A Comprehensive Guide to J.Crew AW11

This past week J.Crew put forth its new fall/winter 2011 line in a sun-soaked-studio in Manhattan’s West Village. Frank & Co. presented another strong collection of wearable, logo-less goods for a crowd of nice looking attendees. Even Mr. Drexler was on hand to meet and greet. The folks at J.Crew run a tight ship and this season was certainly on the level of past collections. The footwear was especially great. All of the looks – everything – is below for your perusal. Expect to see these goods at the end of the summer.


*Full Looks*

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*Crop That*

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Comments on “A Comprehensive Guide to J.Crew AW11

    Ramalhoni on April 1, 2011 6:56 AM:

    J.Crew knocking it out of the park, once more!!!!!!
    I can believe that spring just began and that I’m already thinking of Grey Flannel Suits…
    Great Post…!!!!!!!

    Ryan Hines on April 1, 2011 9:25 AM:

    I could comfortably wear nothing but J. Crew every day. Everything I want is there.

    Zachary Adam Cohen on April 1, 2011 9:39 AM:

    strong solid colleciton, thanks for the links to other blogs and the curation here

    Jat on April 1, 2011 10:21 AM:

    Looks like last year’s shit.

    Bateman233 on April 1, 2011 11:22 AM:

    Ok, their clothes look brilliant on their website, but once you enter into one of their poorly designed stores, my lust for their clothes is gone. Plus, lets all be honest, they make cheap clothes and put a hefty price tag on them. I am done with J Crew, they are such a gimmick.

    Erik on April 1, 2011 11:51 AM:

    Totally agree, Bateman. I used to wear J Crew when the stuff was decent enough and reasonably priced. But they’re outrageous now. And they’re approaching silly J Peterman territory more and more. :)

    JC on April 1, 2011 11:52 AM:

    Gonna have to agree with Bateman233 on this

    Isaac on April 1, 2011 11:57 AM:

    Fourthed, or whatever.

    J Crew has some good design, but it’s a mall brand. Get them on sale or don’t get them at all. Overpriced in every sense of the word – little craftsmanship to back up their $70 1-ply shirts…

    Isaac on April 1, 2011 11:59 AM:

    But, I do like that they’re dressing it up a bit. A little less of the slubby americana is a good thing.

    Oliver on April 1, 2011 12:21 PM:

    Ok, so shirts I can see to be improved quality wise, but for the price tell me where you can get better looking and fitting contemporary american menswear. I mean, I’d love to buy nothing but Band of Outsiders, S&H, APC, Our Legacy, etc, but the prices are not even comparable. Even some of Gant and Gant/CoOp stuff is still a slight bump up in price (though well worth it).

    Disclaimer: I don’t live in New York

    P on April 1, 2011 12:24 PM:

    I agree with Bateman233.

    All I end up buying from Jcrew is their third party branded merchandise.

    The clothes look good in photos (AWESOME stylists and photographers), but when I walk into a store, the fabrics feel & look cheap, stitching is dreadful and honestly the looks are two or three seasons behind. Take for example the peacoat with the “thirteen star” buttons, they are so behind the curve on that one!

    Niles on April 1, 2011 12:26 PM:

    Spot-on with Bateman. The glow is rapidly fading on J Crew. Prices are outrageous for a “mall brand.” Good design – but back it up with some actual quality. These days it looks like J Crew is compensating for their lack of quality by bringing on other brands like barbour, levis, and alden, etc… Make something original, make it well, and your company might actually be around longer than few years.

    P on April 1, 2011 12:28 PM:

    …and to add:
    Even the third party branded merchandise I just now mostly go to the source!

    PS some of my dearest friends are Jcrew photogs and stylists!

    kiya on April 1, 2011 12:39 PM:

    Do people actually wear their jeans cuffs like that in public?

    Henry on April 1, 2011 1:21 PM:

    “The folks at J.Crew run a tight ship.”

