2,500.00). Exhibit B, take away the Pleated Paulette Top (Item 19834; $168.00) and while I am at it, let's avoid future poses that way. Really now. Exhibit C, what were you thinking with the scrunched-up Solid Knee-Highs (Item 57042; $12.50)? Seriously, stop pushing the "socks with heels" look! We get it.

Even some of the style tips that J.Crew is offering doesn't seem sound to me. For example, the hard copy of the November catalog (click here) on page 5 states, "[style tip] How to get that perfect baggy pant look? Buy a size or two larger, belt the waist (as our stylist says, "paper bag it") and voila!" I am going to pass on this. Always.

When creating the "J.Crew's Best of the Worst Items" and the "J.Crew's Best of the Best Items" posts, I ended up flipping through several past catalogs dating back to 2005. As I was looking through them, I saw some enticing styling. Each page had a lovely & realistic outfit that I want to recreate from head-t0-toe. For example, the catalog featuring the Piazza Jacket also had this beautiful white cotton-linen cami underneath it, paired with jeans and heels– simple yet charming at the same time.

J.Crew's obsession with layering didn't really kick-in full throttle until this year. Now I can understand the argument that J.Crew's recent {over the top} styling efforts are not meant to be translated literally, but more as an inspiration styling guide to take one or two ideas from. That is a valid point. However, maybe it's time to give this styling a break and return back to the "less is more" look.

What are your thoughts on J.Crew's recent styling efforts? Are you a fan of the current styles or of past styling efforts? What suggestions for styling would you make? What style tips would you avoid? :)

J.Crew Factory Email: New holiday arrivals are here...

"Thanks!" to AnneG who shared the following latest email from J.Crew Factory. The email announces that select new Holiday (say what? did they mean Fall?) arrivals are now up to 40% off at their Factory Stores.

Are you planning to visit a Factory Store to check out the latest Holiday (aka: Fall) collection? Are there any items you are hoping to purchase while there? If so, please share! :)

J.Crew In the News: Retailers' Shape This October

There is an interesting article over at Fortune Magazine's Investor Daily, that briefly mentions J.Crew (click here to read it in its entirety).

An October Christmas for retail stocks
Consumers are still watching their wallets, but compared to last year, retailers are in pretty good shape for the upcoming shopping boom.

By Suzanne Kapner

October 21, 2009


Christmas has come early for retail stocks. The Standard & Poor's Retail Index is up 72% from its lows in March, compared with a 61% gain in the broader S&P 500 Index over the same period.

Some companies have even started to raise guidance. ...Yet, no one is projecting a blowout holiday season. What's going on?


Despite the continued mood of frugality that has gripped the country and put a damper on consumer spending, retailers have a few things going for them. Namely: Sales, while still anemic compared with the recent go-go years, have been stronger than expected. September same-store sales, or sales at locations open more than a year, grew a scant 1.1%, but that was better than the expectation for a 0.8% decline, according to Retail Metrics.


Although September results were buoyed by easy comparisons from a year ago, they marked their first monthly gain since August 2008, a sign that retailers may be starting to turn the corner.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that October will be another strong month. Moreover, the National Retail Federation predicts that holiday sales will fall only 1% to $437.6 billion -- far better than the 3.4% decline we saw last year.

The consumer is in better shape. To be sure, high unemployment and a decline in wages and house prices continue to weigh heavily on consumer spending. But compared with a year ago, many consumers have a financial cushion. Credit card debt is down nearly 8% over the past year, and the savings rate has doubled, according to Economy.com. Plus, there is pent up demand. After depriving themselves all year, shoppers are ready to treat themselves in small ways again.


Retailers have less inventory. Stores have spent the past year drastically reducing their stock cutting inventory in anticipation of lower sales. That means they are entering this holiday season in a much stronger position. Leaner inventories allow merchants sell more goods at full price -- which boosts profits.


"Retailers have a lot of things working for them going into this holiday season," says Stifel Nicolaus analyst Richard Jaffe. "And that optimism has been priced into a lot of the stocks."


Also helping to push the stocks higher: Retailers tend to benefit in the early stages of an economic recovery, which is one reason why investors have been piling into the group now, just as the economy appears to be pulling out of the recession.
"If you find an extra $20 in your pocket, you're not going to go out and buy a new car," Jaffe says. "But you might buy a pair of jeans or a new sweater."

For similar reasons the NPD Group expects traditional apparel items such as sweaters to be among the top gifts this holiday season, after losing ground in past years to electronic gadgets. In a recent report, NPD went so far as to call apparel a "bright spot." That type of spending should help specialty retailers, but not all of them are created equally.


