Upper East Side, Meet J.Crew

— Tue, 24th August 2010 —

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Meet J.Crew’s just-opened men’s store on 79th & Madison. Ten years ago, the brand wouldn’t have dared invade the Upper East Side with a two-story stronghold catering to the city’s better dressed men. Yet, vitalized by a clear executive vision and a collection of first-rate partnerships, Crew can now go where ever it darn well pleases. The location is actually a natural fit for a brand that’s come to represent classic style (with a hint of old-school luxury) for a new generation of shoppers. “The feeling of luxury is new,” Frank Muytjens, VP of men’s design, told us Tuesday morning. “But it’s layered on top of the same brand values.”

When you visit, expect to find a friendly staff, low lighting, and all 3,400 square-feet of the store custom fitted with warm reclaimed pine. Oh, and the space used to belong to a bank, which explains the vault downstairs. Along with select stock from J. Crew proper, look for the special edition Ludlow suits in Vitale Barberis Canonico cashmere ($995 for the jacket, $495 for the pants); Thomas Mason fabric spread-collar dress shirts ($125); Crockett & Jones full-brogue wingtips ($575); Alden lace-ups and boots ($450+); Quoddy mocs ($230+), Timex watches ($150+); The Hill-Side ties & scares ($80+); Field Notes journals & notebooks ($10+); Barbour jackets ($380+), Mackintosh raincoats ($800); …

J.Crew Men’s Shop – 1040 Madison Ave at 79th – 212-453-2677 – Map

  1. Another theory–J. Crew has belatedly noticed that the UES is overrun by twenty-somethings with money. It will fit right in with Victorias Secret, H&M, Gap, Banana Republic, and all the other mall stores up there.

  2. J.Crew, especially The Mens Shop, has really raised it’s game. While the above poster’s snarky, hipper-than-thou comment may have rang true about J.Crew in the past, the times have changed. For the better, if you’re J.Crew. They have wisely become a “curator” of fine, tried-and-true brands. Their own designed items are far more stylish and better crafted than Banana Republic; J.Crew is much more at home on Ralph Lauren’s turf (sartorially, and now literally). This isn’t disposable, mall-store drek, it’s well made and quality, and apparently it knows it’s target market. The Liquor Shop and The Mens Shop on Lower Broadway both are solid, and this new store can only be a welcomed member of the retail family.

  3. I get the prices on most of the collabo’s but J.Crew suits for $1,100 and shirts for $125?!?!!

    Imagine your average sales associate at J.Crew trying to sell you an $1,100 suit. It’d be like watching a fish try to hang glide.

  4. I definitely like the stuff J. Crew’s been doing the past several years (I own enough of it), but I really wish Frank would just stop talking, because the stuff that’s coming out of his mouth is very nearly ruining my appreciation of the gear.

    the passenger

  5. Anyone else noticed J. Crew are pricing themselves out of being considered a great value?

  6. Matt, you’re doing a great job as an intern for whatever PR company that you’re working for, but you’re laying it on a little thick. J. Crew is great, I look forward to going to the new store, but nobody believes you when your posts read like the catalog. There’s a difference between PR and advertising, my friend. If you’re going to post on blogs, use a little goddamn discretion.

  7. Slim…I’m no where near the PR field. Finance and fitness, actually. Just a fan is all I am. Sorry if my opinions (and writing style) put you off. Never was my intent to offend, I just love that a store like J.Crew can re invent themselves and it be a good thing, especially when you see re invented stirs that are craptastic (see:Abercrombie). Thanks for so eloquently letting me know your feelings.

  8. Shane, I agree. J. Crew is establishing itself as a luxury brand. There’s no bargain or value any more. Pity.

  9. RobF: did you read the piece? Frank is Frank Muytjens, head of men’s design. He’s also blabbing in the September issue of GQ, in a short piece about breaking up a gray flannel suit and wearing the pieces separately with other items. Example: “The crewneck is typically sportswear, but we translated it into beautiful black cashmere. Not only did we pair something sporty with something dressy but we reinterpreted the item itself.” Like, you’re the first person to think of that?


  10. Frank is doing an artful dance of getting people to pay attention to basic stuff. We all know a black cashmere crewneck is very useful, but perhaps most folks don’t, or have forgotten. He’s working very hard and artfully within a narrow range of Am Classic stuff, and giving J Crew a stronger style personality than any other large men’s clothing chain I can think of.

    The prices in the text above should not dissuade. They give a sheen of luxury for the UES, but most people will buy the lower priced stuff but feel better because their clothes rubbed shoulder pads with something pricier. The quality of make is the same.

  11. At least, J. Crew is putting out better men’s clothes than the crap at Calvin Klein, all of CK’s labels. The value at J.Crew is still there, albeit not as good as before. I still shop at J.Crew because the fit is great, the trends are relevant and it’s a brand that I have liked since I was a teenager (I won’t date myself, and I’ll admit that I’m old).

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