Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Questionable Item of the Week: Signature Tee

"Thanks!" to hannah L (in this post) who pointed out an interesting addition to J.Crew's latest arrivals: the Signature Tee (Item 30459; $45.00) that J.Crew describes as:
A labor of love from our women's design team to you: Each member penned their signature on this tee—and some even added a little message (our in-house embellishment designer also drew a little jewel by her name). Then Grace, our in-house graphic designer, placed the signatures to create a perfectly scattered feel.

Apologies if you like the tee, however I do not understand who is willing to buy this particular item that has a bunch of signatures of people they do not personally know (and most likely no one else will know).

Now, I get some signatures on clothing. Like a tee from summer camp with all your friends signing it. (Fun!) I can even understand famous signatures, like a tee with the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Or a tee with the signatures of all the Beatles over a band photo. But for in-house designers of mass retailer J.Crew... really? I find it hard to believe that a regular shopper is going to put down $45 on the counter for this top.

Honestly, this makes me wonder about J.Crew. I know they are doing well and they are heralded in the press as one of the few retailers outperforming expectations. But let's not believe a tee full of their designers' signatures is worthy enough to sell to customers. This tee is the type of thing that should be either a free gift with purchase, related to some type of charity event / donation program, or given to J.Crew employees (preferably to those who did the signing).

What are your thoughts on the Signature Tee? Am I being too harsh on this tee? Would you buy this or leave it at the store? Have you see this first hand, and if so, what are your impressions?


Quick Poll: Do you like the Signature Tee?


40 comments:

  1. Ick, I'd rather wear a Copywriter from Space tee with blurbs of "if you only knew...", "we're obsessed", "one in every color", "heirloom-worthy", "of-the-moment", etc written all over it.

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    1. I would so buy that, silver_lining. Only if it also said "sky-high heels", though!

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    2. "Shaped and seamed to perfection"

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    4. COLLECTION COPYWRITER FROM SPACE TEE

      $185.00

      We're obsessed with this heirloom-worthy tee dreamed up by none other than our in-house copywriter. (If you only knew how much methamphetamine it took to produce the final iteration!) It's rendered in of-the-moment synthetic fibers and perfectly embellished with odds and ends from our own junk drawer for an insouciant feel. Borrowed from the boys but shaped and seamed to perfection, you'll want one in every color (too bad it only comes in burnt ambrosia). We're wearing ours with sky-high heels riding subways, bicycles and, of course, horses.

      Inconsistent fit.
      Falls above knee.
      Custom knit from our proprietary Nightmare yarn.
      Hand wash in Laundress wash, but only on Wednesdays.
      Import.

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    5. Anne, LOL!! Thanks for the laugh!!

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    6. "We can't get enough of..."

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    7. Perfect!!! The only thing you forgot to mention is that it's made in China by tiny little girls who live exclusively by candlelight and never get to experience anything outside of the factory where the shirt is mass-produced at a cost of 14 cents per item, with two cents an hour going to the worker.

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  2. What would be totally awesome is if all the ladies of this blog signed a perfect tee with holes (from one washing) and sent it to Mickey for Christmas. Wouldn't that be priceless?

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  3. Sad part is within no time this message will show up under the item description:

    We're sorry. This item has been so popular, we've sold out. We've got other great ideas - just call us, we're here to help!

    ;)

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  4. Alexis - I am glad you posted on this as i was going to do a post on this myself. I have two thoughts about this, both of which are of mixed perspective:

    1) It is kind of goofy sweet in that they wanted to wish their customers a Happy Holiday and obviously got into some kind of group think that made them lose all judgement. I could live with this, but then the tshirt should have been offered for $5!
    2) It is bizarre in that we don't know these people and they mean nothing to us. I did think it would be a fun idea for gift if you have your friends do this for you and i may get mine to do it for my upcoming 50th birthday party!

    But overall - Oh J Crew - Please stop the self-love

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  5. Beyond silly. I predict that this will turn up as the "special gift" at JC events for through 2013.

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    1. Your prediction will probably turn true. Or maybe it is left over from Fashion Week and now they are trying to sell it?

