The company now known as J.Crew was originally known as Popular Merchandise Inc., founded by Saul Charles and Mitchell Cinader in 1947. Popular Merchandise Inc. started out by selling affordable womenswear using door-to-door salespeople and proved to be successful for decades. In the 1980s, catalogues became the hottest trend in American retail and this forced Popular Merchandise Inc. to rethink its strategy. In 1983, the company changed its name to J. Crew in an effort to compete in the prepwear space and sent out its first catalogue that year. The catalogues grew J.Crew’s business tremendously. In 1989, J.Crew opened its first store and throughout the ’90s and 2000s, opened over 100 more. For thousands of American men looking for clothes to wear to their first job out of college, J.Crew became the quintessential stop for shirts, sweaters and pants. J.Crew has also done multiple casual sneaker collaborations over the years with New Balance, Nike and Vans.
Does J.Crew still exist?
Yes, despite filing for bankruptcy, J.Crew is currently operating.
What does the J in J.Crew stand for?
The founders chose J.Crew simply because J “looked good” next to the word Crew.
Is Madewell owned by J.Crew?
Yes, Madewell is under the J.Crew umbrella.