The 10 Types of People That Shop at J.Crew
By Jian DeLeon
October 10, 2012
J. Crew has come a long way, evolving from its '80s catalog roots to a fashionable powerhouse of neo-American style. Under the direction of CEO Mickey Drexler and Creative Director Jenna Lyons, the brand broke away from its shopping mall associations and become a go-to destination for fashion editors, bloggers, and just about everyone else. Hell, we even shot a video documenting how the store's merchandise and menswear (thanks to designer Frank Muytjens) makes it easy for any guy to walk in a chump, and come out looking pretty decent.
Garnering fans from recovering streetwear addicts to stalwart supporters of high fashion, the brand's fanbase is as diverse as their offerings. So, with our tongues planted firmly in our cheeks, we decided to pay homage to the folks that have helped shape what the brand is today. These are The 10 Types of People That Shop at J. Crew.
(1) Annoying Hipster Couples
You know them when you see them walk in the door, all smiles. They probably met at the fitting room, or maybe it was the produce aisle at Whole Foods, or maybe at some independent bookstore or artisan coffee shop. Either way, they are so annoying. You almost want to slap the thick-framed glasses off their faces, they seem like the type of people whose wedding photos will include them riding a fixed gear bicycle-built-for-two with a wooden "JUST MARRIED" sign quirkily hanging off the back. Where do you get all this money that you can buy Comme des Garcons sweaters in every color?! What kind of fantasy land do these people live in?!
(2) Progressive Yuppies
What, do you expect this start-up founder/graphic designer/advertising creative to shop at BROOKS BROTHERS? Dressing up doesn't have to mean looking lame, and J. Crew gets that. Here, they are free to experiment by throwing a chambray shirt underneath a suit and pairing it with an artfully unkempt camouflage tie from The Hill-Side as well as a beat-up pair of Vans Authentics. After all, they are the adults now. They make the rules. You would walk into this guy's office and find like, every copy of Fantastic Man and a Saturdays magazine open on his desk.
(3) #Menswear n00bs
This guy just discovered tumblr and is amazed by every single street style shot he sees. He then did his research on clothing forums and was super turned-off at the price points for many of brands that get buzz. Really? Made in the USA stuff costs that much? Holy crap... an Italian blazer is like three months' worth of rent?! Uh... there's gotta be a better way. Then, this dude discovers J.Crew. Oh man, chambray shirts? Selvedge jeans? Aldens and Japanese magazines all in one place?! And like that, so disappears his next few paychecks.
(4) Kids That Dress Better Than You
When you were six, you did not have this much swag. Seriously, he was already rocking selvedge denim right after he learned to walk. That Barbour jacket it took you three months to save up for? He just got it for not wetting the bed for a week. Even his desert boot and Nike game is fresher than yours! And the truth is, even if you have the man-sized versions of the stuff in his closet, he'll still look better in it because miniaturized anything becomes that much more adorable.
By day, she works as an accountant for a company that manufactures safety scissors. She goes home to her schlub of a boyfriend, who'd rather spend his nights in front of the television than reading first-edition copies of Steinbeck. But oh, when she goes online, she too disappears in her own world, and it is wonderful. Here, there are no numbers to crunch, only color blocked sweaters, sequined ballet flats, and ruffled tops that let really let her get her shine on. Why can't she live inside this wonderful bubble of style forever? Why does she always have to return to her humdrum life after she buys everything in her cart? And her man, he doesn't understand. But she will make him. He will shimmy into the pair of 484 jeans she just bought for him, and pair them with a secret-wash plaid shirt, shawl collar cardigan, three scarves, and vibram-soled boots. No, he still probably won't chop wood for a fire or eat only what he kills. But he might look like it. And for her... that is close enough.
(6) Recovering Hypebeasts
So you finally sold your precious collection of Jordans on eBay for just enough scrilla to move out of your parents' basement. They couldn't be prouder! Even better, you got enough profit to go buy yourself some real big boy clothes and not run around in the same BAPE hoodie and A.P.C. New Standards you always wear. Thing is, instead of the Ludlow suit you meant to buy for that job interview at McDonald's... you walked out with a New Balance collab, a Nike collab, a pair of Aldens, and barely had enough for a chambray shirt. Whoops.
(7) First Ladies
The first family's penchant for the brand goes beyond Sasha and Malia's coat game. Michelle Obama has been a longtime fan of the brand, appearing in a 2009 Vogue editorial decked out in the company's gear. Even recently, Michelle Obama was spotted rocking J. Crew's suede pumps at the Democratic National Convention. Michelle Obama is pretty much doing for J. Crew what Kanye West did for Givenchy. Anything she rocks sells out... or gets marked up on eBay.
(8) Guys With Beards
Behold the mountain man. No, he has not actually been to a mountain, but he can certainly tell you what the Google Street View of Pikes Peak looks like. And maybe he has never held an axe in his hands, nor has he ever successfully stoked a bonfire, but his Pinterest is full of both. For this idyllic urban lumberjack, life is an adventure, and getting from Bushwick to Flatiron is more than enough of a hike for him. He would totally buy all of his stuff from heritage companies like Baldwin Denim, Gitman Brothers, and Filson, but unfortunately his bank account is not as huge as his love for America. Thankfully, J. Crew is the type of place he can pick up a solid pair of jeans, hardy flannel shirt, and fresh pair of Red Wing boots in one fell swoop, while still being able to pay rent... and get groomed at Freeman's Sporting Club.
(9) People That Only Go There For The Sales
It's no surprise that J. Crew gear isn't exactly priced to move. Many of the brand's fans are actually vultures, except instead of carrion, it's a coupon they're holding out for. When the clothes first drop, they take stock, eyeing the stuff they really want, but waiting months before they actually pounce—when they can hopefully nab it at like 25% off.
(10) Broke Menswear BloggersThis list is hilarious and spot on for many descriptions. LOVES IT!
When J. Crew began to overhaul its menswear, Ralph Lauren vet Frank Muytjens culled inspiration from reliable menswear basics, cult Japanese brands, and plenty of great designers. The first people to notice? Menswear bloggers. Ironically enough, despite touting the importance of American-made goods and how "guys should buy less, but buy better," more often than not the brands they championed were far, far out of their price range. Early on, they figured out that while they couldn't afford a bunch of unstructured Italian sportcoats at full retail, J. Crew certainly provided more affordable options. The official timepiece of #menswear? The J. Crew Timex Military watch—with a custom colored nylon strap, of course! Years later, plenty of average guys' taste levels are finally catching up... and these menswear bloggers are still paying off the debts on their J. Crew credit cards.
What type do you think you fall under? Do you think there is a J.Crew customer type that is missing from the list? If so, please share! :)