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August 28, 2020 5 min read

Trouble in the Ivy League: This is how the fashion group J.Crew collapsed The announcement of the group's bankruptcy did not surprise connoisseurs in the field of fashion. How did the successful American brand that was identified with young and carefree colleges become irrelevant in the post-Corona-era era of the Upper Corinth J.Crew fashion After a long struggle by the American brand to keep its head above water, and reduce its debts to creditors.Almost at the same time, the old chains Neiman Marcus and JCPenny announced bankruptcy due to the heavy debts they had accumulated due to the Corona crisis. In the closet of the iconic brand from New England, which was identified from its early days in the early 1980s with the casual style of student peripheral culture in American college, and lost its distinct identity and DNA closely associated with American heritage in the 2000s. Read more in Calcalist: End of track: How the Corona changed the fashion world from an escape room to a room of choice: Reorganize the house Designers around the world continue to mobilize for the fight in the Corona Closed Jay Cro store in Washington Closed Jay Cro store in Washington Photo: AP Some renewed items embody nostalgic indulgence on the side An attempt in his name Relevance was recently offered for sale on Jay Crew's website, including a jacket from 1983, a T-shirt from Kashmir from 2003 and flat ballerina shoes from 2013. Next to them were published pictures of catalog gates from the 90s and pictures of beautiful young people in striped shirts sailing in a blue sea, carefree - which does not really correspond with a reality of home isolation and a threatening sense of uncertainty. One thing is clear: consumers are changing and the fashion world, from chains to freelance designers, needs to learn to change in their wake. Decision-makers seem to be betting that a return to simpler times and the loyalty of the clientele will help it emerge from the global epidemic crisis. But a clear blue sky will not really convince the isolated shoppers in their home now to purchase items that convey a sense of freedom and ease. It is an outdated concept that presents a beautified and artificial reality, and does not appeal to the customer at eye level or manages to capture the spirit of the time. According to Sagiv Galam, a strategy and creative consultant in the fashion field, Jay Crew lost his way: "Sometime they forgot the brand's DNA and lost the customers' emotional connection, resulting in their trust and loyalty. When that happened it started to deteriorate, and it became a boring brand. No sting. " The brand that Michelle Obama loved until about five years ago would have seen sales soar. Jenna Lyons, the former president and mythical director of Jay Crew from 2008 to 2017, was responsible for his phenomenal rise from a shuffling catalog network to one of the most coveted American fashion brands. But to the same extent it has a considerable part in its fall on the slippery slope. Lyons, a style icon in her own right, who has become the face of the brand, has shown complete control over his narrative, changed his aesthetic identity and implemented new ideas in successful campaigns, marketing, store design and of course collections, also through collaborations with designers like Prabel Goring. More than once her exceptional androgynous aesthetic has been documented in magazines, and her geek chic has been an inspiration. In 2013, it was even included in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people. She turned Jay-Cro into a particularly modern and fashionable brand in the spirit of the times, culminating in the likes of Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton and Anna Wintour. Obama has been careful to wear his items to historic events like the swearing-in ceremony and meetings with heads of state. Following in the footsteps of Obama, J. Crowe's cardigan replaced the jacket for tens of thousands of career women in America. Sales went up accordingly. In 2006, they totaled $ 924 million a year, and by 2014 the number had risen to $ 2.6 billion. Jenna Lyons, the former president, who is responsible for the success but also largely to the fall Jenna Lyons, the former president, who is responsible for the success but also largely to the downfall Photo: AP But when Jay Cru was at his peak, the problems started too. Like other successful American mall brands, including Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch, Jay Crew has had a hard time communicating with the millennial generation and making the successful transition to online sales. In their case customers also started complaining about uneven quality of items, manufacturing defects, and unstructured designs. "Jay Crew's designs have become eccentric, too expensive and even ugly," the New Yorker wrote. This is also what kept the old buyers away from expecting the initial student look and sometime the magic was lost. "Jay Crew should not have become a fashionable brand," says Galam. "It may have spoken to a small audience in the industry, but not to an audience that bought it and felt a growing alienation between it and the brand. The disconnect, confusion and lack of connection of needs to collections on the one hand, and lots of options on the other, led them to give up Jay Crew." He said that after Lyons' design frenzy, the brand took over the boredom and loss of personal identity. Michelle Obama in a Jay Crew jacket in 2009. Promoted the Michelle Obama brand in a Jay Crew jacket in 2009. Promoted the brand Photo: API Sales began to plummet. From 2015 to 2017 the company has been negotiating with creditors on debts of more than half a million dollars. In 2017, Lyons and chairman Mickey Dexler left the company, and since then both the chairman and the creative directors have changed more than once. Jim Brett was the first to be appointed chairman, in an attempt to appeal again to a wider audience and rehabilitate the brand. "Lyons did not reflect America but represented one particular style, one point of view," he said in 2018. In recent years, Jay Crew has become For a brand with cheap lines, which always offers a discount. "We live in an age of flooding. Even before the Corona, and especially after, the shopping we choose drives an emotional need, "says Galam." Brands and consumers develop emotional involvement. Brands want to make the customer feel special, excited about the purchase. Sale is not exciting. On the contrary, people ask themselves why there is a sale all the time? What's wrong? People want to know the brand, its story, to have a grip on reality. They want to feel confident when they shop. They need a connection between the online and offline experience. That's why targeted brands, like Uniqlo that offer quality basics, are successful. "" Do we really need Jay-C in this era? "Vanessa Friedman asks in the New York Times." With all the pain of layoffs, "she writes, "In a time when priorities change, and the consumer public shows discretion and awareness of the environmental impacts of the fast fashion industry, a favorite of many, will be able to navigate its way out of the crisis only if it advances in the new world and produces uniqueness, relevance and distinct DNA."

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