    Come on, man. You can’t be serious with a quote like that. The only reason people with any style sense pay attention to J. Crew is for the collaborations, which evidently have nothing really to do with the J. Crew team.

    Michael Williams on April 1, 2011 1:24 PM:

    I buy a lot of basics from J.Crew. I don’t buy much of their special product unless it is exclusive to J.Crew. And they do run a tight ship. I stand behind that statement. Especially since I was referring to their presentations / styling etc.

    Matt on April 1, 2011 1:37 PM:

    I gotta agree on those cuffs…pretty sloppy. I’d also feel better about spending $100 on a shirt if it wasn’t made in China.

    vespajg on April 1, 2011 1:57 PM:

    But it’s all “collector’s item” stuff, isn’t it? As soon as I read that in the description, I know the shark has been jumped…

    jiheison on April 1, 2011 2:06 PM:

    There was an article in the NYTimes about “chiseling”, as one commenter put it, as in the practice of surreptitiously lowering quantity per price in order to increase profitability (or “remain competitive in the face of rising raw material prices” as manufacturers might put it).


    The article assumes that clothing prices could only rise, because it was impossible to “change sizes”. But we know better. Apparel manufacturers can source cheaper materials, lower thread counts, lower thread quality, cut corners on stitching and simplify patterns in ways that cut production costs at the expense of fit.

    Of course, none of this necessarily requires moving production, which customers easily spot as a red-flag that consumers associate with corner-cutting. When something that was once labeled “Made in the USA” is now labeled “Made in Lower Slobovia”, its easy to spot. But when it is labeled “100% Cashmere” like it has always been, how many people will recognize a decline in quality? Thus, a brand can hope to retain its prestige and capitalize on the general expectation that prices will always go up, all the while providing less product for the money.

    Charles on April 1, 2011 2:43 PM:

    I agree with Bateman233, except in one case. Their chambray “utility” shirts are a great staple. They are made well and are priced decently ($98). Compare that to other “work” shirts on the market, like Mr. Freedom that sell for $200.

    RP on April 1, 2011 2:46 PM:

    Tucked in crewneck sweaters and heavy duty workshirts? Styling fail, regardless of whether a GQ blogger says it’s permissable.

    I’ll never buy their stuff while I can get 1st world quality elsewhere for not much more $, but it is interesting to see where Jcrew is attempting to take the mass/mall consumer. On the other hand, you never see anything genuinely new out of them; they are merely the bandwagon-jumper with the most retail locations.

    Charles on April 1, 2011 2:50 PM:

    I also second the cuff comment. I have yet to see someone wear their pants semi cuffed or rolled. I have to say these trousers are nice:

    I bought a pair of these this past January and they are pretty cool. nice detail on the inside, nice buttons and a nice denim construction. Those are worth getting in my opinion.

    doane on April 1, 2011 2:54 PM:

    Start making lime green roll-neck sweaters again.

    Tad on April 1, 2011 2:55 PM:

    Out here in the great Northwest, there is a J Crew at the mall. I look for sales, then I look for the 30% off sales, then I go in and buy their chinos, for $20, and their t-shirts for $10. Worth every penny.

    jiheison on April 1, 2011 3:14 PM:

    Charles –

    The J Crew chambray utility looks nice, but $98? Is it really twice the shirt that Land’s End Canvas sells for $49?

    Mister Freedom items are ridiculously expensive for what they are, functionally. But at least you get a ton of premium detail for the premium price. I’m not convinced that J Crew prices justify the up-charge over similar clothes you can buy in the same mall.

    Matt on April 1, 2011 3:41 PM:

    Here, here….MF and J Crew are in different leagues…

    Andrew D on April 1, 2011 5:43 PM:

    Agreed that the quality is not always there, but the prices for their better-made products – like broken-in chinos and polos and a few shirts – are not outrageous. Yes, it’s a mall brand, but how else are you going to reach the critical mass necessary to run an exchange-traded company? They stay true to their style roots and put out a decent product.

