I am infatuated with J Crew. I know I share this sentiment with almost every other American girl.
I also know, however, that my preoccupation with the brand is not rooted in the clothes themselves, but in the branding.
In high school, I proclaimed that if I had to wear only one brand for the rest of my life, it would have to be J Crew. (Ten years later, I still feel this decision would be easily endured.) I also informed my closest friends and family that if (meaning “when”) the time came that I had the resources to buy a store, I would choose J Crew. In stating this, I was not saying I wanted to run J Crew, the company. I was asserting that I wanted to live in a store. I wanted it to define my every waking moment – to absolutely create my lifestyle.
And that right there is the brilliance of J Crew. So many women love J Crew. And it’s because of one thing, really: while they have fantastic clothes (and they do, let’s be honest), we love the brand itself. When I think of my adoration of the store, it’s not because I think of a particular garment or even a favorite outfit. Instead, I think of color combinations, patterns, textures. I think of a wrinkled blue dress shirt tucked (halfway!) into coral-dyed shorts. I think of messy french braid and tortoise shell glasses. Even certain lighting, or colors, or a particular mismatch of high-quality items can send me into a frenzy. J Crew’s brand “seeps” into these elements, even when I see them elsewhere.
What I think of, to be precise, is a lifestyle.
It’s what we all think of.
And that is what J Crew sells. Not clothing, but a lifestyle.
Of course, this is what all major retailers strive for. But J Crew, without question, has mastered it.
I read the catalogues just to feel that I belong there, between the pages. I walk through the store and envision it as my life.
For me, it’s not about owning a particular garment or even buying anything at all. I could have every article in the store and probably still want to walk through it.
Such is the power of J Crew and its branding.
Something significant to bear in mind… Should one ever be in the pursuit of developing one’s own clothing brand.