The J.Crew Guide To Making Your Brand Cool

jcrew
After reading the Fast Company account on how J.Crew's most successful collaborators came to be, we figured out the one major step to putting your brand on the map: land a J.Crew collaboration. Yes, it's that simple. Goldsign, Lulu Frost, The Laundress — some of these brands wouldn't be where they are now if it weren't for J.Crew's most powerful duo, CEO/chairman Mickey Drexler and president/chief creative officer Jenna Lyons, signing them on. And while the Fast Company article details the stories behind the collaboration successes, there were three distinct takeaways we've permanently noted in the Moleskines of our minds.
Be Ballsy — We're big advocates of this. Huge. And while we may have some personal moments of fearlessness that have steered us in the right direction, the same applies to Adriano Goldschmied's brand, Goldsign jeans. According to the tale, the company shipped a package containing a pair of its denim pieces to Lyons — without attaching a note. Sure, a letter of flattery could have helped, but they let their product speak for itself. And soon after Lyons slipped into them, Goldschmied found himself to be one half of J.Crew's most famous denim collaboration.
Let Mickey Drexler Charm You (Because, c'mon you can't help it) — Worried that they might be considered sellouts, Brooklyn-based tie company The Hill-side was weary of partnering with a major retailer. As they tell Fast Company, "It's like not wanting your favorite punk band to sign with a major label when you're a teenager." But after some pretty darn convincing conversations with Drexler, the indie brand willingly entered into a partnership. They have since maintained a long-term relationship with J.Crew, joining forces on 15 collections to date.
Stick To Your Guns (But Don't Be Afraid Of Change) — Perhaps that sounds contradictory to our previous point, but hear us out. Timex and New Balance have also launched partnerships with J.Crew, and while we're all for a good business relationship, the best ones should bring out the best in both parties — especially when they are already both individually well-respected. For instance, with the creation of the Timex for J.Crew watches, the collab not only honored the watch brand, but also infused the J.Crew touch that lead to new designs for a timeless (pun-intended) product. There's no need to throw out the old handbook, but the ability to evolve your products can mean the difference between success and J.Crew-collab success.
Of course, there are tons more takeaways — especially where Drexler and Lyons are concerned — and anecdotes that give us a peek into the success of the J.Crew partnerships. Whether you're a designer looking to make your mass-market arrival, or simply turn your passion into a profit, we highly recommend a full read of the inspiring Fast Company feature.
Photo: Courtesy of J.Crew

More from Stores

The term "lady" certainly feels pretty antiquated. But in H&M's latest campaign commercial, the dated word gets a cool, thoroughly modern ...
J.Crew doesn't have the over-the-top quality of some other shows (or, as fashion critic Vanessa Friedman recently called them, "hashtag hoo-has") such as ...
Here’s a sentence my teenage self never thought she’d write: Lane Bryant is seriously killing the plus game. Besides an overall aesthetic shift from “stuff...
Lane Bryant's latest campaign is evidently not suitable for national network TV audiences: Its 30-second spot was banned by ABC and NBC. Featuring plus-...
If you had any lingering doubt that fashion is all about nostalgia, just take a look at Opening Ceremony's new arrivals: Humberto Leon and Carol Lim keep ...
We should probably employ a "believe it or not" clause around all of the epic tales we heard while on our exclusive tour of Cartier's newly renovated ...
When I saw Ashley Nell Tipton on Project Runway, I knew that a sea change had just occurred. It was thrilling to watch her tackle challenge after challenge...
After last month's productive spring-cleaning binge, we imagine your closet's looking a little sparse these days. With all of that freed-up space, the ...
H&M is on a quest for ambitious, innovative green ideas that could change the fashion biz. The Swedish retailer's non-profit arm, H&M Foundation...
Another day, another independent artist calling out fast fashion for ripping off work. Let's get right to it: Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed, who is known ...
If you've been a fan of R29's for years, you'll know we have a soft spot in our hearts for J.Crew. Its new arrivals always seem to address exactly what our...
A new book, set to be released in Sweden next week, asserts that the factories in Myanmar under contract with H&M hired employees as young as 14 and ...
Update: H&M just released a second look at its upcoming collaboration with Kenzo — one that teases a very different direction for a fast-fashion ...
Just a few weeks after people rallied behind artist Tuesday Bassen following allegations that Zara copied her original illustrations on numerous ...