    Now, I’d love a suggestion for an alternative to J-Crew at the same price point that caters to slimmer body types? My experience with similar brands, i.e. Gant, etc., is that they are at least 20-30% higher in price. Suggestions?

    K.A. Adams on April 1, 2011 6:00 PM:

    J Crew’s stuff is cheap. But is that not the appeal ?

    If I want a serious pair of trousers I’ll go to Salvatore Ambrosi

    For me, J Crew is the kind of place that you can go when you are in some other city and the airline loses your luggage. You can restock for dirt and still feel completely comfortable until your own stuff turns up.

    David on April 1, 2011 6:14 PM:

    i’m just glad to see a post about clothing. Not 1950’s photography or any other crap that i don’t care about (i just prefer your style posts better). What are people in say the Midwest, small town suppose to do about “quality” when the best quality is J.Crew? I’ve turned to Billy Reid. Yea it took me a few shirts and returns to find the right fit, but for anybody who wants to go shop for clothing, J. Crew is a quality store, comparatively.

    Cracks me up to see comments that say things like “For me, J Crew is the kind of place that you can go when you are in some other city and the airline loses your luggage. You can restock for dirt and still feel completely comfortable until your own stuff turns up.”

    Lets all be honest, makes you sound like a pretentious prick.

    Now is anybody buying their suits? I give them credit because those dudes look sharp. Was thinking about purchasing a suit but was a little gun shy because i can’t try on anything. J.Crew’s around here don’t even carry suits.

    Grant on April 1, 2011 6:18 PM:

    Americana made in China. Not for me, thanks.

    jeff on April 1, 2011 6:19 PM:

    I too would be ok wearing their stuff everyday if half of it didn’t fall apart in less than a season. Their stuff fits great, but I can’t justify or afford to replace items all the time. I’ve learned to stick to their outside brands and ties. If the quality/durability improves I’d gladly spend more money there in the future.

    L.L. on April 1, 2011 6:40 PM:

    Since I’m living in Finland and don’t own a piece of J.Crew I cannot speak about the quality so I focus on the design.

    I probably wouldn’t have written this comment if there weren’t any picture of a man wearing a parka under his sport coat. Seriously, is their motivation to create something new or fresh from scratch so low that a photo from Italy or Paris will do? http://swagger360.blogspot.com/2011/03/street-swag.html I thought that J.Crew wanted to have an image of a brand about heritage and americana, not about Italy and quilted jackets worn with the zip in the middle. Is it in the SS12 collection where the models are wearing double monks with the straps open? J.Sprezz ftw

    K.A. Adams on April 1, 2011 6:49 PM:

    Poor David

    Ben on April 1, 2011 7:51 PM:

    J.Crew is good for what it is . . . what the Gap should be. Quality varies so much from item to item and even within the item. Just bought a great pair of shorts with good material, cut and stiching. Unfortunately the buttons are held on by a single strand of human hair.

    The prices are really getting me. Way too much for stuff made in China. As a mass retAiler can’t they demand better pricing?

    Elias on April 1, 2011 8:45 PM:

    JCrew runs a great ship! Also, their Andy Spade collaborations with the liquor store concepts (years ago i may add) and the move to partner with heritage brands well before any major retailer of their size shows that they are on their game. I am not sure many of you know what it’s like to work let alone run a multi billion $ brand but the moves they made over the last few years took guts, as well as a strong insight and vision. Give credit where credit is due! Show me a retailer that’s nationwide and in malls of all places that are this forward thinking and risk taking?!?!?!?

    * I am not an employee or shareholder I want to disclose :)

    Elias on April 1, 2011 8:48 PM:

    L.L. Your link shows a photo from last month, I doubt that influenced them for this collection since designers work about a year in advance for their collections.

    Derrik Ollar on April 1, 2011 9:14 PM:

    This is a great look for those who love heritage brands. Now, onto Ebay to find the original vintage items.

