Monday, July 6, 2009

J.Crew Travels to Moscow

"Thanks!" to Lil Miss JCrew (in this post) & Connor who shared the following article from Politico 44 (click here):

J.Crew Hawks First Daughter Clothes
July 2008
By Carol E. Lee

J.Crew is using Sasha and Malia Obama to market some of its spring and summer styles, in a press release sent
to reporters Monday afternoon titled "The Obama Girls Bring Some American Style to Moscow."

"Malia & Sasha wore J.Crew and Crewcuts as they exited Air Fore One in Moscow — stylish in their trenches, they also accessorized with ballet flat shoes," the release says.

The notice includes two photographs of Sasha and Malia deplaning Air Force One with their parents and an image of the J.Crew logo.

It also offers details about the specific items each of the Obama daughters wore on the way to Moscow and after their arrival, including the prices and style numbers for each piece.

Malia, for instance, was sporting the Silk Taffeta Trench ($298) and black satin ballet flats with contrast trim ($98), the e-mail notes. Whereas Sasha, 8, was wearing the girls’ crushed twill trench ($169.99) and girls’ minna printed ballet flats in classic navy ($108).

In the past, first lady Michelle Obama has publicly credited J.Crew a number of times for designing her duds, including the yellow sweater-set and skirt she famously wore on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” during the campaign. And the company took credit for creating the coats and gloves the first daughters wore during the Inauguration.

The press release marks one of the few times the Obama girls, whose public appearances the president and first lady keep tightly controlled, have been highlighted in a marketing campaign to sell specific products or labels.

Earlier this year, the first lady smacked down the company that makes Beanie Babies for modeling two new dolls after her daughters: Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia.

"We believe it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes," Michelle Obama's spokeswoman said in a statement at the time, and the company pulled them from the shelves.

The first lady's office did not immediately respond to an e-mail asking if Michelle Obama had approved the marketing materials. Heather Lynch McAuliffe, the vice president of J.Crew public relations, said the White House did not approve the release before she sent it.

The first family is traveling abroad this week, as President Barack Obama meets with leaders in Russia, at the G-8 Summit in Italy and then in Ghana.

Moscow is the first stop, and according to J.Crew, Sasha and Malia Obama dressed for the occasion as follows:

Malia’s J.Crew designs:

• Silk Taffeta Trench (14968, $298, Buff)

• Satin Ballet Flats With Contrast Trim (16028, $98, Black)

Sasha’s crewcuts designs:

• Girls’ Crushed Twill Trench (13100, $169.99, Buff)

• Girls’ Minna Printed Ballet Flats (16344, $108, Classic Navy)

** They also wore J.Crew and crewcuts flats when boarding the plane stateside — Malia wore our J.Crew Margorie Satin Ballet Flats (15933, $98) and Sasha wore our Girls’ Minna Crackle-Metallic Ballet Flats (16341, $108, Metallic Gold).

What are your thoughts on the outfits worn? What are your thoughts on the article itself? Disagree or agree with any of the points taken? :)


  1. It will be interesting to hear from Mrs. O's spokesperson this time.

    "We believe it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes," Michelle Obama's spokeswoman said in a statement at the time, and the company pulled them from the shelves.

    Wouldn't that be a slap in the face to J.Crew if they were asked to not endorse the First Family? Or is it ok to allow for endorsements during the campaign when every vote is needed? Either way, someone's going to look bad here...

  2. While it's no secret that Crewcuts is expensive, I think J.Crew/Obamas are going to have a hard time promoting the Obama ladies' wearing of J.Crew as being so "in touch" with the everyday person in terms of wearing more affordable clothes.

  3. I think this is a surprising misstep by the J Crew PR department. I wouldn't be surprised if we see less J Crew in the White House as a result.

  4. I think the whole family looks lovely :)

  5. Thanks for posting this article! The girls look lovely in their outfits. They do look like they just stepped out of a J. Crew catalog, lol!

  6. I agree w/Pitz. J Crew should have taken the *gasp* we're so honored approach they seemed to take for the inauguration duds. Outright marketing like this is unattractive, given the issue w/the dolls. However, J Crew has not named any of the clothing after the girls. I guess that's the negligible difference.


  7. Agree with previous comments, jcrew should have been more discreet, and let other people point out what the obamas wore. it's not hard to figure out, especially when they wear head to toe in only one brand.

    perhaps the obamas should consider "mixing" up their outfits, that is, wear more than one brand at a time.

  8. though, yes, as usual, they look great!!

  9. OT - Extra 20% off! Code: EXTRA20 (valid until 7/10)

  10. Tacky, JCRew. Just plain tacky. Makes them look cheap...not high end.

  11. J.Crew better watch it. Michelle might stop buying from them all together. I know I would if I were her and they did that press release to my daughters without my permission. Whoa!

    I almost hope JCrew gets in "big trouble!"

  12. Someone is going to get a big, painful slap on the hand for this one.

  13. The trenches look cute, though I am not a big fan of the silk taffeta style. But for the occasion, it seems appropriate.

    I also think JC is pushing this thing too much... it does come across as tacky and opportunistic. Just acknowledge you are honored that the First Mom wants to clothe herself and her children in your wares, and be done with it already.

  14. Is it ok for J,Crew to promote their Crewcut's line by using a politician's children when the children are supposed to be "off limits".

    I would be more inclined to buy clothing from a non-policical J.Crew. J.Crew has compromised the brand, they are alienating MANY consumers, myself included.

  15. JC should stop this. Their relationship with the First Family is special and they should take great care with it. Putting out a press release every time one of them wears their stuff is crass and exploitative. If they keep it up, they probably won't wear their stuff anymore. Think long-term, JC!

  16. P.S. I just read everyone's comments and we're all pretty much on the same-page. Why do we see the problem here and the great PR minds @ JC don't?

    I bet JC will get a call from the Obama camp and they'll claim some lowly PR person put the release out without review or approval and they're very sorry (kind of the WaPo approach with the whole "salon" thing last week). Hopefully that will satisfy Michelle and JC won't make the same mistake again.

  17. Connor: I couldn't agree more! I think we are all on the same page for the most part.

    When it comes to the daughters, we feel a bit uncomfortable about J.Crew (or any firm) marketing them without parental permission.

    I wonder how J.Crew's marketing team will address these concerns.

  18. Right, Alexis.
    JCrew's enthusiasm for the Obama family has clouded their thinking and comes off as very elitist.

    The girls are adorable young tweens and should be off limits to marketers who would draw them into the celebrity sphere.


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