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Our friends at UrbanDaddy gave us an inside peek at the latest J. Crew outpost in Tribeca, and it’s pretty impressive. Lower Manhattan can be a tough locale, especially for national brands, so for this spot they’ve approached things more like a boutique, flooding the store with collaborations, cross-branding, and plain old outside labels.

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We’re big fans of Middleborough MA’s Alden Shoes, so it’s nice to see them outside of the New England. As for the collaborations, the store has trunks from Globetrotter (which you may have heard about), Red Wing boots, and a Navy Mackintosh Coat for the rainy season. As an even more offbeat pick, the store has partnered with the used-book institution The Strand for an upscale version of their classic tote bag, a well-stocked bookshelf tucked away in the Tribeca location, and a club tie designed exclusively for the store.

It’s a good move for the brand, and not just because we love a good hardcover. The problem facing large scale brands like J.Crew isn’t necessarily a lack of inspiration, but a lack of individuality. How exciting can a store be when it’s no different from hundreds of others scattered throughout the country? By taking the boutique approach, they get to break away from the national line a little bit, and pull in a few favored brands while they’re at it.

Think of it as making new friends.

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—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom

RESOURCES

J. Crew Tribeca,
235 West Broadway, Manhattan
212-226-5476