    J on April 1, 2011 10:02 PM:

    Bateman – Nice name and comment. Strangely enough, I find the most expensive items at J Crew to also be the ones of lowest quality. Their cheaper t-shirts and shorts seem to last forever but their other goods – say, peacoats – are all horribly constructed.

    Brian on April 1, 2011 10:33 PM:

    Gotta say that I agree with the chorus here. J. Crew is way too expensive for what it is and where it’s made. They’ve done a fantastic job of photographing their product and selling you on an idea, however.

    CTP on April 2, 2011 9:33 AM:

    I don’t see the relevance of all this made in China stuff on ACL? OTTOMH, I can’t think of any other exploitatively made stuff exhibited on ACL.

    JESSICA DEFINE on April 2, 2011 10:27 AM:

    I always welcome JCrew catalogs and circle things ferociously, but I typically buy like crazy when it’s on sale and only get the things I obsess over at full price. Love the suits above for my husband.

    Art on April 2, 2011 2:52 PM:

    Thanks! The Mickey Drexler interview is enlightening and inspiring.

    Kevin on April 2, 2011 9:40 PM:

    Thing is Jessica, unless your husband is size 38-40, and 19 years old, most of them probably don’t fit well! Better off getting something at a local store with tailoring staff.

    Umpa on April 3, 2011 2:51 AM:

    @ Klya

    “Do people actually wear their jeans cuffs like that in public?”

    I like the clean fold but the half ass fold only really works with button ups in my opinion. If you’re going to do that then at least make it look like there was a reason you rolled up ur jeans so fast. Get some grit on that denim for god sakes.

    and yes… in LA people do this, some people (men & women both) look like they just walked out of these pictures and on to the streets (and like their too cool for school).

    Umpa on April 3, 2011 2:59 AM:

    Style wise I like the red anorak blazer jeans combo. The black guy in shades and popped coat collar (minus the shades). He looks stylish but not like he took an hr to get ready. Unlike the carefully “poorly rolled” jeans :/. Sweater vest guy looked sharp and I guess the bearded man too. That is a glorious beard.

    jah786 on April 3, 2011 7:16 AM:

    J. China, L.L. China Signature, etc- they all do a great job for what they do, which is making good looking clothes out of cheap materials and charge a lot of money for it. I do not denigrate them for this- it took a lot of effort for their products to get the “the look” that captivates people with the materials they are using. However, you do not need to be an economist to realize that if the consumers of this country don’t start to produce and consume more of our own goods (not all the goods, just more than now) then it will just get harder and harder for us. You don’t have economic recovery and employment through wishing and hope; you have it through supply and demand. This is not a political issue- neither party talks abouts the fact that we no longer purchase everyday goods made in this country, nor do they hold it up as the most obvious solution (why?!). It’s been two years since I stopped buying J. China’s house brand stuff. Not even on sale. I’m done with it. It may seem cheaper and easier to find when compared with domestic brands, but we as a country just can’t afford it anymore.

    Michael on April 3, 2011 4:00 PM:

    I am so tired of this debate. All I hear is a bunch of “I am too good for this”. We all need to focus on being a little more positive. Some of these arguments are just outrageous.

    Brendan on April 3, 2011 5:59 PM:

    J. Crew now is fine, definitely nostalgic for J. crew sport and Dawsons Creek era. 8th grade…


    Andy on April 3, 2011 7:34 PM:

    I have sort of adopted J Crew in the last few years because they are often on sale, and I like their retro style.

    However, much of the quality is fair to poor. I bought a sweater that was originally $98; it looked great in the store, and in the catalog, but only a few months later it is pilling and the elastic is loose.

    Khakis and cords bought at J. Crew seem to last for only a certain number of washings and then they shrink and disintegrate.

    I worked for Polo for four years and can see how Ralph’s influences have come through in J Crew’s marketing. But PRL is about more than showmanship. His quality is real and when I purchase something from Polo, I have to really love it, because I will be stuck with it for many years.

