A big "thanks!" to empalc, TweedyBird, Bianca, Anon at 10:18 AM (in this post), birdie butter (in this post), & Joanne (in this post), who let us know that Liya Kebede will be featured in J.Crew's newest catalog slated for this April and also shared with us the following two articles:
Liya's Crewcuts: J.Crew partners with Liya Kebede to carry her handmade children's collection
Fashion Week Daily (click here for link)
March 19, 2009
When J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons and team met supermodel, mother of two, and International Goodwill Ambassador Liya Kebede, a relationship was born. Lyons approached Kebede to appear in the April catalog, but both quickly realized their relationship needn't end there. The product of their partnership? Not only will Kebede be the first model to be the exclusive face of a J.Crew catalog, but J.Crew's Crewcuts line will pick up pieces from the model's handmade children's clothing line, Lemlem. Lemlem (the name means "to bloom") was launched by Kebede in 2007, with all of the pieces made by hand from natural cotton in her native Ethiopia. The line will be available at Crewcuts store locations and at jcrew.com beginning in April.
Liya Kebede Lands J.Crew All by Herself
Fashionista (click here for link)
March 19, 2009
Even though J.Crew’s had plenty of well-known models in their catalogs (Lauren Hutton, Cintia, Anouck, and Mallory from the Real World Paris), if you’re into fun facts, they’ve never signed just one face to front the print shopper from first page to last - until now.
Fashion Week Daily reports that Liya Kebede, Ethiopian mother of two and face of St. John for Spring 09, has been signed to model the April J.Crew catalog all by herself, which is sure to bring some fashion-centric attention to the brand that’s just come off so much press from Michelle Obama’s support of the office-wear staple.
But more pressing: Does this make the J.Crew catalog the new barometer of a model’s success?
Liya looks amazing! After seeing the two images, I cannot wait to get the new catalog. When will it come out already! ;)
What are your thoughts on the cover for the upcoming catalog? When will the new catalog come out? Who would you like to see modeling J.Crew clothes next?
UPDATE: I disabled the comments for this post. I am not sure how this topic got so heated (in two different arguments), but it did. It no longer was a discussion on a topic, but personal attacks and charges of hypocrisy. :( This blog (and its posts) are suppose to be for fun & entertainment. Let's try keeping it that way. :)
Sorry to be OT right off the bat, but for any of you Zara shoppers...where can I shop from them online? I'm not near a store and I love their clothes. Any advice? Their website was pretty non-user-friendly, if you ask me!ReplyDelete
Liya's collaboration with crewcuts is all fine and good but if it results in $200+ dresses it will be ridiculous.ReplyDelete
At this point rather than using high priced models to sell their clothes, JCrew needs to look at trimming fat and bringing clothing prices in line with other moderately priced retailers. I would appreciate lower or NO shipping costs for say $50+.
ITA w/ westsider. The shipping s/be a flat, reasonable rate, like $6. Would love to see Michelle Obama, but, that aint gonna happen. Loved Lauren Hutton.ReplyDelete
I love that long pink dress on Liya and can't wait to see it in the catalog.ReplyDelete
Good for her to bring some publicity to her clothing line. If the clothes are made in Ethiopia, even better. More likely they are made in China, with Ethiopian cotton. I guess we'll see soon enough.
Just received my superfine cotton bistro pants and jacket in navy. The fabric is truly superfine and looks like wool suiting. I love the fit of both pieces and wish they came in more colors than just navy and white. I have enough white suiting to last me a lifetime.ReplyDelete
Also received the Jackie twinset in misty lavender. I wish the color was a bit more vibrant as it's kind of washing me out. Not badly enough to return it but I will have to liven it up with some flashy jewelry or a scarf. Maybe once I have a tan it will look nicer on its own.
The last item in my order is the library cardi in pewter. I was skeptical about this long cardigan but thanks to info and photos from fellow JCAs I decided to give it a try and I'm so glad I did. It is really soft and has a very flattering fit. I didn't want to take it off so I plan to wear it out a casual dinner tonight.
Can't wait for the next catalog to see what Jenna and Liya have in store for us.
