Hello-Hello, happy almost weekend to everyone.
Today we look at the recently launched J. Crew Baby collection.
In reality, the company has offered limited baby items in its Crewcuts collection for some time. But now it appears Crew has greatly expanded the line, and your fearless correspondent somehow missed the news – the following tweet goes all the way back to September 19.
The new collection offers Italian cashmere for newborns and infants.
You can imagine the reaction to the infant cashmere products. This is from retailing blog Racked.
And Babble asks the obvious question:
Part of what seems odd to me is the color palette showcased in the cashmere section. I don’t generally think of dark navy, black, and grey as ‘go to’ colors for the little ones.
To be fair, some cashmere pieces are offered in Crew’s usual color palette.
When it comes to the practicality of cashmere for babies, this is from a J. Crew blog post September 20th: :
What are your favorite materials to use for baby?
Jenny: Cashmere is very handy for a baby, especially in winter. It’s soft against the skin, and a cashmere sweater will keep babies warm when they wiggle out of their blanket or throw their mittens out of the stroller. It’s also easy to wash in a machine on a gentle cycle.
Every description that I read included the following points:
- Hand wash.
Yours truly has tossed things in the washing machine on the uber-gentle cycle. It hasn’t always ended well. In some cases it was a brilliant move, but in several other occasions…not so fab.
There are plenty of practical items in other material, like this cotton Heart Print One-Piece, it is priced at $24.50.
While there has been limited mainstream coverage of the collection, the reaction from many media outlets was fairly caustic. From the Today show shopping blog:
Sure they spit up, drag their tummies on floors and don’t know their nose from their belly button, but infants still deserve their same wardrobe rights as adults, right?
J.Crew just introduced their new babies line, which means your tot can now access the same overstyled, striped and bright-colored preppy look as adults. And yes, that includes luxe cashmere.
There is an ample offering of gift ideas, like the Swans Island for J. Crew Heirloom Blankets, they are priced at $250.
Just as with its adult collections, Crew has partnered with notable infant and baby firms. One collaborative effort is with Petit Bateau. Below we share a portion of J. Crew’s explainer on the combined effort, part of the description for the Onesie seen below ($44).
You’ve probably heard of Petite Bateau, and if you haven’t, we’re excited to introduce you. Founded over 120 years ago, the company is practically a French institution…. At once essential and indulgent, these are the gifts that get oohs and ahhs at the baby shower. For the little sailor-to-be: a soft jersey bodysuit with a regatta-inspired colorblock design and a too-cute pocket (complete with a sailboat embellishment) at the pocket. A three-snap placket at the back neckline makes changes a breeze.
The same item is offered on Petit Bateau’s site; I thought one of the selling factors for Crew’s collaborations was having things created exclusively for them…? It’s possible (if not probable) I’m wrong about that, regular readers know we haven’t been spending oodles of time at J. Crew.
There are some really cute things, like miniature Sperry Top-Siders.
Nadine Kalinauskas makes a good point in her column for Shine On: Crew is not alone in its highly priced infant offerings.
But J. Crew is hardly the first to introduce luxury baby fashions. Burberry’s baby line features a $295 hooded cashmere cardigan, as do many high-end brands.
Baby CZ’s double-breasted cashmere pram coat for babies as young as three months sells for $310. Please Mum London is selling a three-piece boy’s outfit — patchwork jacket, shirt and jeans — for £269.00 ($451 CAD).
For really glam kids, Little Marc Jacobs’ sequin shift dress for girls up to 18 months rings in at just under $513. And Dolce & Gabbana infant’s fur-collar wool coat costs a whopping $953.63 at Saks Fifth Avenue.
As with many of Crew’s offerings, there are things that make little sense to yours truly, and others that appear quite appealing. The challenge for
older longtime customers is finding the relatively limited amounts of merchandise we like among the vast array of things we’re not crazy about.
We hope everyone enjoys a simply splendid weekend.