    Not so with J Crew. Heritage marketing notwithstanding…..

    Grant on April 4, 2011 9:14 AM:

    I love this stuff. Too bad J. Crew generally does not fit me properly. I’d love to wear their clothes, but I’d have to get everything tailored after I bought it.

    j on April 4, 2011 11:23 AM:

    I just don’t get the J. Crew hate — to me, it just sounds like snootiness. True, the clothes do look better on the models than in real life, but when is that not the case? Meanwhile, the *vast* majority of men would look better if they shopped at J. Crew, which offers decent, even stylish, basics at prices that are very affordable — especially given their perennial 15% student/teacher discount and frequent sales. It’s not meaningful to compare J. Crew to brands sold in Barneys, or niche brands that have traction on the web. Basically: If you know who Mr. Freedom is, then J. Crew is not intended for you. It’s intended for normal guys who just want to look good, not for super-hip fashion maniacs.

    Tony on April 4, 2011 11:28 AM:

    Those cuffed pants look ridiculous. When they come out with clothes for straight guys let me know.

    Ms.Ghong on April 4, 2011 12:25 PM:

    I agree with J and K.A Adams you do sound like a pretentious prick, butt since I’m commenting on this ridiculous debate I’m not much better

    Oliver on April 4, 2011 1:42 PM:

    I still haven’t seen anyone mention a better quality and stylistic equal to Jcrew for the price. Just sayin.

    I think people want to have their cake and to eat it too.

    David Himel on April 4, 2011 2:25 PM:

    Ok I see a lot of debate about price and style…I have a minor bone to pick but I am not sure if it is with the consumer or with the producer. First…really nice looking collection. It is clear to me that the “made in china” brands are very hip with their big budgets and have glommed onto the vintage clothing dealers, stylemakers and small run producers. They can grab anybodies designs and trends and pump them out in china…and you can trust me on this..nothing costs more than 3-9 bucks to make in china all in. And then rebrand and resell the items back here for 100 to 200 times markup. Now for you folks out there complaining about price what a great deal. Why buy wesco or viberg when you can buy JCrew and save 500 bucks. Ok great…but expect the look to last for 1 year…maybe two before the fabric is shabby, or the leather looks stretched and worn. Dont expect any badge value…and absolutely know that there are craftsman out there that cant make a living while you are buying simulated Americana/Canadiana/Europianna (jking). It is smart looking and a great collection! I saw a Belstaff jacket that was made of lamb skin .5mm thick covered in some kind of plastic goo and the retail price was 1900.00 and I thought to myself…why do I have trouble selling my custom made horsehide jackets made from the best shit on the planet, by the best craftspeople on the planet. J Crew is not Viberg….but it is excellent simulacra
    interesting but for me it is filler

    chris on April 4, 2011 3:56 PM:

    Just to give people some perspective here. Cheap denim is going for 2.00-4.00 bucks per yard. Cheap cotton jersey is going for about 1.50-2.00 bucks per yard. That is just the cost of the uncut fabric. Multiply that by yardage per garment, washing, construction, labeling/trim, duty tax, transportation (cost of oil is rising), etc etc… and you get the idea.

    The cost of cotton is going up. The cost of labor (in china) is rising. Personally, i think the best place for some of these companies to reduce cost isn’t in the materials or the construction, it’s in the marketing and trim.

    R4L on April 4, 2011 4:56 PM:

    I agree with Bateman, the stores are in serious need of a revamp. But the hysterical criticism on the clothing is not valid. We are spending 220 for a simple Band of Outsiders shirt vs. say a brooksie or jcrew shirt. Point being, JCrew offers good basics for work and play. Its not all terrible. Hire Peter Marino to revamp the stores. hee hee!!!

    david himel on April 4, 2011 7:37 PM:

    Chris are you saying that my 3 to 9 dollars per item is not an accurate costing for chinese made goods? I can tell you that my leather costs 9 per sq ft x 35 to 45 sq ft per jacket plus zippers, liners labour at 25 per hour…that is the price of North American manufacturing with craftspeople if that helps


    K.A. Adams on April 4, 2011 9:03 PM:

    Ms. Ghong –

    What am I supposed to say ?