Anon 7:34: Unfortunately, there is no way to shop Zara online. The stores won't even ship to you; even if a particular store didn't have your size and found the item in another city. Unless their policy's changed from last summer, the only way to buy Zara clothing is in-store.ReplyDelete
Unfortunate yes, but truthfully, the last several months I've been there (we have 2 Zara's in Atlanta), I haven't liked a thing enough to even try it on.
Westsider - Did you ever think that maybe J. Crew isn't for you? I am not trying to be rude. If you think it is too expensive than maybe it isn't for you and you should start looking for a place that better suits your budget than getting frustrated over J. Crew. I think this would be good advice for a lot of people on this blog, actually.ReplyDelete
Anony 8:36 - I said the same thing once and the knives came out in a big hurry, although a couple of posters agreed with me as well.ReplyDelete
I think it's good advice in general and definitely here where there are constant complaints about the prices.
It's wonderful if people can find a coveted item for a terrific deal, but if waiting and wanting just causes frustration then perhaps they should consider shopping elsewhere.
anon at 8:36 - you have no clue about people's finances here and should refrain from giving such advice. I hardly think there are many of us who are willing to spend $200+ on crewcuts dresses in this economic climate but maybe I'm wrong.ReplyDelete
anyway, try to avoid making personal attacks here please.
I am excited to see the new catalog, but I must confess that I will probably feel a tinge of sadness for the models who are usually featured in my fav catelog. There are several that I just love to see in J.Crew's new clothes. I just hope that featuring only one model will not detrail the usual flow and feeling of J.Crew's catelog :)ReplyDelete
Usually when people have to say that they're not trying to be rude, it's because they know damn well that's exactly what they are.ReplyDelete
Ha, ha, Judy, you are so right, its like when people say 'I hate to say this, but..."ReplyDelete
To Anon at 8:36,ReplyDelete
Although I appreciate your point, I think it misses the mark.
JCrew has marketed itself as being something of an inclusive brand - an "affordable luxury".
Many of the recent comments about the prices are really about JCrew's sales and shipping strategies as well as value for money. We need to be reassured that we're still getting value for the money and that JCrew wants to keep our business, at all price points.
Maybe we're just not feelin' the love as much as before, or maybe we're just more discriminating with our money in these times.
But it's certainly not about giving up on a brand such as JCrew because it's out of our league somehow.
"No offense, but..."ReplyDelete
What westsider seems to be talking about is not cost, but *value*. I think some people here like to feel superior by acting like they don't care about value, but most actually wealthy people I know care very much about it. Where would they be if they shelled out tons of cash for any old thing someone thought they'd be dumb enough to pay an incredibly disproportionate price for?
I'm eager to see a new face in the catalogs, but realize that front to back Liya means our other models get left in the cold. I thought it'd be nice to find a model with the same skin color or body type as me so I could see how the colors pop and how clothes fit.ReplyDelete
Do you think Liya is a petite or a tall, long torso or legs? Just thinking it'd be a good frame of reference on things like skirt length or where jackets hit.
I think this site is for those that adore J.Crew's clothes, (not just for those who can afford them full price, even during a recession, without using coupon codes) and those that adore J.Crew's clothes have opinions about pricing. I think it's fair game to discuss issues like how a famous model's collaboration would affect price, as westsider did.
I LOVE Liya, so cool that she is doing J. Crew. In terms of being able to afford J. Crew, I think most people are watching their wallets, and even if they haven't been hit as badly as some, the recession is making people rethink their spending. It's crazy times, but I know I will still follow this blog whether or not I can afford the $150 dress or not!ReplyDelete
Haha I wrote that last sentence really badly- so tired :)ReplyDelete
For me, a big part of recent complaints isn't that I can't afford J.crew, it's that for what J.crew charges, I expect better than the absolute crap they're calling cashmere these days, for example.ReplyDelete
yeh, i am not impressed with just using one famous model - i love the blonde regular that was big in the paris shoot, and I like to see different skin tones. Plus, of course, most people who shop at j.crew have nowhere near the body type of a supermodel.ReplyDelete
@westsider - sorry, but I think I missed where Anon #1 personally attacked you.ReplyDelete
To Anons #1 and #2 - better off not to try to give any constructive advice on this blog. As Anon #2 mentioned, all it does is bring out the knives (and soapboxes), even if the advice makes sense, which is too bad.
