“It’s funny, I think the decision has garnered far more interest than we ever expected,” said Jenna Lyons, J. Crew’s president and creative director, of the company’s first presentation during New York Fashion Week. “We just launched in Canada, we’re now going to the U.K. Making ourselves accessible to the international press — that was really the main goal.” Guests, including Beyoncé, were greeted by a happy blitz of color and prints worn in brash combinations — a hot pink shirt with red wide-leg pants, an emerald green cashmere sweater with leopard print shorts — all of which hit the mark. J. Crew has become known for hyper-styling its looks into a calculated mix that elevates relative basics, a practice in full effect here. But dissect the looks and there were great staples, such as leather pencil skirts and bateau striped styles, as well hot novelty items like a quilted, embroidered ivory and blue jacket. Marissa Webb, head of women’s design, said her focus was “updating our classics and trying to make really wearable individual pieces.”
As for men’s, design chief Frank Muytjens was inspired by artist Fairfield Porter whose “East Coast sensibility” and “rough and unfinished” textures translated into a solid offering of refined American sportswear. The line featured a mix of washed linen blazers, summer cotton knits paired with shorts, patchwork madras jackets and colorful nylon outerwear.