J. Crew announced on Monday that West Elm’s Senior Vice President of Design, Johanna Uurasjarvi, will be joining the fashion retailer as its Chief Design Officer–a role left unfilled after Somsack Sikhounmuong resigned in September of 2017.
I’ve long been skeptical of the shift away from brands having a creative director, since it must be difficult trying to put together a collection without having someone with a creative vision at the helm. It remains to be seen if Uurasjarvi can find a way to plug (the many) holes in J. Crew’s sinking ship, but we must have hope.
It is curious, though, for J. Crew to name a CDO mere weeks after putting out word that it is planning to “relaunch” the brand in September, since the CDO will have close to no input on the upcoming collection. Still, Uurasjarvi’s resumé is impressive and I hope she will be given time to acclimate. (It would be unfortunate if she were brought on board only to be used as a scapegoat should the relaunch go poorly, her history with Jim Brett notwithstanding.)
Random ruminations aside, I am a little concerned about all of the speculated changes for the “relaunch.” After all, my work wardrobe is heavily J. Crew (though Ann Taylor has been mostly reliable in recent years on the workwear front) and I don’t want the quality to fall off a cliff nor do I want the design to veer (even more) weekend casual. Sure, the Open-Front Sweater-Blazer I am wearing in this post isn’t particularly awe-inspiring, but it is so comfortable, practical, and affordable (fit leans relaxed so size down if a loose fit isn’t for you). I’ve come to depend on J. Crew for a work staple like this, so I am trying really hard not to panic shop and buy the Resumé Dress, No. 2 Pencil Skirt, and Martie Pant in every color lest these styles be selected for retirement.
I had a weekly shopping update scheduled for yesterday but at the eleventh hour pulled it as new designer sales keep popping up. Will try to rework it tonight (or tomorrow night) so that it becomes manageable in length, hopefully before everything sells out.
In the meantime, check out Net-a-Porter (sale styles now up to 70% off; prices vary quite a bit by region, so I would recommend that you compare prices across the U.S., German, and U.K. sites), Burberry (no further discounts, but some sale styles are restocked in certain sizes), SSENSE (Up to 70% off select designer styles), Moda Operandi (the designer sale is now up to 70% off; use code TAKE15 for an extra 15% off), Revolve (new styles have been added to its summer sale), Saks Fifth Avenue (designer sale now up to 60% off), Tibi (end-of-season sale) and Neiman Marcus (select sale styles are further discounted).