@a valid complaint - This isn't really an "@" reply, but more of a response to your comment (but not you directly). If everyone is SO unhappy with the JCrew quality, especially for things like cashmere, why are there so many weekly looking for and selling posts? I love the concept, and have participated in it, but I personally don't have issues with the quality at all. If so many people here are so against J.Crew's quality "decline", why do you continue to contribute to J.Crew's market value by buying and selling clothes that you believe are of poor quality?ReplyDelete
^I don't. Haven't bought a cashmere sweater from j.crew since discovering what crap this sold this fall/winter. Not saying all their stuff is bad quality, but their cashmere is junk, and from what's been posted on here, so are some of the tees.ReplyDelete
I was just in B&M this past Sunday and while I was being checked out I made a small talk with the SA/manager and asked her how business was going, and if they were staying busy. Her response "well we are surviving" with a dismal look on her face.ReplyDelete
Although my relationship with J Crew is sorta a love/hate one I have to agree J Crew will be NO MORE if they don't get their act together. The Final sale BS needs to go out the door....they need to have a free shipping after a certain dollar amount (esp for cardholders) their CS has gone way down the tubes so has quality.
If they want the status of high end they just can't put it on the price tags.
West Sider - you mentioned that J.Crew should try to price itself with other comparable retailers - who do you think that is? I see BR and Gap thrown around here as equivalent comparables, but in all fairness, they are not - BR is Gap's top tier brand, and is most like J.Crew in terms of fashionability and quality, and BR prices tend to be very close to J.Crew's.ReplyDelete
If J.Crew were to start reducing their prices, they could price themselves out of an entire market, and really decrease the value of their brand.
Anon at 10:23 doesn't get it -ReplyDelete
Blogs like this are supposed to foster dialogue.
Discouraging it, because of a few "knives and soapboxes" seems counterproductive.
Can I just say one thing... J Crew in NO way shape or form is a designer/HE brand.ReplyDelete
J Crew is more expensive retailer and that's it.
Sure, it's not designer, although some of the J.Crew Collection items are definitely High End.ReplyDelete
^I agree. I don't consider designer the same as high end. J.Crew has its own in-house designers and none of them are really famous so it can't be called Designer. But there are a few beautiful high end items available some seasons. I've bought a few J.Crew collection items that rival some of the more expensive pieces in my closet.ReplyDelete
Back to the models! I have two, pretty much polar opposite concepts.ReplyDelete
First, I'd love to see a real-people catalog with
Posey Ford, Slastena, A Bigger Closet, GingerSnap, and Shannon!!!!!
Next, I'd like to see Agnes Deyn. I love her.
And, of course, Mrs. O. But she's always modeling J. Crew!
p.s. And Ms. Mer and FFM!!!ReplyDelete
I don't favor the idea of one model for the entire catalog.ReplyDelete
I like to see the different bodies and complexions in jcrew outfits. And I like the "friends" pages where there are one or more models in the same shots. Captures the jcrew attitude IMO.
I agree, I don't want to see just one model; prefer to see several different ones, so, you can get a better idea. Also, love to see different ethnicities, esp. love the beautiful African American one.ReplyDelete
Got the catalog in my local store over the weekend… Liya looks absolutely beautiful throughout the pages, but fair warning: it is all the same stuff from previous catalogs & a few things that were new to the website last month but not featured in the catalog.ReplyDelete
I was ready to fall in love with new items, but I was completely disappointed. Hopefully there were be some new cute stuff when the website is updated this week.
I have to say, & this is hard for me to say since I adore J. Crew, but I have had enough of them pushing other brand's nail polish & models/ celebrities down our throats… really wish they would concentrate on improving their own brand. My love has diminished a bit over the last few months. I know fashion & brands have to evolve over the seasons, but I miss the adorable clothing of 2007. THat whole year was a win for me!
I don't want to see just one model either. Not excited at all. How boring! Same person each page! What the (bleep) is JCrew thinking. Wow, they are stabbing my love affair with them right in the heart. Sounds like from previous posters that she is just modeling the same old stuff from this month in April so I guess that is good. I would hate to see all new stuff on one darker skin tone. I need to see various skin tones and hair colors in their catalogs.ReplyDelete
As for the Crewcuts...sounds nice for people that can afford expensive kids clothes. count me out though. kids grow too fast!
