J.Crew – “Shiny Ponies” and Italy.

I saw this short clip about Jenna Lyons and her shoe collection and had to write about it.

Jenna is the President and Executive Creative Director of J.Crew.   She has been with the company for twenty years.

Her aesthetic is deeply embedded in the company’s DNA.

They do take fashion risks but haven’t forgotten their core customers who love J. Crew for its cool take on classic style.  It’s the only American store where I can find jeans that fit my body.  J.Crew does have killer sales, which is great for some of their pricier items.

In the film, Jenna  briefly explains how their shoes evolve from a drawing to the store.  The shoes are hand-made in Italy.

Yes, you could buy knock-offs of these shoes at Zara for a fraction of the cost.

While the CEO of Zara is worth 57 BILLION  (the third richest man in the world) how much does Zara pay the people who make their shoes? How long would the shoes last?

I doubt they are paid anything close  to what the workers in Pisa, Italy are making for J. Crew.  The manufacturing sector in Italy, along with other Western countries, is facing serious challenges in a global economy.

However, one advantage Italy has is her artisans.  There’s a reason why companies from all over world chose to have certain items, like shoes, made in Italy.

Fast fashion is here to stay, but I’m glad there are companies like J. Crew who care about quality and profits.




  1. BRILLIANT, Arlene. Brilliant post here. It’s all coming together. I have chills, literally! And I LOVED the film clip. Your site is like a funnel for me, you do all the hard work of sifting through the crap to bring us the best on your blog. Keep it up. (how much do you love “business in the front, party in the back”? OMG sheer genius.)

    • Thanks, Shel!!

      I love how Jenna’s enthusiasm for her work (after 20 years at the same company) shines through in the film.

  2. Love your blog. Found it via your old blog via a list I found of top ten Rome blogs. Googled after amazing weekend in Rome and was daydreaming. Anyway, I found both blogs to be interesting and funny, with gorgeous photos…a fun read. Thanks!

    • Thank you for the kind words, Claire!

      Glad to hear you had a great weekend in Rome.

  3. I haven’t bought a pair of J.Crew but really respect this work ethic. Zara shoes are shocking! Sometimes I am tempted by the styles but there is no comparison with a ‘serious’, crafted shoe. We must look after our feet! And I walk heaps I’d rather be sashaying than hobbling. Ciao cat

    • I hear you. I walk A LOT. Hobbling is not a good look.

      I have shoes that are over 15 years old and they’re still in great shape. I take them to the cobbler when needed. The cheaper shoes that I’ve bought in the past, didn’t last more than one or two seasons. Lesson learned.

  4. Gillian said:

    Shoes, Italy, Sustaining artistans. There is so much to love in this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,365 other followers

%d bloggers like this: