Meet…crewcuts Muses Olive & Izzy

we sat down with eight-year-old Olive and her dachshund (and BFF), Izzy, over burgers at NYC’s Shake Shack to talk travel and Cronuts. (spoiler alert: These two are totally adorable.)
Olive, what brings you to New York?
We come every year! Manhattan is one of our favorite places to visit! We would so live here if we didn’t live in London.

So, what’s on the itinerary?
We’re such tourists, but…full disclosure, we really came to try the Cronut. Izzy is a vegan and eats gluten free, but she’s going to make an exception.
Where else do you love to travel, Izzy?
Hmm. I think our favorite trip recently was Paris—right, Olive? We were invited to a New Year’s Eve ball, so we went to Harrods for some fancy outfits. Olive told me I had to wear a gown, but I wouldn’t—I don’t do long dresses.

Olive? Any favorites?
We love to snorkel, so my favorite place was probably the Great Barrier Reef. Though, poor Izzy got stung by a jellyfish and couldn’t move her tail for a few weeks.
How do you girls find time to study?
We’re homeschooled, so we spend a lot of time studying on planes and trains. We’re learning Mandarin Chinese right now. Izzy is better at speaking; I’m better at writing the characters.

Anything else on your agenda for the trip?
Lots of exhibits, to keep us cultured. We’ve planned a trip to Kara Walker’s art installation at the old Domino Sugar refinery in Williamsburg. And I promised Izzy we’d stop by this new shuffleboard place afterward. She’s so competitive sometimes.

Last question, guys: We hear you’re taking a trip around the world, is that true?
It’s true! It’s a 180-day cruise, and we’re going to over 100 countries. I’m most excited to visit South Africa, and Izzy can’t wait to go to Italy. We’re both soooo excited.


To shop our entire girls’ assortment, including the Olive Yoga Tee, click here.

Slip-Ons with (Surprising) Street Cred

meet Mordechai Rubinstein, creator of the street-style blog Mister Mort and chronicler of the unconventional style choices of everyday guys, like the Birkenstock Boston®.
Mordechai, photographed in SoHo wears a pair of Birkenstock for J.Crew Boston clogs.


You seem to be a big fan of the Birkenstock Boston both for yourself and for guys on the blog. What’s the draw?
It’s what my friends and I wear after surfing, when you want to slip into something that could take you through the rest of your day.

How do you wear your Bostons?
I usually wear them with vintage military chinos or BDUs (Battle Dress Uniform; cargo pants), something with a roomier leg that I can roll up if I want to. I’ve been seeing other guys wearing them with slim sweatpants and cropped, cutoff denim though.
What’s the best way you’ve seen Bostons worn on the street?
A while ago, I saw someone wearing a pair with a really classic wide-striped flannel suit and a big hat in the middle of winter. The whole thing looked very cool and surprising. That’s kind of what started it for me.

Recommendations on when to pull them out?
Really anywhere except your wedding. I treat mine like I imagine other guys treat their leather loafers: the shoes you naturally go to when you’re on your way out the door.


Photography by Bryan Derballa.

To shop the Birkenstock® for J.Crew for Boston Clogs, click here.

Yes, You Can Wear Heels When You’re Eight Months Pregnant

we headed to Scandinavian candy shop Sockerbit with stylist Sarah Clary to talk maternity style (she made our white maternity toothpick jean her own with a dip-dye DIY)—and to indulge her sweet tooth a little, of course.
How has your style changed since becoming pregnant?
I’ve learned to keep it simple. Pattern doesn’t always work for my new shape, so I stick to basic colors with maybe a stripe here and there. Clothing that shows off my belly makes me feel more beautiful.

Do you have a go-to maternity outfit?
Dresses with stretch! For me, dresses that show off my belly rather than hiding it make me feel more confident about all the changes I’m going through. To create more outfit options, I pair crop tops or blouses that are too small over the dress, so it looks like a high-waist skirt.



