Tuesday, January 26, 2010

J.Crew's Tracy Gardner In the News

"Thanks!" to Pamela (author of the lovely Ginger Girl blog), who not only let us know that J.Crew's Tracy Gardner is featured in the February 2010 issue of More magazine, but also provided the images of the article (read her "J.Crew spotted in February MORE" post). Click on any of the images in this post to view larger.

According to the article, Tracey Gardner is the "retailing expert" who "has helped steer some of the most high profile brands of our time". As "president of J.Crew, she embodies the company's blend of urban and feminine chic". Some advice offered in the article include the following:
  • "As I've gotten older, I've learned how to play with proportions," she says. One way to look modern: Wear smaller, fitted jackets (ones that fall just below the waist) with something longer underneath. It looks great, even if "tiny" isn't your size.
  • Do you love basic black after hours? Gardner says it's time for a rethink: "I love color!" she exclaims and changes hues seasonally: citrus in the summer, jewel tones in the winter. She also loves red lips any time of year. "You need to try something new and see how you feel. You may find it speaks to you more than you thought it would"
  • Gardner says a touch of something unusual— like this bow-tipped gold evening shoe— adds whimsy to a wardrobe.
  • Gardner calls her brand of dressing "sweet and sour" for its boy-meets-girl approach. Case in point: These cargo pants with a pretty topper. "Combinng creates the unexpected," she says.
It's nice to see other faces of J.Crew's executive team offering their viewpoints on the brand & styling. I wonder if we will be seeing more of Ms. Gardner in the future.

What are your thoughts on the outfits & advice Tracey Gardner offers? Do you like the styles or pieces used?


  1. Since I'm ever so slightly Jenna'ed out, a fresh perspective is welcome :)

  2. Nice. I like hearing from other people in jcrew. The "sweet and sour" mix is something I try to do once in a while, finding something boyish with something ultra girlie. It totally works!

  3. I'm liking her a lot more than Jenna

  4. Yes, it's refreshing to hear from someone different at J Crew. I like her style choices.

    I definitely agree with the "sweet and sour" look, too, and her love of colors. That's why I'm such a loyal fan of J Crew--the colors!

  5. I'm all for different views but you could have said these were quotes from Jenna, it is really the same party line for most of it. Boy-meets-girl, cargos or distressed jeans with a pretty top. A long cardi or shirt under a short jacket. Hmmm, where have I heard that before?

    The jewel tones in winter comment was a departure from Jenna's love for nude tones but we didn't see enough jewel tones this winter IMO.

  6. I also think these quotes sound like Jenna. However, I think the specific outfits presented look more wearable and cohesive than most of Jenna's examples.

    Thanks for posting the articles.

  7. I agree with XOXO - it does not matter who is quoted, Jenna or Tracey or even the CAO it will all be the same company line to the consumer.

    It was nice hearing it from someone else though.

  8. Agree with xoxo and casual-crew. Same line from JCrew-same style-same stuff:)Just a different person spouting the same.

  9. Good to hear from someone else. I wish j.crew would do this more often; I would especially like to hear from those "lower" on the totem pole. Remember a while back when they featured unknown employees on their homepage, modeling the looks and giving their opinions on outfits? I really liked that...

    OT: Has anyone else noticed that the Always cardi has now been hiked up in price? Unless I am dreaming, it WAS $29.50 and is now $39.50...sneaky! Glad I got mine before the price increase!

  10. I agree with kitsmommy - I think the the outfits looked more "wearable" (as opposed to the 3" sequin shorts ala Jenna!) and I just thought she seemed more personable and "real" than Jenna. I have a very stylish older (60ish) friend who Tracy Gardner reminds me of. I like the "sweet and sour" mix. I really enjoyed the article and the pics!

  11. I must add trhe whole Jenna thing was getting out of hand. Its nice to see something new. Which is why I created my new collection Yuppie by Chyanne. I've been a fan of J.Crew for years. I worked on Wall St. and would walk to the South St. Seaport store when I can. Over the years...as a designer myself...J.Crew has gained more fans but has lost true fans at the same time.


  12. Since I'm a J.Crew aficionada "of a certain age," I like seeing the clothes on women who look more like me and less like the mini-skirted gamine girls I see in the catalog each month.And I'm not against playful fantasy or anything, but it's also interesting to see outfits for grownups who work and and play in the real world.

  13. I saw this article at Pamela's blog and then again this weekend at Border's and I must say Tracy Gardner is very pretty and well put together. I think she is certainly worth emulating (and for more than just her outward appearances). :) My two cents, for what their worth.

    Thank you, Alexis, for showing this article off...I hope that J. Crew continues in this vein of publicity, less Jenna (I find her difficult to relate to) and more of the other folks there.

    I see Jenna in something and think, "too scary for me to try, maybe if I was in NYC..." Tracy's style? Much much much more approachable.

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  15. Its funny but when I look at my wardrobe accumulated over years, I see that I have always picked slightly boyish pieces and ended up wearing them with the girly stuff to make both look balanced ; I never liked either ideas overpowering the other, because I always felt I did not want to be 'typed '. I am sure many women have had similar tastes since times immemorial...but now I guess its about selling and promoting the very boy-meets-girl idea and the clothes that make that look.

  16. Thanks for posting this, Alexis. I am one of those who is suffering from overexposure to Jenna. At first it was interesting to hear from a particular person who represents the brand. But for the past two years she's basically said the same thing over and over (layering, make-up shades, mixing boyish with feminine).

    On a related note, JC needs to consider switching up the descriptions/copy in their catalogs and on the website. Everything for the past year is, "We're just mad for...," and "XXXX is the must have item this season." I mean, how many things at JC are really MUST HAVES? We're talking clothes, here.

    It's pretty stale. So YAY for mixing it up!

  17. AppGal, you're right about the always cardi. I had it in my cart (I already have the gray and would like the navy) and one day it was 29.50, then the next day it was 39.50. I guess it sold well and that want to get as much money as possible. Very sneaky.

  18. J Crew's marketing department is in overdrive.

    Like everyone here, I appreciated a different perspective, especially for the J Crew customer of a certain age, which I certainly am or will be come July.

    I can't wear a sparkly vest, but I can work a pencil skirt like nobody's business.

  19. Thank you for posting this, Alexis. As someone who's about to turn 37 in a couple of weeks, I loved hearing from and seeing someone from JC who's a little older than Jenna and more in touch with people like me -- who can't work sequined shorts, 5 layers of clothing and some of the more out-there styles Jenna would have us try. I loved the looks in this spread and I'd actually wear them.

    I personally would love to see this gal dishing out some more info and offering some styling pointers online, etc.!

  20. I like the pieces featured in Tracy's article, especially the pencil skirt + tee + cute flats combination. I think pencil skirts are one of J. Crew's more versatile pieces across all age groups. Every woman needs a good pencil skirt in her life.

    I'm in my twenties, and I (presently) like Jenna's eclectic, mismatched, downtown style. Even though some of her stylings are questionable (shorts and tights- I will never understand), there's a fun whimsy to the outfits.

  21. To Ladycake... I agree! The headlines and copy are hilariously similar in all the catalogs. The fall/winter catalogs ALWAYS mention something like, "We found this fabric at an old mill" or "couture clients also get wool from here", etc.

    I like the quotes and literary sort of copy found in some of the Anthropologie catalogs. I also like the Boden catalogs because they ask the models to answer random questions, and they respond in a refreshing and sometimes surprising manner.


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