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  6. Maybe, it will get promo priced and 30% off. And Final Sale.....j crew style

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  7. Ladies, I loved reading all your comments. When hannah first pointed it out the tee, I could not believe that J.Crew was actually *selling* it. Anything over free is seriously overpriced. ;)

    I love J.Crew, but it is almost insulting that they really think they could sell this to customers. ;)

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  8. This would be fun to offer as a freebie to customers or as a $5 purchase with proceeds going to a charity as others have said but for $45?! I wouldn't wear this except as a layering piece under a sweater or to bed, $45?!

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  9. Forget how bizarre the pattern is, it is ridiculously sheer, short and boxy. Looks terrible on. I used to love JC graphic tees from several years back. This year, they've been terrible. :-(

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    1. This makes me sad - I used to LOVE J.Crew's graphic tees. I have two from 2007 and they still look new; not a hole in sight. Plus, they are long enough and thick enough to wear on their own!

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    2. @Whitney, so do I! I wear them all the time.

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    3. Was cleaning out bins of clothes last weekend and found a pile of old (2007-2009) embellished tees. So happy to see them and will be sporting them under cardigans all winter.

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  10. It's just terrible... but, on the bright side, it gives us names of people to email when quality/design/etc flaws come up. :-)

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  11. I wonder if the swimwear designer was allowed to sign the shirt. At the moment (November!!!) there are 184 swim items languishing in the sale section.

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  12. i don't care for the design/concept, either, and also don't like the sheerness! i got the necklace tee today (also a cream-shade slub tee), and have to return it because even with a nude bra, the fabric is BARELY THERE. sigh.

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  13. I think I have one of these already, from the last day of summer camp when I was in 5th grade.

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  14. They have an in-house embellishment designer?

    Also: ENOUGH with the stupid glasses!

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    1. AGREE. It's bad enough that they think we're all so obsessed with them that we would pay $45 for a picture of their signature (to wear!), but they also seem to think that we all want to be Jenna clones. It's so ridiculous.

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    2. Jenna Automatrons - replicating to meet the world's needs.

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  15. Did you all see the latest JC blog post listing off how great Jenna is? I understand Jenna's Picks, etc to sell the clothes, but this had absolutely nothing to do with anything other than the cult of Jenna. Jenna herself seems pretty unassuming and modest and I doubt she wants this kind of stuff out there anyway.

    http://jcrew.tumblr.com/post/35588937756/11-reasons-why-jenna-is-our-woman-of-the-year

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    1. I don't buy that Jenna is modest and isn't driving this ridiculous nonsense. If Jenna didn't want clones of herself in the catalog and blog posts about her greatness, all she'd have to do is tell them to stop. Since she allows it to go on and on and on, I have to assume that it's exactly what she wants.

      This crap has been annoying me for a long time. I have zero interest in Jenna's lifstyle and what Jenna likes to wear and do. She should be interested in what I, as a customer, want and like, not the other way around.

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    2. Agreed! She has had some good ideas over the years but it's become almost cultish at this point. Also, what is with the section in the new style guide about the Italian ski wear line Authier and how she wears it in NYC? The vest is $530!!!

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  16. I kind of think it is cute, and it reminds me of a tee I received as a freebie in a French Vogue from September 2011...but unlike this one above, the French one just had the words "Fashion Week" and the date of the Fashion Night Out on it.

    Because I like that one so much (and wear it a lot), I saw this and was pretty excited, UNTIL I read about the signatures. Blegh, no way.

    Little drawings of staple women's items would have been cuter, imo, but clearly I know nothing. I wonder if it will sell out.

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  17. I hate this and was just saying the EXACT same thing to my husband tonight, as I leafed through the newly arrived Holiday Lookbook/catalog:"Who is going to pay $45 for this???" If it just had the French words, that would be one thing (although $45 is still a bit much) but the signatures? I couldn't care less about the design team. I'm sure they are nice people but if they want me to wear their signatures around, they might want to consider paying ME to perform the service!

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  18. Ha. I thought it was cute and didn't pay attention to the signatures (I should have read the description before) until I had already ordered it, BUT it was only $10 (as a final sale item + 30%). I guess I'll wear it to run errands on Saturdays. In regards of it being sheer, I always wear a cami tank under t-shirts, so that's no biggie.

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