How did the maternity toothpick work out for you? What do you like about it?
This maternity jean is a great fit and slimming. I have carried low throughout my pregnancy and most pants would slide south midday, but this one hugs perfectly under my belly.

Any nonmaternity clothes that ended up working really well for you during your pregnancy?
I’ve become very good at shopping my husband’s closet. I love his button-down shirts, sweaters and even pants. Don’t be afraid to go to the men’s department; some items can help when you are in between sizes.




What about shoes? We always see you wearing heels…
I love heels, so yes, I do continue to wear some of my favorites—but in moderation. And never so high that I feel uneasy walking. Kitten heels are a great balance, I feel sexy and low to the ground!

We love how you made the denim your own! Tell us about the DIY process you did on these.
I cut the bottom of the jeans off so they hit above my ankle and slit one knee. Then, I frayed the fabric with sandpaper and scissors and washed the jeans so they appeared more destroyed. I wanted an ombré-dyed look so I held the bottom of the pants in a cup of dye to the height I liked, holding the ends in longer so the dye was darker. They are far from perfect, but that’s what I love about them.



Yes, You Need to Hand Wash Your Cashmere (Don’t Dry Clean!)

contrary to popular belief, dry cleaning cashmere can actually be bad for the life of your sweater. the toxic chemicals used in dry cleaning can break down the fibers, and deodorant may cause discoloration. turns out, you should really be hand washing cashmere (it’ll be much softer too), so we asked Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd from The Laundress for their advice. here, they break it down for us…
De-pill delicate knits using the The Laundress New York® for J.Crew sweater comb by stroking firmly in one direction.
Use The Laundress New York for J.Crew collars & cuffs stain bar to tackle any stains or areas that trap odor.
Fill a washbasin or sink with cool water and add two capfuls of The Laundress New York for J.Crew cashmere wash. Submerge the sweater and make sure it is evenly soaped all over.
Soak for 30 minutes (don’t worry if the water becomes colored; this is normal and won’t mean any loss of color post-wash).
Rinse well by running cool water through the item until the water is no longer soapy. Press the water out gently without wringing.
Lay your sweater flat on a towel in its natural shape. Roll up the sweater in the towel (like a sleeping bag) to remove excess water. Lay the item flat in its natural shape on a drying rack or a clean towel.
Remove lint, fuzz and hair with the cashmere brush. Spray all over with The Laundress New York for J.Crew cashmere spray to add a fresh scent and repel moths.
Fold to prevent stretching and place in a bag with a zip closure. Be sure to stay away from storage bags that are made of polyester or plastic—you want to store your cashmere in bags that are made of breathable cotton or linen.



Photography by Eric Helgas.

To shop our entire assortment of cashmere, including featherweight cashmere, click here. To shop all The Laundress New York for J.Crew products, click here.

Meet …Bantu Wax

Bantu founder Yodit Eklund talks surf culture and sustainable production.



OUT OF AFRICA
I grew up all over Africa and now spend about 80 percent of my time traveling there for work. In 2009, I launched Bantu. I am a surfer and wanted to bring awareness to the continent’s under-the-radar beaches. There is more and more pollution because people don’t value the beaches in Africa. I thought if Bantu could expose people to the beaches, we could help preserve the environment.





PRINTED MATTER
We work with African designers to develop all our prints, which are based on wax cloth. Originally, wax cloth was brought over by Dutch traders; it stuck and has become a vital aspect of African culture today. We use the patterns of wax cloth and print them on technical fabric in Italy (the suits are all cut and sewn in Africa, though). Our craftswomen are trained to make seven styles of swimsuits, but we have so many prints that it ends up being a pretty big collection.




LENDING A HAND
One of Bantu’s aims is to create jobs and help the local economy while also changing the outside view of the continent. We employ around 30 Africans in Ethiopia, South Africa and the Ivory Coast. And this spring we also started sponsoring a surf club in Sierra Leone called the Bureh Beach Surf Club.




