Tuesday, November 10, 2009

J.Crew's Real Guy's Style Guide {gets some love from the press}

The following is an article from WWD (click here) about J.Crew's latest marketing concept: the Real Guy's Style Guide (click here to view online):

Memo Pad: J. Crew Keeps It Real... Gabby Gabbana...
By Jean E. Palmieri

November 09, 2009

KEEPING IT REAL: Just call it “J.Crew: The reality show.” The retailer has turned to real men for its November catalogue, showcasing 11 “cool guys” for its latest mailer, entitled “The Real Guy’s Style Guide.” Among those featured are hotelier Sean Macpherson, musician Smitty, author Tom Folsom, designers Byron & Dexter and filmmaker Lee Daniels. Each wears some iconic J.Crew looks, and customers can click on the photo to purchase all or a portion of the outfit. Another click takes the user to a question-and-answer article with each of the men — a feature called “Real Guys Relate” — printed in their own handwriting and talking about their projects, influences and craft.

The idea came about after Macpherson sent an e-mail to J.Crew chief executive officer Millard “Mickey” Drexler telling him he was unhappy with the wash of the cashmere, related Jenna Lyons, the company’s senior vice president of women’s design. “He brought in all of his personal J.Crew sweaters — at which time I thought to myself, ‘He’s kinda hot’ — and we went back and forth working on perfecting the wash and sending him samples to wear test. We were thrilled when he said we had fixed the problem, at which time we asked if he would be in the book.”

Drexler said the company is “always inspired by cool guys. They get it.” The catalogue was mailed late last month, and a Web site went live last week.

Do you disagree or agree with any of the points made in the article? What are your thoughts on J.Crew's Real Guy's Style Guide? Do you think this is a wonderful concept or tired?


  1. Now if only they would show "cool" professional/artsy women, instead of the bland models of late. I like when they use Hye Park and this lady, which I think have more personality than the two models recently overused by jc. But, which models I prefer is not the issue-- if jc is using real men in spreads, they should use real women, too.

  2. Tastymoog I completely agree with you. Pretty easy for an item of clothing to look good on a professional model. But something much better is showing how J.Crew clothing can look good on regular people like you and I.

    I really enjoy seeing regular guys in the catalog. Hopefully they continue this in future issues.

  3. I loved the real guy's style guide and would love to see the same done with the women's section. Seems kind of sexist, doesn't it? "Real guys" can be smart, sexy models for J.Crew... but the female models are toothpicks with that dimwitted, slack jaw look and glazed over eyes. I miss Lauren Hutton and other models with personaity.

  4. I agree with comments above regarding real women models...would love to see some petite women!

    Gotta say that I was pretty amused that the whole idea for the men's campaign sprung up from a "man on the street" who was irritated with JC cashmere. Maybe we'll all be in the next catalog! hahaha

  5. Glad to hear that J. Crew is listening to its customers, but also disappointed that it had to take a "hot guy" to convince management.

  6. There's also a companion minisite to this piece where you can learn more about each of the "Real Guys"...


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