Iconic US Retailer J. Crew Opens in Vancouver

J. Crew brings preppy-luxe style to Vancouver's Robson Street retail corridor

Credit: Taraneh Ghajar Jerven

J. Crew opens on Robson St. and it’s the epitome of a classy, custom shopping experience

J. Crew brings preppy luxe style to Vancouver’s Robson Street retail corridor

At long last J. Crew has arrived in Vancouver at 1088 Robson Street. A bevvy of preppy luxe fans and frenzied media were there to help celebrate the first official shopping day.

If you’re wondering who was at the buzzing launch party April 24, just keep an eye out for fashion bloggers with red J. Crew-emblazoned umbrellas.

Although J. Crew is a dominant retail chain favoured by the likes of Michelle Obama, the two-storey, 5,953-square-foot store is not cookie-cutter; it’s the epitome of a classy, custom shopping experience.

You can tell from the chic yet warm setup, and the featured spring/summer styles that the J. Crew higher ups put thought into which trends would appeal to a casual, West Coast shopper base. The Vancouver store is the second to open in Canada after Toronto’s August 2011 opening. Expect a third shop in West Edmonton Mall this spring.

J. Crew’s biggest big shots – current CEO (and former Gap CEO) Millard “Mickey” Drexler, head of women’s design Tom Mora, and head of men’s design Frank Muytjens – were all on hand to talk about the highly anticipated opening. I sat down with the affable Mora to discuss Vancouver’s aesthetic and J. Crew’s spring/summer looks.

While J. Crew champions simple sopistication and easy-to-wear pieces, Mora points out the couture-level details, carefully sourced fabrics (Italian cashmere!) and craftsmanship on each. I’ve highlighted his recommendations below.

J. Crew’s Spring/Summer Looks to Love 

Colour is queen this season and J. Crew’s featherweight Italian candy-hued cashmere collection has plenty of bright options: trim cardis, the roomy Isabel sweater and short-sleeved tees that are all irresistibly soft.

Chino shorts and the famous toothpick jeans also come in bold brights and sweet pastels, allowing you to max out your block colour, statement-making potential.

Prints-on-prints is another big spring/summer trend. J. Crew‘s schoolboy blazer in seersucker contrasts nicely with the nautical print pants and horizontally striped vintage cotton tees. Apparently true J. Crew girls treat stripes like neutrals.

The ultimate nautical statement is the navy sequined cami with stark white anchor. According to Mora, the true J. Crew lady also sports sequins as daywear.

Crew’s signature slim-fit cafe capris also benefitted from prints, allowing devotees to try their favorite flattering crop in pop art polka dots, pompon jacquard and textured geranium lace.

As for accessories, lady-like statement-making necklaces in crystal and resin along with electric coral, sapphire and citrus bangles paired nicely with the many-hued bags in classic uptown silhouettes.

When it comes to footwear, which is all made in Italy, J.Crew has ladies covered with foot-friendly Soludos espadrilles, walkable wedges, strappy sandals and more print ballet flats than a prima ballerina could ever ask for.