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

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.

Studio Tour: Noon Design Studio

one of the things that inspired us most on a recent trip to LA was the shades of blue that we spotted everywhere, from swimming pools to the fronts of warehouses. so when we heard about Jane Palmer and her natural-dye house that specializes in indigo in the heart of the city’s garment district, we jumped at the chance to see the process for ourselves…
We certainly weren’t the first to fall in love with indigo dye, an organic compound found in hundreds of different plants. In fact, it was used by many ancient civilizations and valued for its rare blue color. “I love the look of natural indigo dye because it never looks flat,” explains Jane. “It has this uniquely inky look that glows from within.”

“Indigo dyeing is about patience because it takes a long time to achieve the desired result,” says Jane. Once the indigo has been prepared (a process which alone takes about an hour), it’s added to a vat of water, which turns an unexpected bright yellow or green.

After cloth is dipped into the vat, it also comes out yellow-green. It’s the oxygen in the air that will slowly turn the material blue. To get that rich indigo hue, the fabric must be repeatedly dipped into the vat—up to eight times to make it really dark.

To create their unique indigo designs, Jane and her team use a process called shibori, the ancient Japanese practice of folding, clamping, binding and stitching fabric to create patterns (we think of it like a really complicated version of tie-dye). The technique takes time to master; in Japan, a dyer must apprentice for years before becoming a practicing artist. “We have developed our own styles of shibori that we use over and over because we love the way they look,” she says.

Photography by Ken Tisuthiwongse.

For more of what we were up to in LA, click here.


we headed down to Soho, where founders Nadine Abramcyk and Adair Ilyinsky recently opened their third salon, to hear what it’s like running a business with your best friend and to find out—with summer fast approaching— their preferred manicure hue.

Before starting their company, Nadine and Adair would often meet after work to get their nails done—but they found themselves wanting a bit more luxury and calm in what could be considered a cookie-cutter experience. “With a laundry list of things we would do differently, we finally decided to open our own nail salon,” Nadine explains. Between running their business and each raising young kids, the pair (who joke that they’re each other’s second spouses) have a lot in common. “Our strengths are complementary in a completely natural way,” says Nadine. “Certainly we care about our business, but we always put our friendship first.”

When they were creating their exclusive colors for J.Crew, the duo used their collective longing for summer as inspiration. “The colors are meant to put you in a cheerful mood,” says Nadine. And of course, their new location in the heart of Soho also played a role: Each polish is named after a street in the neighborhood (Prince, Spring, Hudson and Houston), and the colors capture the offbeat feel of the area that inspired them. “Prince is my go-to nail color this summer,” says Adair. “It’s a pale lilac, so it feels different than the typical summer pinks or reds.”

Photography by Bryan Derballa. Hair by Joshua Ristaino and makeup by Deanna Melluso, both for the Magnet Agency.

To shop tenoverten’s newest nail colors for J.Crew, click here. For details on our complimentary manicures event, click here.

Everybody freak out. Sophia Webster™ for J.Crew is here.

the shoes we’ve had our eye on since our spring/summer ’14 presentation are finally here. we take a look back at how the outrageously cool collection came together (and begin the impossible task of picking a favorite)…

If there’s a period that most inspires Sophia Webster’s aesthetic, it is certainly her teenage years in the ’90s. From classic films like “Clueless” and “Edward Scissorhands” to musicians like Aaliyah, Gwen Stefani and Destiny’s Child (whose record hangs on her studio wall), pop culture from that era informs her eye-catching designs. With a penchant for pink, polka dots and hearts, she’s a fan of girly charm—but she always adds an edgy element. “I like the shoes to have a bit of attitude and character,” she says. “It would be boring if everything was overly feminine.”

One of Webster’s biggest fans? Our creative director, Jenna. After falling in love with Webster’s quirky heels, Jenna approached the designer about doing an exclusive collection for J.Crew. “It’s a collaboration in the truest sense,” explains Webster. “Jenna and the team selected their favorite looks, then I was let loose with J.Crew’s entire spring/summer 2014 materials and color palette. I was like a girl in a sweet shop!” The result is a unique combination of J.Crew colors with Webster’s signature embroidered details and tassels. Needless to say, we’re head over heels.
To shop the Sophia Webster for J.Crew collection, click here.

To see how our collaboration with Sophia Webster came about, click here.

Studio Tour: RMS Beauty®

it’s a little-known fact that makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift, the founder of RMS Beauty, offers one-on-one tutorials out of her Greenwich Village apartment. we dropped by for the scoop on her namesake organic makeup line and the trick to mastering that J.Crew-model glow.
“As a little girl, I was obsessed with the images of movie stars,” says Rose-Marie. But after years as one of the top makeup artists in the industry, she began to notice how taking a quick-fix approach to beauty can drastically damage skin. So she started her own line, using organic ingredients that nourish and soothe skin. Rose-Marie does everything from storing products in her own fridge to naming everything herself (“I just look at the color and go with a word that has that emotion”).
The best way to apply Living Luminizer? “Dab along the cheekbones, brow line and the bow of the lips,” she says. “It also looks great at the center of the lid and corners of the eyes, giving a beautiful reflective glow to the eyes.” Then, simply use Lip2Cheek to add some color—it combines nourishing oils and pure mineral pigments so it’s actually good for skin.
Photography by Bryan Derballa.

To see how we used RMS Beauty products during our fall/winter 2014 presentation at New York Fashion Week, click here. To shop our assortment of RMS Beauty, click here.

we loved so many of the 3,000-plus submissions on Instagram with the hashtag #jcrewdenim that it was hard to choose our favorites. Jenna and the team narrowed it down to the top three that really inspired—and even surprised—us. (surfing in jeans? nicely done!)

To shop our newest assortment of J.Crew denim, click here.

Studio Tour: Sugar Paper

with wedding season fast approaching, we headed to the much-warmer West Coast and stopped by Los Angeles-based Sugar Paper’s letterpress and design studio for a closer look at the story behind our latest collaboration.

At Sugar Paper, stationery is made daily on antique letterpress machines (each press has its own unique history and even a name). The process is very time intensive because each piece of paper is hand-fed into the machine one at a time, leaving an impression you can see and feel. “No modern technology can replicate it,” says cofounder Jamie. “The imperfection is the beauty of letterpress.”

Founders Jamie and Chelsea both started out in graphic design, but it was their shared love of beautiful handwritten notes that brought them together. After struggling to find stationery that didn’t feel too stuffy, they decided to bring the traditional mode of communication into the modern day by creating their own line of simple paper products. And the name? “It perfectly embodies what we create,” they explain. “It’s social stationery that feels like a treat.”

“When a collaboration feels easy, you know it’s a good fit,” says the pair on their partnership with J.Crew. Using a pared-down color palette of black, pale pink and gold, as well as incorporating details like scalloped edges and tiny polka dots and custom lettering as seen on the Mr. and Mrs. card, the assortment feels just right for a J.Crew bride. And what is their favorite piece in the collection? “We’ve wanted to make a wedding planner for a long time, so when the team gave us the green light, we were thrilled.”
Courtesy of Diana Relth.

Photography by Ken Tisuthiwongse.

To shop the entire exclusive Sugar Paper collection, click here.

Cashmere by the Numbers

our Italian cashmere comes in 25 custom colors and 28 standout styles,
making it awfully hard to choose just one. (So why should you?)
Read more about our supersoft cashmere here.

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

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