... J.Crew: Shares of the maker of preppy clothes with a twist have become too expensive, trading at 24 times 2010 earnings.

What are your thoughts on the article? Disagree or agree with any of the points made? Do you think you will be buying sweaters as gifts this holiday season? ;)

Darlings, is it time for a J.Crew coupon code?

Yes, it is that wonderful time!

A big "thanks!" to LR who shared with us that J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code GR19X5. This offer expires 10/26/09. :)

P.S. I have noticed that other blogs & websites post J.Crew codes & coupons *after* this blog does. If you happen to get codes & coupons from the JCA blog & post them at your site, could you please give give a "shout out" to the JCA blog? This way more JCAs are inclined to share. TIA! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

J.Crew's Fall Sale {minus final!} is Here

"Thanks!" to many of you, including K Mel & Cass (in this post), DinDin, Nichi, & Em (in this post), as well as Rosa, Dina, & Kathy, who let us know about an update to JCrew.com.

J.Crew updated the image in their sale section online (click here). What's not on the image– the words "final sale" anywhere. Could it be true? No final sale? {wahoo!} They also updated the section early this morning, with several new-to-sale and sale items reduced in price.

Also, "thanks!" to many of you, including Marietta, who shared the email (shown above) that J.Crew sent this morning. The email announces that the Fall Sale (with prices up to 30% off) is not only happening online, but in brick & mortar (B&M) stores as well.

Are you planning to check out J.Crew's Final Sale section? Are there any items you are suprised to see on sale? Will you get any Summer sale items, or hold out for the new Fall arrivals? :)

J.Crew's Best of the Best Items

As promised in yesterday's "J.Crew's Best of the Worst Items", this post is on the most loveliest items from J.Crew. The "OMG, now we are talking!" items (aka: items that we still talk about and hope to see in new arrivals once again) from the most recent years.

The following (in no particular order) are my Top 5 "OMG, now we are talking!" items from J.Crew. Again, I tried to include items from different item categories. I should also add that there were lots (and I mean lots & lots) of items that could easily make the list as well. However, I am trying to limit myself to five. ;)

1. Bella in all its versions: the Wool Herringbone Jacket ($198.00), Velvet Jacket (Item 85794; $158.00), and Double-Faced Wool Coat (Item 85858; $350.00). I know what you are going to say: Oh! Could you be any more predictable with that choice? I don't know how to answer that, except to say that I love the Bella from the 2007 Fall & Winter season! ;) I love that it is a fitted jacket with the most perfect standing slightly-ruffle collar. It is the perfect length and has great finishes like the round leather buttons and interior silk lining.

2. Victoria in all its versions: the Victoria Ruffle Cami (Item 99742; Regular: $88.00) and Victoria Ruffle Shirt (Item 99694; $89.50). The ruffle camis & shirts have so been done before by J.Crew (e.g. the lovely Elizabeth Cami). Yet, none were as exciting as the Victoria from early this year. What can I say, those micro-pleated double ruffles of the Victoria are just genius! I also want to add that I have seen these tops on several women representing a variety of demographics and they *all* looked fabulous with it. That is the true test of "the best of the best"– when it looks great on everyone.

3. Jaime Bag (Item 97485; $495.00). J.Crew likes to say "only l'ultimo will do" and this handbag is it! Where to start with this bag that came out during Fall of 2008... First, I love the smooth and luxurious leather. Second, it came in the most delicious shades including Burnt Sienna, Honey, Dark Cloud and Tulip. Third, it is the perfect size bag. It can carry all your essentials and more without being that bulky bag. Lastly, I love the design– from the classic tassles, to the removable leather shoulder strap with lobster clasps. Bravo!

4. Piazza Jacket (Item 81751; $140.00). Remember this fantastic top that J.Crew introduced back in Spring of 2007? This sweater jacket really manage to capture both the feminine and classic styles that J.Crew is known for. Everything is just right– from the button-down peacoat-style, to the lovely tie on the back, to the three-quarter sleeves with adorable cuffs. {sigh!}

5. Versailles Shift Dress (Item 82879; $265.00). There are lots of amazing dresses by J.Crew that could have also made the list (like the Library-Print Doll Dress in all its bookish glory). However, I went with this elegant dress that debuted in Spring of 2007 (and has captured my heart ever since). This dress has the most magnificent illustration of the Palace of Versailles. Moreover, the style is absolutely exquisite with its fitted bodice, knee-length full skirt, and circular opening at the back that has a decorative tie. Well-played J.Crew!

What are your thoughts on the Top 5 "OMG, now we are talking!" items? What items (from recent years) would make it to your list? :)