I wait patiently every month to see what new and inspiring pieces J. Crew has dropped in my mailbox.  After speaking with Tracy Crane, head of marketing at J. Crew, I was given some firsthand insight into how the catalog is created.  J. Crew’s catalog is essential to their company.  It tells customers every month who J. Crew is and where they are going.  It keeps customers updated on the latest trends and styles.  And most importantly it inspires people to get up, get dressed and have fun.

June 2009 catalog cover
In an interview for the Wall Street Journal, Jenna Lyons, J. Crew's creative director, said, “One of the things that I think is unique about what we do is the way that we present the clothes. Sometimes it's a little kooky—sometimes it's too kooky—but it's this idea that you can make it your own . . . We're not saying you have to walk down the street like that, but what we are saying is you can have fun with it.”  The catalog is a great way to convey these ideas, and it often includes new, exciting pieces that can add a bit of pop to your wardrobe and classic pieces that have been remixed and rematched to inspire you with new ideas.

The catalog is a vital part of J. Crew's sales and customer interaction, and it does not come together over night.  Months of preparation and work are put into every issue.  The photo shoot often occurs three to four months in advance, depending on the theme and location of the shoot, and the design and production of the catalog is definitely a team effort.  

When discussing the work environment at J. Crew, Crane said, “Something that differentiates us and makes us a great organization is the open nature of the environment.  People are encouraged to share ideas and new methods, and as a result there are always evolving ideas and designs.”  

The catalog is no exception.   Both CEO Mickey Drexler and Lyons are involved with the production of the catalog along with a team of designers, photographers and stylists.  Every one must work together to make sure that the catalog is perfect down to the most minuscule detail.  Decisions must be made about layout design, copy and photography.  While there are a variety of people who specialize in different areas, no single person can claim the final product as his own, because at the end of the day, the catalog is the product of about 20 different people and their hard work.

The best part about the catalog?  It’s free!  Request a catalog here!  Or view the latest catalog here!

About Me

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Aspiring writer. J. Crew fanatic.