25 May 2013

J. Crew Pops Up in King's Cross

When on Monday I received an email from J. Crew, I almost ignored it, but then I spotted the words "pop-up shop" and "King's Cross." Yes, that's right: the mailing was inviting us to preview J. Crew's autumn/winter 2013 collection at a concept store, which is being held in collaboration with Central Saint Martins, an art school with a branch round the back of King's Cross station (next to Caravan and the canal, and just across the road from KERB). The shop was open yesterday and it's also there today until 5 pm.

Follow the arrows to J. Crew

As my office is within spitting distance of CSM, as soon as the clock hit noon yesterday, I rushed out in the rain to The Stables, which is at the back of the building. My experience of J. Crew sample sales made me worry that there would be a big queue, even with the inclement weather, but I need not have worried. But don't get too excited just yet... I know the focus of the email was on previewing the higher-end J. Crew Collection items that will be appearing in the company's Regent Street store (expected to open in late October or early November), but when the subject line of an email is "pop-up shop," I did expect a little more in the way of shopping.

Hi, J. Crew

J. Crew concept store at The Stables, King's Cross

You see, the only things you could really buy were the cashmere sweaters, which started at £160 (most were over £200). And tempted as I was by the Tippi sweater in neon pink, £200 is a lot of money, especially because if you wait long enough, you will be able to get a good discount or sale on the J. Crew website. Also, I know England has been having a rubbish spring, but is what is technically the spring/summer season the best time to be stocking up on cashmere? 

The Tippi sweater I resisted

The cashmere menu.

I wasn't expecting a full product range at the pop up, of course, but it would have been nice if they could have offered a few lower price items—accessories, maybe, or even some of the non-cashmere sweaters. I won't be going to the US for a while, and I was hoping to keep myself going by buying a pretty skirt or a colourful merino cardigan.

The store itself looked very cool, and I took a few photos of the collections, but to be honest, I don't go to J. Crew for high fashion. I rarely buy the Collection pieces, which are, I think, overpriced. I go there for the more basic colourful tops, skirts and shorts and for the accessories. The prices on the cashmere menu also hint that when J. Crew does finally open its Regent Street store in the autumn, the prices are going to be quite a lot more expensive than their American equivalents, which is a shame. I'll still go there, I'm sure, to treat myself occasionally, but it's hardly going to be a regular stop on my shopping trips.

J. Crew women's collection autumn/winter 2013

J. Crew men's collection autumn/winter 2013

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