    I love the styling and they do a great job with their partnerships… but their own product is cheaply made and the price points are cheap as dirt and if that offends you or anybody else you’re too ignorant to any know better …

    Please tell me .. .What’s pretentious about that ? You don’t even know what you don’t know !

    AlexP on April 4, 2011 10:40 PM:

    Yall haters need to open up your minds a little bit. I am only 19 and like to dress like gent, like im sure everyone here is looking to do. Now tell me how a 19 year old, full time college student, part time worker is supposed to buy $150 plus sport shirts, $1000 plus suits ETC. J. Crew (to me, don’t get your $60 Mark Mcnairy boxers in a bunch) is a great in-between place to shop for people who want to build a wardrobe on a budget. So get off your high horse and realize that everyones situation is NOT the same. That being said, some of J.Crews stuff is a bit ridiculous but they are def doing it better than any other gay ass mall store (Express and shiiiiiit)

    Terrapin Stationers on April 4, 2011 11:26 PM:


    R4L on April 5, 2011 11:39 AM:

    on Apr 4th, 2011
    @ 11:28 AM: When I last check, its mostly straight guys shopping at JCrew. Come out of the closet!!! Or simply unroll the pants, its a simple solution to YOUR problem!!

    Noah on April 5, 2011 11:42 AM:

    J Crew is a gateway drug for the less informed. I lived NYC my whole life and have worked for folks like Steven Alan and others. I never gave J Crew much thought. When you live in LA, San Fran, or NYC you have amazing stores, brands, and style in the streets. People don’t need J Crew. I now live in the midwest. The typical male casual uniform is baggy bootcut cheap denim, a simple T, an oversized fleece, square-toed shoes, and a backwards cap. For these guys, J Crew would be an incredibly forward thinking breath of fresh air. Its all perspective. If you wanna step up your style, but you’re not sure what you’ll be comfortable in, then a J Crew is your best option. You might discover you’re a selvage denim and wingtip guy. Sure they may not last, but you’re only out $250 instead of $700 if you went through a small handmade “authentic” brand or store. Now that you’ve refined your style a bit, you’ll spend more on your next purchase and really invest in a better product. Its really a blessing that a place like J Crew exists for the masses – projecting good style to a mainstream audience. And though not cheap, they are far from expensive.

    pjharv on April 6, 2011 1:32 PM:

    Agreeing with the above posts. J.Crew quality is poor, prices are rich. I made some sale+20%off purchases this last year – polo shirts, v neck sweaters, etc… each item around $15-$20. Ordered over the www. when they arrived they looked ok, but after I wore&washed them once/twice they started wearing out really fast. definitely cheap pieces that will not last. I expect to wear these for one season and then donate to goodwill. Will not be shopping J.Crew again.

    Mike on April 6, 2011 2:53 PM:

    I agree that J. Crew is over-priced for what it is, but what other options does the average joe have?

    Young folks (like myself), a few years out of college, trying to make it in a shitty economy — they don’t exactly have the kind of cash to be making “investment purchases.” Unless they wanted to buy one item all year, when they get their tax return.

    I’d imagine the average reader of this blog is MUCH wealthier than the average American. J. Crew hits a sweet spot of style and price for a lot of people. Anything cheaper than J. Crew fits and looks like crap. Anything equally stylish is impossibly expensive for me. I’d shop elsewhere if I could… but I can’t.

