J.Crew is opening its first shop in London this fall but it is doing plenty beforehand to up its profile there, starting with a 48-hour pop-up shop this past weekend in King’s Cross.
A prominent part of the shop was given to Crewcuts, the arm of J.Crew targeted toward kids, which has grown since President Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, both wore the brand’s coats to his inauguration in 2009, according to the Guardian.
The popup shop, which Refinery29.com reports allowed customers to shop the summer collection as well as preview the fall ’13 collection was located next to Central St. Martins, which houses the University of Arts London’s Central School of Art and Design. As part of the partnership with the school, J.Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons spoke with the college’s MA knitwear design students last week, Vogue.com reports. Each student will design a cashmere piece and Lyons will select her favorite, which will be “put into production globally, selling the pieces in stores and online,” the site notes, with the winning student going through the entire production process.
"We wanted people to have a personal connection to us," said Lyons, Vogue reports. "We want people to have a point of view, that's what Central Saint Martins cultivates. If you never expand your world and push the boundaries of what you can do, it's hard to carve your piece." The clothing brand is also handing out a full scholarship to a Central St. Martins MA student for the next three years.
Lyons, of course, is the person these students should be paying close attention to. She’s the one who remade the J.Crew brand not just by redesigning the clothing it sold, but by bringing together the retail, catalog and online units as well as redesigning J.Crew’s stores and marketing strategy, the Guardian reports.
Whatever she did, it appears to have worked. J.Crew now has revenue of $2.2 billion.