Thursday, September 8, 2011

Marissa Web on J.Crew Spring 2012

"Thanks!" to Angela, JCrewJD (in this post), as well as ruffles (in this post) who let us know about the following article from Harper's Bazaar (click here to read it in its entirety & to see additional photos):
Designer Drop-In: J. Crew's Marissa Webb
By Kerry Pieri
Photographed by Kelly Stuart
September 5, 2011

A favorite of the high fashion crowd, J. Crew is embarking on its first ever presentation to be held during New York Fashion Week, amidst all of the madness that eight days of shows, parties, champagne and Starbucks can offer. The brand’s head women's designer Marissa Webb is responsible for bringing its particular style DNA to life each season. BAZAAR stopped by Webb’s artful office to find out what she has in store for Spring and why she’s not anxious…yet.

HB: Why was now a good time for J. Crew to show during Fashion Week?
Marissa Webb: Well, that’s a tricky one! The past couple of seasons that we have shown were almost a test to see what the reaction would be. We want to do everything organically. Launching right into Fashion’s not easy, you know? You’re playing in the big leagues. So it was a natural growth and it seemed like the right time.

HB: What was inspiring you for the spring season?
MW: Usually I have a very clear, defined idea of what the inspiration is. It’s fascinating because every time we’re designing or starting to come up with concepts for spring it is the dead of winter, it’s freezing out, everyone is just dreaming about the sun and the warmth and the ocean. I was just talking with the team about their different vacations and where they wanted to go. It became a mixture of travel with a little bit of Francoise Hardy who is just gorgeous and has that feminine meets boy contrast that we always love to highlight.

HB: Did you actually get to do any travel to help channel that mood?
MW: I actually went to Greece. The colors were amazing, I loved the ocean with its deep blues and greens. It really made me focus on clear, bright colors, which is where the palette came from. So for the collection, you will see a bit of the nautical, mixed in with the idea of what you would want to wear on the boat or to jump on the plane to get to the boat!

HB: What’s your team dynamic like and why are design meetings so important?
MW: I think it’s so important to have other people’s input. The team is so talented and creative. So much of the inspiration comes from them. It’s really important to work as a team and have conversations. It’s lonely just sitting in your office and coming up with things on your own. We all get together and just brainstorm ideas.

"Color is in J. Crew's DNA." — Marissa Webb

"I love hearing other people’s inspirations, loves and passions." — Marissa Webb

HB: Has preparing to present during New York Fashion Week differed from your past presentations?
MW: It is different, but honestly, we have so much going on right now that I have not gotten to that point of being anxious yet, but I will! It is all really exciting!
Marissa seems like she is doing a great job at J.Crew. I am happy to see and hear more from her perspective on J.Crew and their upcoming direction.

What are your thoughts on the article? Any points you found interesting? Do you like Marissa Web's direction at J.Crew?

P.S. I am really sorry for the delay in posting, I am still in the process of catching up. If you sent me an email and haven't heard back yet, don't worry I still will (just not as quickly as I would like). Thanks for understanding. :)


  1. Do you suppose that's the Tippi sweater Marissa's wearing in those photos? I kinda want it now...badly! LOL!

  2. I would love colors inspired by Greece. Maybe JC will shoot a spring 2012 catalog there!

  3. I hope next Spring's clothes are not so droopy and slouchy as this year's were. I only bought a couple of Spring items this year! Everything else I bought was from Fall/Winter, including the shoes I bought a couple of days ago.

    Has anyone else seen the Talbots catalog? I just got it yesterday. It's a total rip-off of J Crew catalogs.

  4. Clicquot, that seems to be the tippi sweater all right!

  5. Since it was brought up...I was in my local Talbots last night. They had some very beautiful, well made items for fall and a nice sale section. I rarely get a chance to go to a J.Crew store but Talbots is close by so have been shopping there a lot the past year. Found a glorious purple cotton jacket with cute detailing for $24 (reg. $100)

  6. I love the colors but am afraid it will be the same old poor quality/weird shapes/sheer fabrics/synthetics that we're seeing now. :(

  7. I wish I had her job. If I waited to be inspired at my current job, I'd never get anything done, lmao!

  8. Ahh, love the colors and prints of spring 2012, especially the ones on slideshow #9! And the tote bag with red leather handles...LOVE.

    I agree with others, hope the quality is there as I'm tired of throwaway fashion. Looking forward to J Crew's return to a more streamlined silhouette, but with an edge a la Francoise Hardy.

  9. It's nice to see more of Marissa and the design team. I love me some blue and white for spring, bring it on! Er, not quite yet though. LOL

  10. I'm curious if anyone went to the Soho store to actually meet Jenna and Marissa for Fashion's Night Out? It's tonight 6-9pm, but I won't be able to make it in time.

  11. ohhhhh- love seeing more about marissa. i agree she's been doing a great job. The fall collection is amazing. I also love her style.

  12. Also hoping that their new pieces, especially the tops, won't be prone to holing in the seams. I haven't bought a J. Crew tee, button-up, or sweater for years and it's kills me.

  13. Some of those prints look reminiscent of Resort/Spring 2007. I look forward to seeing them but echo everybody's quality concerns.

    Didn't they shoot part of a catalog in Greece in '09?

  14. The price of cotton has skyrocketed and I am sure it will reflected in the Spring line either in huge price hike and/or quality decline. I saw a pre-release of a cotton tee shirt for Spring 12, the company did not cut corners on the quality it was $30.00 higher than previous seasons.

  15. Hi casual-crew! I remember reading about cotton prices a while back...and can understand price hike OR quality decline, but certainly not both. I'd be willing to pay for something I knew was going to last, but not for disposable clothing. If I wanted more poly blends, I'd go to Loft or F21. Perhaps JC would be better served by editing their offerings more - to me, a lot of the spring/summer pieces that are in FS look the same. How many boxy, swingy sweaters, slim chinos or slouchy tees should one retailer offer a season? ;)

  16. Hi silver_lining! Yes it is both, I would prefer to buy less and pay more for a higher quality cotton item. I have seen so many blended cotton items this Fall at all price points.

  17. Seriously, I'm very excited to hear about a new color scheme. J.Crew has had lots of yellow-based colors for a few seasons (mustard, bright orange, brown, beige)). "Bold" and "clear" are adjectives that I like to hear. Hopefully, that means they'll get away from the bleh.

    I need some a new Jackie cardigan in pink, but this summer's neon option didn't look as dressy in my opinion. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for 2012.

  18. Others and I have said it before, great ideas but poor execution and don't get me started on the poor quality. I loved seeing Marissa Webb. She is obviously very talanted and honestly, if I were her I would be embarrassed to hear that my designs are of poor quality. If JC does not get their quality issues under control she should move on to better things! My 2 cents!

  19. shekster -i completely agree with everything you said.

  20. silver_lining: Did they shoot one in Greece? I missed it. Do you remember what month it was?


Dear J.Crew Aficionadas & Aficionados: Please feel free (and encouraged) to share your thoughts and opinions. :) However, please note that this is still a personal blog. So comments that are considered inappropriate (e.g. obscene, racist, homophobic, personal attacks, rude, and just plain mean) will be removed.

And now back to J.Crew! :)