    Rob on April 6, 2011 11:55 PM:

    lol at these pretentious fucks ragging on ‘made in china’ when last time i checked china also produces your beloved and expensive iphones, ipads, kindles, flat screen tv’s etc.

    i swear if jcrew slapped ‘made in italy’ on the back of their garments you’d cream.

    david himel on April 7, 2011 6:25 AM:

    you must have landed on the wrong blog. Sure if it wasnt for these cheap brands made in China likely this blog wouldnt exist. That is the point. …while the new youngsters run around with cheap disposable clothing…it would seem to me this blog is devoted to the memories we all have of amazingly well made, tough, usable clothing from our childhood. Sadly all those raw levis, wool camel coats and nice orthepedicially sensible shoes with a little bit of style are gone. Because the real cost of producing goods and keeping young brokeass people employed is much higher then the 25 cents a garment paid to sew in China. That being said…while you are out buying all that cool stuff made in China you are leveraging your own future to make some of your fellow countrymen very very rich. Hope that works for ya! Me if I were brokeass I would get my butt down to the local vintage store or goodwill and buy some of that fine North American made swag from back in the day…save my money…vote Green party and hope I invented some new technology that would save humankind. This blog is..or was or usually is devoted to vintage or heritage brands that strive to keep the craft of clothing making alive and well closer to home.

    Rob on April 7, 2011 12:56 PM:


    That’s all well and good but besides the point. That being that china does not necessarily equal shoddy workmanship of product, as evidence by the fact that some of the most precise equipment in the world is produced there.

    I’m completely happy to talk about the merits of a garment or anything else on its merits alone. But lets be honest, people confer special status to where garments are manufactured that have nothing to do with the actual quality of the garment at hand.

    I stand by my assessment.

    jiheison on April 8, 2011 12:17 AM:


    Quality and precision can be done in China (or anywhere, for the right price). But when it comes to clothing, quality simply does not come from China. (Even if it did, as an American, I would rather buy an American-made product even if quality was equal.)

    Incidentally, every single one of those expensive gadgets that you mention has the about the same expected lifetime of a low-cost (but high-price) J Crew shirt.

    david himel on April 8, 2011 12:44 AM:

    I guess we have different concepts of quality…if you mean using the earliest most rationalized forms of industrialized factory labour…backed up by genericized gerber software and gross profits at the expense of the environment, skilled craftspeople, dissolution of labour markets, lack of environmental regulations, and oh wait grotesque profits at the expense of the well being of consumers for disposable preaged garments then yes it is an excellent industry and I reject it. Even at the height of the factory produced schmata sweatshops in North America…living wages, unionism, and a quest for increased quality were always at the forefront. Im cool with what goes on in China because it means there is a market for really special items made with love and care. I hope that the consumer rape continues so that I have something to define myself against!


    Rob on April 8, 2011 12:01 PM:

    David, your arguing something completely outside of the scope of this convo. I get what you’re saying, it’s just not the crux of the matter here.

    jiheison- to each his own. i have garments made in both in china and the US that have lasted years and items that started fraying soon after purchase. I just found it a bit reckless that people in this forum started painting everything made from china in broad strokes of ‘inferior quality’ paint.

    ironically its usually asian immigrants in italy producing luxury goods so that the brand can slap ‘made in italy’ and the appropriate markup that comes with it, while keeping production costs low. the global supply chain in fashion is huge.

    in regards to the short lifetime of those expensive gadgets, i’d contend that it has more to do with forced obsolescence than it does about the gadget. i have old nokia phones that still technically work, but aren’t supported by any current technology.

    -just my 2 cents. thanks for the debate.

