In PaperCity‘s new August Issue, social editor Anne Lee Phillips explores “The New Normal — the intersection of two subcultures of style: prep and punk.” If there’s any brand that has mastered this juxtaposed concept, it’s J. Crew, whether it’s pairing metallic culottes with classic navy blazers embellished with signature gold buttons or blanketing a tailored pantsuit in punk purple. Despite criticism, J. Crew’s president and creative director, Jenna Lyons, has embraced the new normal with open arms, expanding and diversifying the brand’s following.
Lyons manages to maintain J. Crew’s classic style (though many would argue she has abandoned it entirely) while creating showstopping garments to enhance the brand’s simple aesthetic. But no matter how drool-worthy J. Crew’s new designs are, many still complain that the store’s evolution has simply surpassed its price range.
Enter J. Crew Mercantile, the brand’s new affordable venture. The first store opened in Dallas at The Shops at Park Lane, and J. Crew has announced plans to expand to a multitude of locations with the Mercantile name. The concept mimics J. Crew’s Factory Stores, which are mainly found in outlet malls. Though both the Mercantile and Factory stores will carry similar merchandise, J. Crew Mercantile is designed to bring value-driven clothing to mainstream retail shopping centers.
Can’t make it to the Dallas store? Shop some our favorite Mercantile pieces here: