As I often do, yesterday I stopped by my local J.Crew to browse. As I walked in, the first thing that caught my eye wasn’t the clothes, but a gorgeous vignette near the front of the store — two pebbled leather wine-colored lounge chairs with brass accents around a low, surtboard-shaped marble table.
When I inquired about them, the dapper sales associate
informed me they came from a very exclusive (and very expensive) local
shop. “Jenna,” he whispered
conspiratorially, “is very particular.” Turns out the chairs cost $16,000 a pop.
Particular? I’d say
so. And the more I browsed, the more I
noticed: Tolix stools in the dressing rooms, a burl-wood table holding
purses. The carefully cultivated
high-low mix of fashion that J.Crew president Jenna Lyons (and in fact J.Crew itself) has
become famous for also seems to apply to their furniture.
Creating an identity in the retail market is not a new concept by any means, but lately I've become very aware of just how stores have begun using decor and design aesthetics to develop their brand and market themselves to their target customer. And nowhere is that more evident than the current brand du jour, J.Crew.
One can hardly mention Jenna these days without hearing
the response “girl crush!” And
so, for our readers, who are, no doubt, as interested in the furniture
as the fashion, this great article from Fast Company features a full 360° view of Jenna’s J.Crew office, courtesy of Sam Rohn’s
Just as she is the ultimate, walking J.Crew
ad campaign, her office is representative of the style of the company's stores; she's clearly spread her aesthetic to every corner of the brand. A white leather Eames chair with a peach fur throw accent sits behind her desk next to what appears to be a paint-spattered stool made from a pallet. A calm, tonal herringbone wood floor contrasts
with the (albeit fashionable) clutter that covers table surfaces. And did I really just spot the same IKEA trash can that
is currently sitting next to my desk as I type this?
As Jenna herself points out in the article,
“You have to get
people to understand why having that Serge Mouille light fixture is better,
because it’s beautiful and people will know something’s different. Maybe when you look at that $200 cashmere
sweater, you’ll feel like, ‘Oh yeah, look at the store, it’s so beautiful. This $200 sweater is a steal.’”
As for my J.Crew visit, in case you’re wondering, I did wind up with a lovely new silk blouse, which (although it was also on sale) did make me feel like I
got a great deal.
Read the article and play around with the interactive panoramic
photos of Jenna’s office at Fast Company.
(Image: Sam Rohn via Fast Company)