Another aneroxic model. I thought showing the belly button is out of fashion, guess J Crew misswed the boat again!ReplyDelete
The comments about being able to afford J Crew is off the mark, what they are charging for their items is not in line with the quality. The quality of their cashmere is crap, holes in sheer cotton tees after a couple of washings. You can do better elsewhere for a lot less money.ReplyDelete
J Crew is not a store for the rich, it is for the average consumer, sorry if this breaks your bubble.
Anony@8:36 needs to go jump off a bridge. Comments like theirs are just not needed in life or on this blog.ReplyDelete
JCrew's quality is declining since early 2007. That is when I started receiving defective goods. 4 out of 5 items in my spring order that year arrived with defects. It was really outrageous. I even spoke with someone "high up" b/c of the problems. I did not receive any sort of extra gift card or compensation. (Like many on this blog.) I just got a sorry. (only 1 item was still available to reorder in my size).
JCrew is in competition with BR, Talboats and the like. If you look at their stock quotes and the market it will list who they compete with....ReplyDelete
Yes, older JCrew cashmere is nice. The new stuff is cheap cheap cheap and really shrinks and pills. I won't buy anymore. But if others like to wear that kind of crap...have at it!ReplyDelete
I'm wondering if any of the new catalogs this spring/summer/fall will have tons of new items, or just try to recycle what was featured the previous months (if they are in the same season) and add a few new things here and there to keep it fresh. Of course there will be one month that introduces the season, but I think that will be it. Inventory levels are being kept in check and if I were in marketing, this is how I would deal with it.ReplyDelete
So, when will summer get introduced this year? May? June?
BR offers free shipping to their LUXE cardholders and allows customers to use discount coupons in addition to the free shipping. Returns are also shipped free. There is NEVER handling charge. Additionally, BR issues REWARD cards based on the amount spent. This is a model JCrew should adopt.ReplyDelete
Yes, they are direct competitors.
I really appreciated JCrew bringing back Lauren Hutton. I bought several of the pieces she modeled and I bought them because she made them look age appropriate - not too young - for me.
I am the original 8:36 anon. I have no idea if Westsider can afford full price items or not. It is none of my business. My point is that her perceived value of J. Crew does not jive with what she is receiving from them. Why on earth would someone continue to shop at a place where they feel ripped off? It just does not make any logical sense for someone who is so unhappy with what a brand provides to stop shopping there. I used to love Ann Taylor. I thought their quality and style dropped off the map about 4 years ago, and I have not bought anything since. Same with Coach. I am simply advocating what many of you say. If you do not like it, stop shopping there. That is the only way for J. Crew to get the point. Is it different because I am not complaining about J Crew myself and I do not with the majority of complaints?ReplyDelete
To everyone who is ranting about the quality of JCrew:ReplyDelete
I have been shopping JCrew since about 1990. I have probably bought hundreds and hundreds of items from JC over the years, including suits, pants, shorts, shoes, sweaters (including cashmere), blouses, tees, bags, scarves, jackets, coats, loungewear, and swimwear. I have NO complaints about JCrew quality (other than shoes - ripoff!) - virtually all of my items have held up beautifully.
On the other hand, I have almost completely banned Banana Republic from my life. EVERY SINGLE SWEATER I have ever bought from there has shrunk AT LEAST one size, whether it's cleaned at the dry cleaners or in my washing machine or washed by hand. That is unacceptable to me. The last pair of pants (jeans) I bought from there had the button detached when they arrived. The last pair of shoes I tried from there was insanely overpriced and uncomfortable for what I received.
I am one of those shoppers who is willing to pay a little more for quality and timeless styles, and even for basics that have clean lines and fit well.
