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.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast