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Has J.Crew lost its luster? Some longtime fans think so

by Rheana Murray /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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Some fashion fans think J. Crew has lost its luster and its historically preppy style, according to a new article that has shoppers talking about the brand’s future.

Some say the brand has recently gotten too expensive and trendy, and that they miss the classic looks, Elizabeth Holmes reports in her viral article for the Wall Street Journal, “Dear J. Crew, What Happened to Us? We Used to Be So Close.”

“I had one shopper that said to me, you know it feels like J. Crew is trying to sit at the cool kids table and the rest of us are not,” Holmes told TODAY. “And that’s a fine line that every apparel brand has to walk.”

Shoppers also said they noticed a recent decline in the quality of the clothes themselves.

“I think they believed that the fashion was moving in a certain direction and they were trying to lead the customer there,” said retail analyst Liz Dunn. “It seems like the customer is not following.”

Ditching classic styles for trendier, edgier pieces doesn’t seem to be working. The brand posted a net loss of more than $650 million in the most recent fiscal year, according to the Wall Street Journal. CEO Mickey Drexler addressed the issues in a recent call, saying: “We’ve made some missteps over the last year and we are working hard to course correct.”

Dunn doesn’t think all hope is lost for J. Crew, pointing out that the brand has very loyal customers.

“With some better fashion and some more appropriate pricing, I think J. Crew can turn it around,” she said. “An apathetic consumer is the worst kind of consumer, and that’s not what we are hearing. We’re hearing consumers very clearly say, ‘I love J. Crew, but what happened?’”

J. Crew declined to comment to TODAY.

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