Amen 9:49. Thank you. I get so frustrated that many of the users of this blog purport to be fans! I have had the same quality experiences as you and I buy a lot from a lot of different places. J. Crew and Talbots are far and away the mass retailer leaders in quality. Talbots does not have the style of J. Crew, though they seem to be working on improving that. I love J. Crew!ReplyDelete
I know a few super moms, but I don't know any super models. ;-)ReplyDelete
I hope J.Crew doesn't start going after the uber expensive models like Victoria's Secret. And no, I'm not saying the two brands are anything alike. VS spends a lot of money on the supermodels, and they jack up the prices of their really cheap clothes to pay for it. Their stuff is just crap, yet not very cheap.
I would much rather see less-famous models for less of a price. Although it may be a case of swinging a deal to promote Liya's new clothing line. Perhaps a cost-cutting measure after all?
Um, I do not see how this model thing is so very daring or bad. It is one issue of a catalog. At least 11 others will come out this year. Companies do this all the time. Models book campaigns similar to this for other companies all the time. We have exclusive faces of brands in almost every other beauty catgory. Why not try one catalog? Peope are blowing this way out of proportion to what it actually is.ReplyDelete
Anon @ 9:27 AM,ReplyDelete
1. Um, that's Liya Kebede, one of the top-paid models in the world. Hardly unknown.
2. If you don't "care," for her look, you obviously needs glasses. I understand that people want to see different skin tones, but no doubt about it, she's extra lovely. And if all of the clothes are the same as the months before, then it's not really a big deal.
3. If one month's catalog turns anyone off to JCrew clothing, I'm sure they wouldn't care because that's not a very loyal customer and it's pure & simple pettiness.
I remember looking back at one of last year's catalogs and I noted that there were no black models on the pages. Did I get up and complain that no one had my skin tone in any of the pages? No. I still admired the clothes (granted, since I am black I am used to not seeing my skin tone in certain catalogs or in Vogue). Seriously... it's one month. It's obviously in conjunction with her line. So I think we can all cope with it for now.
Some of us have no idea who is a supermodel. Yes, she looks beautiful and good for her, she's made it big in a tough business. And I mean that sincerely.ReplyDelete
But honestly, I could not identify any supermodel by name and I wouldn't know if they were super or just regular. I just don't care enough to pay attention. Heck, I don't even know the names of most people on TV. Not interested.
I'm looking forward to the new catalog, as I always do. I'm sure there will be some wonderful styling ideas and hopefully some new clothes too.
Has anyone noticed that starting April 1, the Gap companies have changed their return limit to 30 days? That's not very consumer friendly (especially right now). I wonder what their reasoning is. Gap isn't really cutting edge, things don't go out of style that quickly. I hope others won't follow suit.ReplyDelete
Well, if she is a supermodel she is not a very good one. No clue who she is and I could care less...ReplyDelete
I have shopped JCrew since 1991. I spend thousands a month. I also shop BR. I have never got one defective item from BR nor had any shrink.ReplyDelete
I have received more defective goods from JCrew than I have time to mention. Yes, I still shop there but I send lots back too or return lots.
Anon @ 11:11AM,ReplyDelete
Firstly, hi, how are you? I'd like to keep this post nice, so I don't want anyone to feel attacked (especially me). :) So know that I'm not condemning you views in any way.
Just so you know, I don't post anonymously. Mainly because I'm always signed in to my gmail accnt, and blogger is connected to that. So it automatically posts my comments under my name.
I don't think that what Anon @ 9:27AM said was racist. Actually, the term "racially biased" might be very accurate. But that does not equally racist. Maybe that Anon specifically likes white brunettes, or European-looking blondes. I don't care. This is fashion (i.e. it's superficially anyway).
I'm not insecure, and I feel like that was an unnecessary personal attack. But only you know if you meant it that way. You can always email me if you have an issue with any of my comments. (Unfortunately, I can’t do the same.)
The cover with Liya is lovely!ReplyDelete
The pink gown is $495. Ouch.ReplyDelete
lexiloo, sometimes it just doesn't pay. If people are looking for a fight they will jump on you no matter what you say.ReplyDelete
Hope you have a wonderful day!
12:25 - how do you find the price of the gown? Is it in the pic of the catalog or were you able to find it online?ReplyDelete
How did this discussion turn into all this nonsense, I dont know...??ReplyDelete
Anyhow, if there are any AKAs on here who live in MD, please email me...lyssaf at gmail dot com.
