New J.Crew Look 2018

Before-and-after photos show how much J.Crew has changed in the last 35 years

Mary Hanbury  …Business Insider

J.Crew
A photo from J.Crew’s famous catalog.
  • J.Crew first launched in the form of a catalog in 1983.
  • The brand was originally targeted at price-conscious customers.
  • When Mickey Drexler took over as CEO in 2003, the brand gradually became more expensive.
  • These photos show how the brand has changed over the years.

J.Crew is in a period of change. 

In 2017, Mickey Drexler stepped down after 14 years as CEO, and Jenna Lyons, the brand’s well-known creative director, left the business after 26 years. 

The brand is struggling — same-store sales have been down at J.Crew for the past three years, dropping by 8% in 2016 following a 10% decrease the year before. In its most recent quarter, sales dropped by 12%

But this isn’t the first time the company has struggled. After launching in 1983 as a catalog, the store ran into some problems in the late ’90s. It wasn’t until Drexler became CEO in 2003 that the company turned itself around and enjoyed years of sales growth. 

Find out how the brand has changed over the years below: 

J.Crew launched its swimwear collection in 1989, when it was still a young company. This photo shows the simple, block-print bikinis that were typical of that time.

J.Crew launched its swimwear collection in 1989, when it was still a young company. This photo shows the simple, block-print bikinis that were typical of that time.

Fast forward nearly 30 years, and it doesn’t look too different. J.Crew still sells simple swimwear designs in plain colors. This bikini top costs $56.

Fast forward nearly 30 years, and it doesn't look too different. J.Crew still sells simple swimwear designs in plain colors. This bikini top costs $56.

The striped one-piece has been a staple since the swimwear collection first launched.

The striped one-piece has been a staple since the swimwear collection first launched.

Today, bold stripes are still are part of the collection.

Today, bold stripes are still are part of the collection.

The brand was initially targeted towards price-conscious consumers.

The brand was initially targeted towards price-conscious consumers.

Source: Forbes

In the 2000s, it became a more exclusive brand.

In the 2000s, it became a more exclusive brand.

This catalog cover from 1993 exemplifies J.Crew’s classic androgynous look.

This catalog cover from 1993 exemplifies J.Crew's classic androgynous look.

The style continued under the creative direction of Jenna Lyons, who left the company last year. The New York Times crowned Lyons as “the woman who dresses America” in 2013.

The style continued under the creative direction of Jenna Lyons, who left the company last year. The New York Times crowned Lyons as
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