May 24, 2011

J. Crew’s Continued Campaign of Inclusiveness

Filed under: Advertising,Body Image,Gender,Media — Tags: , , — Rachel @ 10:26 pm
Image taken from – featured in the June 2011 catalog.  

Lately J. Crew has featured content on their website and in their catalog that steps outside the “norm” of what is usually found in fashion catalogs, or advertising in general.  In April, an ad on featured creative director Jenna, painting her son’s toenails pink (it’s his favorite color.)  The May catalog featured a designer for the preppy clothing brand, with his boyfriend.  So I wasn’t surprised, but happy to find when I opened the summer catalog today to find images of unconventional “models” featured. J. Crew staffers were featured again, this time in “Jenna’s Picks”.  The employees featured are of varying races, body shapes and sizes, including one employee who is pregnant.

The best part is that there’s no self-congratulatory praise – the inclusion is just there.  They act like it’s normal – because it IS normal.  It can come across as insincere when magazines like Glamour give themselves a huge pat on the back for including one small picture of a plus size model across hundreds of pages.

Even as the conservative news outrage continues about J. Crew’s so-called “agenda” they continue to say nothing, and let the images speak for themselves.  There’s no apologies to people who may have been offended or worry about alienating potential customers.  Their actions show they don’t give a shit what the critics say or think; which makes me proud to call myself a J. Crew customer.


  1. I appreciate the size 12 shoes but what’s with clothes only going to 16? Even Lauren and Talbots and Hilfiger and INC go to 22.

    Comment by Zoe Nicholson — May 24, 2011 @ 11:35 pm

  2. I agree with the previous comment. I would love to call myself a proud J. Crew customer, but I wear a size 18/20.

    Comment by Stfunny — May 28, 2011 @ 10:14 am

  3. That’s exactly what everyone should be doing! I’m so impressed that they’re keeping their mouths shut. I’ve never really shopped at J. Crew, and since judging from that photo it’s still a predominantly white store, I’m not sure I’ll be able to find things that fit my curvier body, but their inclusiveness makes me at least want to try.

    Comment by mclicious — May 30, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  4. While I recognize and appreciate J. Crew’s recent images that resist media norms of sexist gender stereotypes (“boys don’t wear pink”, “real men aren’t gay”), this ad seems to be something less than diverse.

    In an image where only 1 of 9 women actually has any color, where every one of them falls well within socially ‘acceptable’ weight parameters and where all are beautiful, young, educated professionals… it seems difficult to see inclusion.

    I much prefer Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty ( where the women not only represent women of truly varied ethnicity, size, age, capability,etc. but who, when they are all stripped down to matching white undies, are also stripped of symbols of class status, education level and professional success.

    Comment by fem4femmes — June 1, 2011 @ 9:28 am

  5. -Yikes!
    That was before I just saw Dove’s recent ‘More Beautiful Skin’ gaffe!!! Both disappointed and disillusioned…

    Comment by fem4femmes — June 1, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

  6. Yeah, Dove was doing something interesting and then failed miserably. Also, it’s annoying how much they like to tell us how progressive and inclusive they’re being. It sort of misses the point.

    Comment by mclicious — June 5, 2011 @ 9:41 am

  7. Kudos to J.Crew though I still won’t be buying anything from them because they’re so pricey for such basic clothing. In the lower budget realm, WalMart has actually been using employees as models in their ads for a long time (or, at least, they used to- I haven’t received a WalMart ad in my mailbox since I moved out of Oklahoma). WalMart certainly has issues and I’m not a huge fan but I always enjoyed seeing average folks modeling clothing.

    Comment by Amanda — June 17, 2011 @ 11:44 am

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