Hello, Brompton Cross

we wanted to make the home of J.Crew Collection feel like one of a kind, so we worked closely with a handful of antique dealers and local artists, such as fashion illustrator Tanya Ling, to fill the store with original pieces. as an added touch, we gave visitors a bunch of fresh flowers with their purchase in honor of our grand opening. how’s that for a bit of sunshine on a rainy day?
Photography by Daniella Zalcman.

In London? Pop by our Brompton store, located at 171-175 Draycott Ave., between now and Friday, November 22, and receive a complimentary bouquet of flowers with your purchase.

For a closer look at one of the artists we worked with on our Brompton Cross decoration, click here. For more on our new stores in London, click here.

A Moment with…Jo Ratcliffe
for an afternoon, we stepped into the dreamy, futuristic (and increasingly busy) world of British illustrator Jo Ratcliffe, who’s been commissioned by several big-name fashion designers, V magazine and Vogue Nippon and, recently, even Lady Gaga…
Jo Ratcliffe, photographed at her Hackney workspace, wears a J.Crew Collection cashmere sweatshirt in navy.

Hometown and current home
Born in Berkshire, England. Currently in East London.

Illustrator, designer and animation director.
Tell us a bit about your background.
My training was for fine art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Everything else I’ve learned since leaving and along the way is self-taught. Sure, computers were invented back then, but no one knew we’d all be up to our necks in them by now.

How did your first big project happen?
One of my most memorable early projects was drawing images for an interview with [American comic book writer] Stan Lee. I’d worked as a receptionist for a section of Hasbro and had drawn Spider-Man a few times from the comics, which arrived in the post I was sorting. So when I was asked, I had this stock of drawings to publish.

My first big, scary job was drawing on set while Nick Knight shot the 10-year anniversary of Dazed.

What do you love most about living in London?
I fall in and out of love with London. Walking with my dog is the best bit, so if I can get to the Marshes or one of the beautiful parks, then it’s a good day!
Your studio is in Hackney—tell us a bit about the neighborhood.
1. The nice thing about my neighborhood is that most things you’d need as a creative are at your doorstep. I love the new Photographers’ Gallery in Soho.
2. Just around the corner from my studio is Artwords. They’ve got the best selection of books and magazines.
3. Towpath on the canal does great cheese on toast with a kind of honey marmalade.
4. Violet does the best cakes and pastries.
5. Little Georgia is around the corner and they do a beetroot salad which I have each time I go.

Is there a fellow artist whose work you admire?
I love the work of my friend Darren Almond. He’s based in London but travels the world taking photos. Most of the people are dotted around the world—I’m interested in the people who are experimenting with animation and blurring the line between still and moving image. I also like the work of Jesse Kanda who is an animator, director and designer based in London.

Best thing about being a creative person in London?
The weather makes you more creative when it’s constantly crap. I think it’s why so much great stuff comes from such a tiny island.

Photography by Bryan Derballa.

For more of Jo’s work, explore here. (You’ll also spot more of her work in Lady Gaga’s upcoming music video, “Applause.”) To shop Jo’s Collection cashmere sweater, click here.

Our London flagship at Regent Street opens November 8th. For more on our opening in London, click here.

Gift of the Day (Discovered): Crane & Co. for J.Crew Greeting Cards

why send a thank-you text when you can send a good old-fashioned
thank-you note? the novelty alone will ensure you receive another
invitation (or gift) next year.
For the holidays, we teamed up with venerable Massachusetts-based stationer Crane
& Co.
to create our own assortment of holiday notes. Our designer illustrated a chic
selection of stylish women for our sketch note card set, and our greeting card set
includes sentiments for every occasion, including Thank You, Thinking
of You, Bon Voyage and our favorite, XOXO.

Shop our selection of Crane & Co. for J.Crew note cards here.

Gift of the Day (Discovered): Our Teach For America Tee

feeling present tense? this tee was dreamed up by our in-house web designer
Rachel Domm, and 100 percent of the profits from its sale will be donated to
Teach For America, making it a feel-good gift to give.
It’s true: A girl can never have too many T-shirts. This exclusive Teach For
America tee was the result of an in-house design contest and is the perfect gift for
the hard-to-shop-for woman (or stylish little girl) on your list. The contest winner,
our ace illustrator and designer Rachel, explains that the inspiration for the shirt’s
whimsical apple graphic came from the simple heart logo on the PLAY Comme
des Garçons® tees that J.Crew carries. (The winning sketch she submitted is
shown here.) “I wanted to create something visually compelling,” says Rachel,
who admits she’s constantly sketching in her notebook. “It’s a great cause, so you
want to be sure that people notice it.”

Shop our Teach For America tee for women and girls.

Happy Thanksgiving

our illustrator extraordinaire, Ellie, whipped up this Thanksgiving turkey
inspired by the ones we used to draw in elementary school.

Scene Stealers: Inside J.Crew at Lane Crawford

to celebrate our opening in Hong Kong and Beijing at specialty store Lane Crawford,
our store design team whipped up these whimsical illustrations that depict a J.Crew-themed
skyline inspired by our Manhattan flagships.


For the visual displays that appear inside specialty shop Lane Crawford, our head of creative services, Ruth, was inspired by a toile-style wallpaper she’d first seen inside the historic building at 50 Hudson Street (now the J.Crew Ludlow Shop) in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. From there, the design team riffed on the idea and decided to create a life-size cityscape inspired by J.Crew flagships throughout Manhattan to serve as a fanciful backdrop for the clothing on display.


The store design team, which includes Brandon and his assistant, Ellie, created the initial miniature renderings (which remind us of the dioramas we created in grade school) using reference images of the storefronts and architectural blueprints. Brandon and Ellie then turned their workspace into an artist’s studio, spending several weeks filling in the illustrations—which were anywhere from 6 to 9½ feet tall—by hand, using watercolor paint.


As part of the display, Ellie collaborated with artist Rebekah Maysles to create spot illustrations of various plants and animals one may encounter in Manhattan, including mice. (“But cute ones!” Ellie insisted.)


Ruth, Brandon and Ellie traveled to Hong Kong in advance of the opening of J.Crew at Lane Crawford to install the larger-than-life displays, which were shipped over in gigantic crates, to outfit the 2,700-square-foot retail space. The team worked through the night to ensure the display was properly placed to create a playful cityscape effect reminiscent of the Manhattan skyline. 

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

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