J. Crew Group is no longer cutting Crewcuts short.
The first Crewcuts catalogue, a compact, 39-page book selling sizes two to 12, started getting distributed last weekend around the country.
“We have never done a Crewcuts catalogue before. It’s been a very well-kept secret,” said Millard “Mickey” Drexler, chairman and chief executive of J. Crew. “This is really about letting more people know. We’ve been in the Crewcuts business for three years and we have very few stores. It’s time to get out there and talk about it.”
Asked if children’s wear generally is underplayed in the industry, Drexler replied: “I don’t think so. I don’t think in any category these days there is not enough choice. But we felt there is not enough choice at a more styled, J. Crew-like level and that we wanted to step it up a notch or two and still give the style and still give the value….I don’t think it will be the biggest volume-generator in the world. For us, it’s a niche business. How big will it get? I don’t know. I don’t care about being the biggest. I only care about being the best.”
Drexler said he sees Crewcuts evolving primarily as an online and catalogue business. There are only seven Crewcuts stores and 43 Crewcuts departments inside J. Crew stores. Two Crewcuts stores are set to open next week in University Village in Seattle, and in August on Madison Avenue and 87th Street in New York. The average store has just over 1,500 square feet, while shop-in-shops average a bit more than 1,000 square feet. Another book for back-to-school is in the works.
“Strategically, we have decided we are going to be more ambitious in our online and catalogue Crewcuts business than in our store business,” Drexler said.
“When people see a catalogue at home, the site performance goes up for sure,” added Jenna Lyons, creative director. “They like to dog ear the pages. When they call the Lynchburg facility [call center], they have the catalogue in their hands.”
Lyons said the best response so far has been to hand-drawn or hand-embroidered “art Ts,” knit dresses and jewelry. Also, hand-painted tennis shoes “basically sold out, but they’re more fun items rather than key items.”
Crewcuts got a lift when the Obama children were seen wearing Crewcuts, but Lyons couldn’t say how often they wear the label.
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Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)