Brand power: How J Crew overcame a $3million buyout to triple its earnings in one year
22:27 GMT, 20 March 2012
Despite closure threats and a $3.1billion private buyout, it seems apparel chain J Crew has come up trumps this year compared to last.
According to WWD, the clothing company tripled its net income over the past 12 months, leaping from $4million to $15.1million within the past 12 months.
While a March 2011 buyout by two investment firms, TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners, obviously sunk J Crew’s earnings and left them with high interest rates, the exponential shape-up must be in some part, thanks to a year jam-packed with publicity.
Collection strength: J.Crew's Fall 2012 range featured plenty of clashes textures
Numerous endorsements from Michelle Obama, the so-called First Lady of Fashion, helped broaden the company’s reach.
Further magic was weaved when Mrs Obama began recycling her favourite pieces, like the mint green Pembridge Dot pencil skirt she wore on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last month, an item she also wore during a visit to London in 2009.
Jenna Lyons, J Crew’s president and creative director, put it best.
Power backing: Michelle Obama pictured wearing a J.Crew pencil skirt as she strolled with the Prime Minister's wife Sarah Brown in 2009
She told ABC she considered Mrs Obama’s support ‘the most incredible gift that keeps on giving’
Lion strength: J Crew's creative director, Jenna Lyons is responsible for the company's success in more ways than one
Ms Lyons herself also played her part in bringing ample spotlight to the company.
After being condemned by Fox News for allowing images of her son’s painted-pink toenails onto J Crew’s website in April last year, Ms Lyons made further headlines for her divorce from her artist husband of nine years, Vincent Mazeau.
Ms Lyons reportedly left Mr Mazeau for long-time friend and alleged lesbian lover, jewellery executive Courtney Crangi.
Stockist expansion during the past year has also led to inflated sales for the company.
J Crew spread its wings cross-continent last year when it launched its first online store for the UK in August.
It brought a whole new base of fashionable fans to the company.
But above all, the brand's collections
have strengthened, culminating in an extremely well-received New York
Fashion Week presentation earlier this year.
Blending the brand’s signature preppy
cuts with pops of neon block-colouring and strategically-clashed prints
and textures, Ms Lyon’s Fall 2012 range resembled, well, her stylish
self. Her ever-chic street style is widely commended.
Heads also turned when the company collaborated with glamorous footwear giant, Manolo Blahnik for their Fashion Week presentation. As designers continue to run rife with industry collaborations, the all-star match-up was welcomed.