Behind the Designs: Soludos

Nick Brown, the mastermind behind Soludos®, gives us a peek at some of
his design inspirations (we’re dreaming of colorful cars, warm-weather
destinations and Mediterranean markets)
“I love this picture of Copacabana Beach in the ’70s—few do summer better than the Cariocas (natives of Rio de Janeiro). The classic colors of the Volkswagen Bugs here really impacted my collection for J.Crew—I don’t think anyone should ever shy away from a pop of color in the summertime.”
“I took the above snap with a few friends in Montauk a couple of summers ago. It always takes me back to long, spontaneous beach weekends…There’s an understated but cool style to this place in particular.”
“Here are some old photos of espadrilles being made by artisans in Barcelona—these authentic styles are the ones that inspired me to start Soludos. We’ve updated them slightly by using more contemporary cuts and fabrics.”

This Week’s Discovery

the Ludlow tuxedo
The great tuxedo wearers through the years: Cary Grant, James Bond, Jack Donaghy…One thing they have in common? They didn’t rent. Follow suit and finally bid farewell to the days of cheap tuxedo-rental shops stuffed with ill-fitting cuts and shiny-pattern cummerbunds. Instead, heed our stylist Jack’s advice: “Spend on a quality tux. Even if you only trot it out once a year, it’s the wisest wardrobe investment a man can make.” Our modern yet timeless Ludlow tuxedo fits the bill in fine Italian wool from Italy’s Lanificio di Tollegno mill with bespoke details (a satin stripe down the leg and pickstitching inside the jacket), all for under a cool grand. It’s your perfect excuse to make sure “black tie optional” is never an option.
Our tuxedo all-stars: Cary Grant in the 1946 movie Notorious; Roger Moore as James Bond;
Alec Baldwin as 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy.


(image credits: top, right, bottom)

Design Inspiration: Enzo Mari

our May crewcuts catalog has finally hit mailboxes—and it’s
earning major props.* we sat down with our star set stylist, Tracy,
to talk blueprints, building blocks and the artist behind the design.
*yes, that pun was intended.
“Throughout his career, Italian artist Enzo Mari published these blueprints so that people could create their own pieces based on his framework. He suggested using two-by-two lumber because it’s really affordable and accessible.”
Getting started:
“Mari was all about rational design—he wasn’t interested in creating anything flashy or over-the-top. He was really intrigued by self-assembly and simple shapes. Nothing too fancy.”
The finished product:
“It was such a fun shoot! We followed his instructions while adding our own twists—I was inspired by the kind of furniture you’d find in a French primary school. The entire set was an homage to Mari: the walls, the floorboards and the chairs. I think we really let our imaginations guide us.”
Visit to check out the rest of the shoot >

This Week’s Discovery

the Billykirk® bag
Not all bags are created equal. Founded in 1999 by brothers Chris and Kirk Bray, each of Billykirk’s rugged, minimal pieces is constructed by hand in Pennsylvania—in the heart of Amish country—using master-craftsman techniques. As our men’s accessories designer Addi puts it: “The integrity and artistry is incredible—a throwback to the days when things were made with so much care and attention.” Crafted in vegetable-tanned leather from one of America’s oldest and most renowned tanneries, this satchel’s a choice work bag—large enough to hold a 15” computer and tough enough to withstand coffee spills and subway doors. In with the old, we say…
Chris and Kirk (aka the Brothers Bray) show their wares.

(image credit)

Shop this week’s discovery >

A Very Fashionable Friendship: Vanessa & Joseph

she’s his muse, style adviser and all-around BFF—Vanessa Traina and Joseph Altuzarra
show us why it’s great to have friends in high (fashion) places…
From top: a mood board and picture of Vanessa in Joseph’s studio;
Vanessa in Altuzarra for Barney’s fall ’11 campaign; Vanessa and Joseph on Vogue Daily;
Vanessa modeling the Altuzarra spring/summer ’09 lookbook; a portrait of Vanessa in Joseph’s studio.

Read Vanessa’s interview with Joseph about his CFDA win,
design inspiration and ultimate love of cake here.

Learn Your Lines: Part II

it’s official: after studying Gayle’s style tips, we’re seeing stripes—
and looking to classic screen stars (and some seriously cool rockers)
for inspiration. now, about that red sports car…

Collection Inspiration: Joseph Altuzarra for J.Crew

a closer look at the Paris-born designer’s inspirations: Brigitte Bardot,
Saint-Tropez and always-chic French preppy style
The harbor of Saint-Tropez in 1962 from the book In the Spirit of St. Tropez.

(image credit: book cover, Brigitte Bardot)


How to Wear Prints

our superstylist, Gayle, demystifies one of the season’s
biggest trends—prints. read on for practical tips on how to
pull off the sometimes-tricky look with ease. and if you want
to get to know our style mastermind better, click here
to see some of the things that rule her world.

Classic colors, like red and navy, keep this look grounded—and all the shades match even though the prints don’t. Pair larger patterns with smaller ones to make each one really jump out. Finally, the proportion play between the longer jacket and the high-waisted shorts polishes everything off.

Not ready for mixing two or more together? Try a single standout print, like this playful apple one. Keep everything else simple with a classic silhouette and neutral accessories. Here, shots of black and off-white steady the offbeat motif.

These are two of the Looks We Love. See them all here.


this week’s roundup of delightful discoveries
Alison, one of our web designers:
“I’m into these straightforward, bold designs by Dutch graphic design firm Stout/Kramer. In their projects, they always attempt to distinguish themselves as more than just designers—instead, they see themselves as editors and directors of communication.”
Inspiration found here.
Elissa, our photo editor:
“Whether he’s making a gummy bearskin rug (my personal favorite), a cauliflower spaceship or an ad campaign, Brock Davis’s style is always clever, understated and very funny.”
Inspiration found here.
Hanah, one of our web designers:
“Laura Harwood takes color-fields to a whole new dimension with these colorful monoprints. As an artist, her color sensibility is one of her most recognizable traits. At J.Crew, we can definitely relate!”
Inspiration found here.
Catherine, one of our web designers:
“I’m a fan of artists who use type in their work, and Ed Ruscha is at the top of that list. Take home a collection of your own with his book They Called Her Styrene. It’s a spaced-out collection of words and hazy-colored backgrounds.”
Inspiration found here.

To the Point: Our No. 2 Pencil Skirt

here at 770, we are seriously pencil skirt-obsessed…
In an irresistible mix of colors, fabrics and prints, our No. 2 pencil skirt sharpens the look
of any outfit—instantly. Shop all our skirts here.
Since we hold a special place in our hearts for our No. 2 pencil skirt, we loved it when Matt,
one of our web developers, brought in this step-by-step guide on hand filing your pencils written by artisanal pencil sharpener David Rees.
Pencil skirts? We’re obsessed. Case in point: Our web designer, Catherine, was caught drawing a pair of pencil skirts from our spring collection in her sketchbook (we only wish our doodles looked like that).

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

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