It isn’t a secret that J.Crew seems like its in the middle of an identity crisis. Internally, the company has, in recent months, had a revolving door of executives, with one major name leaving after the next,. Somsack Sikhounmuong, who served as the brand's head womenswear designer since joining the team from Madewell in 2015, was promoted to chief design officer when Jenna Lyons left the company after 26 years. After Lyons' exit, its chief executive, Mickey Drexler, also gave up his longtime role, though he stayed on as chairman. On top of everything (and despite J.Crew's best efforts with frequent discounts), sales are dwindling. And Drexler has thoughts on why that might be the case.
According to The Cut, Drexler told moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin during a conversation at the New York Times DealBook Conference “the last two or three years haven’t been fun whatsoever. It has been miserable.” Apparently, he thinks several things are at play here: no one shops in stores anymore, fast-fashion retailers are saturating the market, and finally, everything online is often cheaper.
But J.Crew’s former CEO says it really all boils down to one big thing. “Clothes are just not that important or as important as they were,” he said. That, and we all seem to be glued to our phones. “[People are] not really hanging around in shopping centers. [Cell phones] are local villages, and you don’t have to go to the villages to see people.”
Still, J.Crew has made a name for itself in the worlds of both luxury and accessible fashion, and as Drexler put it, the store is “a machine of style and taste and fashion.” To his point, the new arrivals on the brand’s website are really good right now and hey, you can even shop them on your phone.