I (usually) love this blog, but every now and then when I read a post and I start seeing comments resulting in cat fights it is just annoying. All of us at this point (should) know how to coexist in society and really do not need to respond and defend our positions in a self-serving fashion to the detriment of everyone else that really does not care. Keep your pettiness and cat fights in your own lives - I'm more interested in jcrew.ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness all this drama and accusations because a few do not agree with JC's quality, pricing and a beautiful thin biracial woman gracing the entire catalogue! WOW PMS'ing anyone?ReplyDelete
I just came back from my B&M and they didn't have the new catalog out although they did seem to have a number of the new items. There were a good amount of ruffle tanks and cardigans and the new vintage and haberdashery pieces. They also had a lot of the tanks featured on Gigi's blog. They had more business type items than my Towson, MD store generally carries. The sales picks were slim, mostly beachy dresses and bubble tops. I am rethinking my choice not to get a personal shopper though. This is the second time in a month that I have gone into the store and been completely ignored, it wasn't even that busy. I was decked out in JCrew too, down to my magazine tote so I figured I might get noticed this time, oh well. I guess I need to be more proactive :-)ReplyDelete
The difference in CS is so strange at any JC B&M everyy day. Some days you're acknowledged, and others your not. Sorry to hear that you had problems. I don't think anyone should feel like they have to resort to getting a PS. Do you think the people who ignored you have been working there for a while? I know at the Pentagon City B&M, there were a few newbies that I guess didn't "get it." Managers and staff who've been there longer generally know how to treat the customers.
I think Liya is absolutely gorgeous and love her, however I think it may be strange to see only her in one catalog. But, we'll see!ReplyDelete
Personally I'm happy to see a non-white model on the cover of a J Crew catalog. She is stunning. I'd rather look at a whole catalog of her rather than a heroine-chic, scraggly, washed out model any day. Featuring her (and women/men of other ethnicities, body shapes, etc) sends a strong signal about the identity of the company, like it or not, and I think it is fair game to bring up this issue. J Crew is evolving and so is it's target market. And I like them more for it.
The real reason J.Crew has Liya throughout the issue-this spring's colors look like poo on people with lighter skin and hair! I have noticed that even with Photoshop, some of the girls in the last catalog looks like washed-out death in the neutrals. They look beautiful on her.ReplyDelete
lexieloo-It's hard to say why I get passed over. I look pretty young and I guess it's possible that I don't get taken as a serious shopper when I walk in although there are 2 colleges within walking distance of the store. Maybe I look like I have a goal when I come in the store, which I usually do, and they don't want to bug me. I've always had good experiences with the Baltimore store but it's harder to get there. I might make a bigger effort though.ReplyDelete
No doubt about it... Liya is absolutely beautiful, as are so many other women of color. My husband and I are white and have provided foster care for children of many races. The experience has really opened my eyes to the lack of black models in "upscale" catalogs like Boden, Pottery Barn Kids, American Girl Dolls, etc. Frankly, it's appalling and needs to be changed. Children of color need to see examples of the beauty and worth of their skin color. Lexiloo has a very valid complaint.ReplyDelete
Anon @ 12:52 PM,ReplyDelete
I hope you have a great day, too! :)
Anon @ 3:28 PM,
I squealed when you mentioned the American Girl Dolls. They still have Addy & Josefina, right? And I think they've added an Natvie Amer girl, too! My favs were Addy & Molly. Um... but I think I've gotten completely off topic.
I like the models JCrew uses. And I do think they are diverse. Some of the Fall '08 catalogs were great! Some of their catalogs, however, aren't diverse. It's their choice on what models they choose, and I think they make great choices. They also like to change thing up with their catalog altogether. Including this one. Locations, models, etc. I don't expect (and wouldn't want) them to continue to do their catalogs like this one. But it's an interesting change.
^ You have a valid complaint. One could also say we need more Asian models, more red-haired models, more plus-sized models, more petite models, more models with disabilities, etc, etc. Children need to see examples of diversity and that isn't always available in the mainstream so it is up to the parents to provide the examples.ReplyDelete
It's just reality that we don't live in a perfect world. Businesses must be free to conduct their business in the way that they think will make them the most profitable. They don't need feel-good legislation telling them how to run their company. This is the U.S.A. after all.