    david himel on April 9, 2011 4:48 PM:

    er…this is ACL? The blog devoted to looking are re enlivening American brands (maybe one day a Canadian one). Scope of the argument? The scope is simple….fashion is being hedged by rich guys who bastardize sensible value systems for mass profits using exploitative practices in China…that is relevant in every single conversation about fashion…80 percent of the posts on JCrew here were about the “look” of authenticity being presented and the low cost combined with quality issues. Sorry if I am not a fan of JCrew, the simulacra of fake vintage, the exploitative nature of the production practices regardless of the level of quality which I will argue is usually poor at best. I dont eat meat grown on factory farms either, nor do I buy canned tomatoes from China, or fish from a box. Guess why…I want to live to a ripe old age…and if that means I have to spend more money to do it I will. 90 percent of the water systems in China are poisoned beyond potability…the place is basically a human rights disaster, and the only reason there are chinese immigrants working in the schmata trade is because it is hell on earth over in China. My team are chinese in Canada, they get paid 25 bucks an hour each I would be happy to buy chinese made goods when they are getting a similar wage. Call me crazy, anti business, anti capitalism…etc…You can run a sucessfull North American fashion brand made in North America…look at my good friend and fellow producer Dani Reiss of Canada Goose down parkas. It is the most sought after parka in the world sewn here in Toronto..his biggest problem…fakes from China

    Tony on April 10, 2011 3:29 PM:

    As an employee of J. Crew, I love reading all of these comments both good and bad. I’m glad to see that many people are recognizing that there is a HUGE disconnect between the atmosphere and aesthetic of the mall stores and the highly styled marketing images that are released for press. The lifestyle that they are trying so desperately to sell falls short upon entering one of the many mall locations out there across the USA.

    I certainly feel for locations outside of NYC and the Mid-Atlantic region, I know the product assortment and allocation is completely disconnected from the marketing campaigns, website and the new J. Crew Tumblr blog. I believe that the fall of J. Crew will be the fact that the decision makers, stylists and visual merchants never get their heads, asses and egos out of NYC. There’s a big country outside of Manhattan, it’s called America.

    donna on April 10, 2011 8:26 PM:

    seriously, why are you posting about j.crew? is this paid “blog-vertisement?” yes, the j.crew AESTHETIC is americana but beneath the surface the brand does not seem to fit with the ETHIC, the principles behind acl at all.


    Michael Williams on April 10, 2011 8:46 PM:

    Donna — I’m going to do my best not to be offensive to you after that comment. ACL happens to be my blog, which means that I get to post whatever I want. So I’ll be the one to decide if something fits or if it doesn’t. I buy, wear and support a lot of American made clothing / manufacturing — probably more than most people. I also wear some J.Crew and other non first world made stuff. I think that is fair and I also think J.Crew is doing a good job with their collections. If you don’t — then don’t shop there. And if you don’t like what I post, don’t read ACL anymore. That is your right. And it is my right to post whatever I feel like — made in PRC or made in the USA. Further thoughts on the subject from 2009.

    R4L on April 11, 2011 12:22 PM:

    Here! Here! Michael! If anything JCrew is accessible to many who cannot find the beloved “Americana” brands near to where they work, live, play, etc. The venom directed at Crew is unwarranted. I love how the comments on this cite are telling YOU what the principles of this website are. If they are so displeased, then by all means, create your own site. JCrew offers ideas and they do a good job of presenting offering/collaborations to the consumer. Keep up the good work.

    David Himel on April 12, 2011 12:50 PM:

    Hey just to clarify…I love the blog and honestly if I was dealing vintage clothing for the last 20 years and have an insane nostalgia for the schmata men in my family like my grandfather, uncles, friends and landlord I would be so crazy about clothing. I love the blog MW and I certainly don’t group myself in as a naysayer. I love a good debate…I would say I work daily with people struggling to build brands and sales of locally made goods trying to compete with goods made overseas…there is way more money making overseas obviously and I guess ultimately that is the big motivator. Most of my friends have given up and taken jobs working for mall brands…which means lots of time travelling to china…hell I lost my pattern maker last month to a job in Guangdong…cost me 1000’s to finish the work she left behind. For me it is a day to day reality rather than a theoretical debate.

    Papa nui on April 16, 2011 4:57 AM:

    I’m with David all the way. I live in Australia and every single item is produced in China, it’s just a fact of life, another generation sold Australian manufacturing down the river and now there’s nothing left but as consumers we also need to take some responsibility for this as we always want to buy cheap.

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