After watching the clip above, a certain demographic of shoppers is definitely going to want to dress like (live like?) these characters. They’re young, they’re affluent but bohemian, they look like they throw a good party. What better group of young A-listers to feature in a stylish ad campaign! And so the J. Crew The Romantics campaign was born.
It reminds me of Banana Republic’s Mad Men Casting Call Contest, which draws viewers to the Banana Republic Web site with spreads of Banana Republic fashions faux-styled to fit the Mad Men aesthetic. It’s a really good idea – Mad Men is huge in fashion. It seems like it would work because yes, you get twin sets and pencil skirts at Banana Republic. But that’s where the meager genius ends. These are simply the usual Banana Republic pencil skirts and twin sets styled in the usual Banana Republic way with pictures of Mad Men characters plastered on the page. The clothing is not particularly inventive or evocative of the 60s era fashions on the show.
The J. Crew campaign, though, features clothing that’s really, really cute. Even if I wouldn’t wear Katie Holmes’ dress with a military shirt, I might wear Katie Holmes’ dress. Ditto but double for the other two outfits, I love when J. Crew does sparkly in a not-necessarily-evening way. It helps that of course The Romantics isn’t as iconic as Mad Men, but you get the sense that the characters really would wear this clothing and certainly shop at J. Crew. By wearing these clothes or copying this styling, you could actually achieve a bit of the clothing style of the film. And so J. Crew succeeded where Banana Republic failed.