In case you need more proof that fashion is cyclical, J.Crew proves it in the chicest way: by making Tracee Ellis Ross the face of her new fall campaign. âI’m an old school J.Crew girl; it was my main source of shopping throughout college, âRoss, the star of Blackish and founder of curly hair brand Pattern Beauty, says. âJ.Crew represents this trendy take on basics, like the large colorful sweater which is functional, soft and perfect. When you fall in love with something, you can have it in all colors. We all know I love high end fashion, but everyday you need clothes that you can wear, so I’m a J.Crew girl through and through.
The new fall collection and advertising campaign, titled “Make A Scene”, mark a new milestone for J.Crew. This is the first collection for women led by Executive Vice President of Women’s Design Olympia Gayot, which pays homage to J.Crew’s classic all-American aesthetic while giving the brand a touch of freshness. Gayot, who worked at J.Crew earlier in his career, also infused his fine art and styling experience into the collection.
âI looked at J.Crew holistically and at a macro level to see what we can bring in the future,â says Gayot. âIt was really important to honor J.Crew’s legacy while pushing the aesthetic forward with a more modern and relevant lens. In some cases, that meant preserving and honoring the classics, and sometimes evolving or reinventing them completely. J.Crew has always been at the forefront of experimentation and creativity and our client continues to evolve. The industry continues to evolve. This is fashion. It is time for us to do it and to change over time.
Cashmere has always been a cornerstone of the brand, for example, so they improved the quality. âThere were so many classic shapes out there in the past, so we looked at all of them carefully. We tweaked the proportions and shades and created this really wide, beautiful, and very flattering color palette that has a lot of ups and downs and warm and cool tones, so we have a range of colors to choose from. Another great example is that we have kept the iconic trench coat that we have in the range for 10 years, so it is there for the customer who wants the original classic trench coat and then we added it in new shapes. There’s one that’s longer and thinner and really minimal, and one that’s a bit relaxed and slightly oversized and comes in a heavier canvas. The denim trench coat is a fine example of a very classic item, but also important in fashion and always in fashion. The shape of this item really affects your appearance. We have some really cool new costumes in the lineup. There is such a long history of women wearing costumes in different ways. For me, it has always been a feeling of pushing the limits.
At the heart of the collection was the creation of clothing and accessories that celebrate the needs of complex and creative women. Each piece is dedicated to freedom of self-expression and optimism. âFrom the smallest detail we put into a garment, to the overall end use and vibrant lifestyle of women, it’s really all about creativity,â says Gayot. “It will affect the color, pattern and style of a woman who has 100 different places to go.”
This certainly spoke to Ross. âI wear glamorous dresses and all that stuff, but everyday in my life, I move in my day and I still like to dress and feel bold, sexy and chic and look great, and J.Crew is able to fill in all of these ways, “she says.” You want things that feel good on your skin that not only look great, but feel great. “
As an actor, director, producer and CEO, Ross was the perfect face for a collection designed for the multidimensional women described by Gayot. âI love Tracee; she has such an incredible style, âsays Gayot. âWhen I look at her and see how she wears clothes, it was really, really exciting to me. She loves wearing costumes; she does it in such an awesome and amazing way. She also loves wearing colorful dresses, she color so well. We tried to choose the clothes she would wear based on what I know she actually likes to wear so that she feels comfortable and feels like it is. her. She’s a multi-faceted person. She’s so talented as an actress, she’s a CEO. She’s so much more. She’s incredibly hilarious. She’s upbeat, she embraces creativity and she felt it all. quite natural for us.
The “Make A Scene” campaign stars Ross and the cast, and was shot in a Paramount field meant to resemble the streets of New York City, with choreography ranging from dance to basketball, all on a vibrant soundtrack. Ross asked to work with one of his favorite photographers, Micaiah Carter. âThere’s a way Micaiah shoots that really captures who you are that I love,â Ross says. âIt’s like he sees me as I see myself. I knew it would be a really happy, easy shoot that would reflect everything J.Crew is: identity and sense of self and the ability to be yourself.
For Ross, J.Crew represents the iconic American brand par excellence. âIt represents powerful, effortless style, and everything from bright colors to wearable costumes,â she says. “I keep coming back to this wearable thing because you want to look great, but you also want to be able to wear something all day and not be like oh my god it pulls me or it doesn’t feel good on my body. . I thought of one of the pieces that I wore [in the commercial], which I am obsessed with. It was a very nice cream corduroy suit. It was the perfect fabric and so easy to put on. You can dress it up, dress it down, you can put a belt on it. You can overlay it. It was such a great and easy costume.
That’s exactly what Gayot and the new J.Crew are. âI always come back to the woman herself,â says Gayot. âAs I spend all my years dressing myself for different times in my life, I tie a lot of clothes to particular times in my life, as I think a lot of women do. There are so many ways to dress depending on what you do in your day, or where you are in your life. Whenever we design something, do we really think about why she’s wearing this? Who is it for ? Do these shapes flatter all body types?
One of the reasons Ross was thrilled to join the J.Crew campaign is that the clothes and accessories naturally match her personal style. âI don’t buy this idea of ââa high-low mix,â she says. âI go for what makes my heart sing. Some of my favorite pieces in my closet are what some would call the low end in terms of cost, but they stand out against the best of the rest. I love clothes that I can wear that don’t wear me, that I can mix and match and wear over and over again, that stand the test of time in my closet and keep changing as I go. I evolve. That’s one of the things I love about J.Crew – their clothes grow with you.
Ultimately, the “Make A Scene” campaign and fall collection are the future of J.Crew. âIt’s a new chapter for us and this September collection is the first page of the next chapter,â says Gayot. âWe’re going to introduce a lot of really exciting collaborations, with little designers and beautiful artists. It’s a great way for people to come and show us what they think of the brand through their eyes. In the coming seasons, the focus will be more on creativity, a distinct stylistic point of view and many more colors, new proportions, but also always playing on this classic heritage.