Photographs courtesy of Oroma Elewa for Bantu.

To shop our entire Discovered assortment, including Bantu Wax swim, click here.

Meet …@donalddrawbertson

if your Instagram feed is anything like ours, then you’ve fallen in love with illustrator Donald Robertson’s fanciful drawings. we sat down with the artist and father of five to talk inspiration, hashtags and his latest project for crewcuts.
Courtesy of VF.com


You’re the creative director at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics (a pretty full-time job, we imagine!), but you still find time to draw constantly. Do you sleep?
The other night I was heading up to bed when I noticed a brown banana in the kitchen. I thought, That almost looks like a cat print, so I posted a “cheetah banana” drawing and woke up to more than 2,000 likes. Would you sleep?

Your designs appear on three of our girls’ tees this season. What’s the story behind them?
Well, the idea for the besties tee came to me in an elevator. The girl with the baby giraffe is supposed to be a young Stella Tennant (a British model and former face of Chanel). I found these cool tubes of fabric paint you can draw with, and then I added more color. I think my vibe is kind of “J.Crew” to begin with.
We love how bright your work is. How do you approach using color?
My entire philosophy on color is rooted in an enormous pack of superbright magic markers a classmate of mine had in school. It’s burned into my brain!

You use some pretty unconventional materials, like googly eyes and ketchup, in your work. Anything else you’ve discovered lately?
I’ve been painting on cereal boxes. I’ll take the cereal out and then paint the Chanel logo on the cardboard. I don’t know why, but I just love it.
To shop our collection of Donald Robertson™ for crewcuts tees, click here.

What To See/Eat/Do in Hong Kong
we asked our friend and former New Yorker, Monocle’s Hong Kong bureau chief, Aisha Speirs for her cheat sheet to navigating the ins and outs of her newly adopted home.
Photography by Bryan Derballa.

To learn more about what we’re up to in Hong Kong, click here.

Treats and Sweets in Hong Kong
Hong Kong, we’re officially here—and we brought treats! we’re celebrating our new store opening all week long with special trucks offering sweets, photo booths, balloons and more in the ifc mall oval atrium. here’s some of the fun in store…
Our four fabulous trucks: the flower truck, fun truck, treat truck and smile truck.
You’re invited!
The treat truck serves juice from 1–3pm and popsicles from 4–7pm.
Flower power: we’re giving complimentary bouquets of blooms at the flower truck with your in-store purchase.
Bottled deliciousness from Hong Kong juicery BE-JUICED (available at the treat truck).
In the mood for a different type of flower? Our balloon artist can make you one at the fun truck from 2–7pm.
Pick up a tote bag made just for us with a map of cool spots in Hong Kong.
Popsicles “worth the brain freeze.”
One of our littlest customers snacks on his popsicle.
Photography by Carmen Chan.

Studio Tour: Hartland Brooklyn

always fans of a handwritten note, we love the hand-drawn cards from Hartland Brooklyn—the company founded by fashion-designer-turned-illustrator Emily Johnson in 2012. we stopped by her charming studio, in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood, to see how she puts it all together.
Emily, photographed in her design studio, wears a J.Crew merino wool baseball sweater in scallop instarsia.


TOWN & COUNTRY
Emily grew up on her parents’ flower farm in upstate New York—a place she still returns to for inspiration. “My grandma is a watercolor artist, and we used to sit together in the garden and paint flowers,” she recalls. The house is in a tiny town called Hartland, and I knew I wanted that to be a part of the company’s name. It tells a story about where I came from and where I ended up.”


WRITE ON
Drawing birthday cards for colleagues became a hobby of Emily’s while she was working as a fashion designer. To keep up with the demand, she started a small line of stationery in 2010. “I never planned this,” she says. “I just loved the fact that cards didn’t have to be serious.” The process starts with her sketchbook—she’s never without it—and then she comes up with a clever phrase, like “roll with me.” “I always think about what would make me buy a card.”
Photography by Bryan Derballa. Hair by Vensette.

