The woes of J. Crew are leading to a tough-love grassroots social movement to #ReviveJCrew by improving its design and business practices.
Belle, the blogger behind Capitol Hill Style, first created the hashtag in a March 2015 post, issuing a call to action for consumers to share their grievances. She first began using it on her Instagram and Twitter feeds, where she has a combined following of just shy of 20,000 followers. The hashtag has continued to crop up on Twitter.
— Anne Marie Harrison (@AnneNJNY) July 5, 2016
Had two pairs of pants rip on me in the last 6 months. I need to find a new place for denim, apparently. #revivejcrew
— Alicia (@fureyplayscello) February 4, 2016
— Becky Pettoruto (@BeckyPettoruto) January 7, 2016
A photo posted by The Work Edit (@caphillstyle) on
“Almost every reader who shopped at J.Crew in the 2006-2010 era talks about how much better the quality was then,” Belle wrote in March. “Their evidence is anecdotal, but if a buyer feels that their seven-year-old suit is better made than the one they bought last year, they’re going to shop elsewhere. If we want ‘fast fashion,’ we’ll shop at H&M.”
In the past year, J. Crew has lots its top designer and suffered declining sales. The slide has been attributed to J.Crew moving away from classic styles and its focus on less flattering designs and wonky sizing that has turned shoppers away. Simultaneously, prices climbed with the influx of special collections and collaborations that repeatedly performed poorly, leading to a haphazard discounting process.
Before its downturn, J.Crew was the focus of a number of bloggers who dedicated their sites the retailer, including J.Crew Aficionada and JCrew is My Fave Store, and women like Jenn French who shares photos of her outfits with the hashtag #JCrewEverything.
These bloggers have since taken to their pages to discuss their annoyances with the brand, including a “Looking to Vent With J.Crew” recurring series on J.Crew Aficionada, which acts as “a place to share not-so-stellar experiences with J.Crew.”
“It’s sad because it’s a brand I love,” French told the Wall Street Journal, who posted her first #JCrewEverything photo in June after a hiatus. “I feel a little bit lost as to where I would even shop now.”
My first #JCrewEverything day in a while! 💚🌺 . #summerstyle #summerfashion #currentlywearing #blondieesquire #lookoftheday #stylechallenge #styleoftheday #stylediaries #fashiondiaries #stylist #fashionstylist #sdstylebloggers #mystyle #casualchic #igblogger #iamtheeverygirl #outfitpost #ootd #realoutfitgram #luxurybrands #luxuryfashion #preppystyle #stylegetssocial #sandiegostyle #deanststyle #jcrew #jcrewfactory #jcrewaddict #nofilter
A photo posted by Jenn | Blondie, Esq. (@blondieesquire) on
Kaitlin Barnett, who runs the blog The Conservative Prep, has shared numerous posts on her Instagram account using the hashtag as a means to celebrate the company’s styles of yore or improving designs.
A photo posted by Kaitlin (@theconservativeprep) on
“A few years ago I started noticing the quality of the clothes was going down a lot and everything was going on sale in five weeks,” she said. “All of a sudden it was like how Gap really turned down. They were doing all of these weird shapes and dresses.”
She added that the #ReviveJCrew movement is designed less as an affront to the company, and more of a way to offer constructive suggestions and feedback. She applauded CEO Mickey Dexler’s effort earlier this year to offer fans to share advice via email for how to improve the company.
Overall, she said she has noticed an increase in quality over the past year, though the company still has ways to go.
“Now I’m seeing a return back to the more classic styles. This fall I started to see more of what used to be, like shoes that are made in Italy and classic styles.”