First founded in 1983, J. Crew was originally designed to be a sort of competition for Ralph Lauren. In fact, it was originally called Popular Club Plan, only changing its name to J. Crew in 1989. Why the competition? The company saw the rise of the middle class desire for high-quality fashion. But, many people couldn’t afford the likes of Ralph Lauren, and other competitors, so they set out to create high quality clothes the middle class could actually afford.
They are now an international operation, with over 550 retail stores throughout the United States and Canada. They haven’t been afraid to take chances throughout their growth, either. They’ve taken on factory outlets, created a men’s line (Madewell), and have revolutionized the way people think about upscale clothing at an affordable price. Originally competing with catalog companies like Lands End and L.L. Bean, J. Crew has also taken over the catalog world by releasing 24 editions of their clothing catalogs every year to over 80 million subscribers.
J. Crew is based right in New York, so it’s no surprise why their location at 91 5th Avenue is one of their most popular retail spots. 5th Avenue is the epitome of shops when it comes to high-end clothing and quality goods, so you could say J. Crew’s original mission has been accomplished; providing exquisite clothes to everyone, at a price we all can afford. The style, functionality, and overall brand of J. Crew has become a household name over the years, and they have not only created many great looks, they’ve created a signature look for themselves that can be recognized by just about anyone.