To shop our entire Discovered assortment, including the Hartland Brooklyn postcards, click here.

#Fatherhood

after years of obsessively documenting cocktails and hamburgers on social media, writer Joshua David Stein fell hardest for capturing two new little subjects—his sons.


There are four of us in the 27th row of a Delta flight out to SFO from JFK, but Achilles, my two-year-old, is stretched out across most of F, all of E and some of D, the seat wherein I’m sardined, hanging halfway into the aisle. My wife is similarly crammed into the window seat with Augustus—universally known as AuggieBehr—momentarily asleep in her arms. Though uncomfortable, we couldn’t be happier. Ana is watching Say Anything…—“It’s the first movie I’ve seen in two years!”—and I have a brief respite, during which the children are asleep, to work. Fatherhood: an uncomfortable crash position, happily assumed.

In no other relationship, that I can think of, is insane love with no upper limit not only tolerated but expected. If we stared at the people we date or even are married to as intently as we do at our children, it would be creepy. But I could stare for hours at Achilles just being Achilles, zoning out on the couch, one finger in his nose and the other deftly looping Caillou—the worst television show ever—on the iPad® over and over again. What, I wonder, is he thinking? How, I ponder, can he be so cute? When, I fear, will he notice I’m staring and say, “Papai, go away!”

Being a father is at once an immortalizing act and one that renders you painfully aware of the passage of time. They are little for so little time. I think to myself that soon, Achilles and Auggie will be surly teenagers, and later, young men with families of their own. Perhaps that explains my obsession with staring. I want to store as much of their faces—with their bulbous cheeks and unguarded expressions—in my mind as possible. This probably explains why there are so many babies and toddlers on Instagram and Facebook, none of whom asked to be there. And this definitely explains why there are so many photos of my own babies on my personal Facebook and Instagram feeds too.


The thing is, a few years ago, well before I was a father myself, I thought, “What kind of schmucks flood social media with photos of their progeny?” But now, not only do I post photos on Instagram and Facebook, but Achilles has his own hashtag (#achilles4president) and Augustus does too (#auggiebehr). Now, I understand that it seems criminal not to share their cuteness with the world. And so, a scroll through my feed reveals a 100-picture-long series of Achilles at the playground and a large portfolio of him sleeping. There are hashtags like #brothers, which features Achilles hugging/throttling AuggieBehr, as a toddler does. My wife even initiated a series called “The Library of A and A” that features choice editions from the boys’ library. (A tip: If You Want to See a Whale is perhaps the best children’s book ever.)

I have, in other words, become the cliché that I long hated, a hawker of cute, a baby-sharing maniac. But as I sit staring at Achilles, who is now moaning, “Ferris wheel, I no like it,” in a state of half sleep, I don’t mind the discomfort of my current position, half hanging out into the aisle, one bit. The truth is, what I could not have known back then, in my childless days of Instagramming cheeseburgers and cocktails, is just how boundless a father’s love really is. Now, not only do I share pictures of my children, but I also walk around the neighborhood wearing a bucket over my head because it makes Achilles laugh. It seems that it has taken actually having children to see how my staring and subsequent sharing of photos of them is just one attempt at slowing down time and capturing the moment. Maybe not this exact moment in which the drink cart keeps jostling my elbow and half my butt is asleep, but this is a head-over-heels love affair with my two little guys. They’re everything to me. And yes, that includes hashtags.








Writer Joshua David Stein frequently contributes to New York Magazine, the New York Times and the Sunday Times and he is a restaurant critic at the New York Observer. He lives in Harlem with his wife and two sons. He (rather humorously) documents his misadventures in 140-characters-or-less on Twitter at @fakejoshstein.

© 2014 by J.Crew. All Images and materials are copyrighted by J.Crew unless otherwise noted.

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