While J. Crew’s recent ascendency has been absolutely astounding, equally astonishing is the way the label’s price tags have gone (way) up right along with its style quotient. Turtlenecks for $395 and $260 ballet flats are one thing, but some of the mall-brand’s offerings places its prices in the realm of Barneys and Bergdorf. And now critics can’t stop buzzing about J. Crew’s latest stab at the luxe market: the $1,500 Edie purse in alligator.
Though the limited-edition bag — just nine were created — is only available at the brand’s Madison Avenue boutique, it has made waves across the Internet ever since it was featured as “Jenna’s (Over-the-Top) Pick” on J. Crew’s Tumbler.
While exotic skin bags regularly fetch much higher prices, it’s easy to see why the Edie has critics so eager to comment — this is a mass-market brand known best for its catalog basics making a grab for the luxury consumer during a still-shaky economy, all with creative director Jenna Lyons as its friendly aspirational target. The Edie is hardly J. Crew’s first attempt to crack the high-end market; the brand began showing at New York Fashion Week with Spring 2012 and even proposed a collaboration with Manolo Balanik (though they forgot to tell him about it).
Forget selling out, J. Crew is trying to sell up — and people have noticed.