Clothier J. Crew is usually known for selling poplin shirts, colorful chinos, and faux nautical gear to the same people who frequent Whole Foods and read McSweeney’s
It’s a brand that has generally avoided controversy.
But controversy is exactly what it has on its hands after its most recent catalogue showed its creative director, Jenna Lyons, painting her young son’s toenails pink.
The caption read:
“Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”
As you might imagine, some people are not cool with this—namely Fox News
A post on FoxNews.com
“This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity—homogenizing males and females when the outcome of such ‘psychological sterilization’ [my word choice] is not known.”
J. Crew has said
it will not comment on the matter.
Kudos to J. Crew for not taking the bait.
Of course, this controversy isn’t really about gender identity and defining whether pink or blue is a more appropriate color for a boy or a girl. It’s not even about whether painting nails is a smart thing to do on a child.
It’s about selling shirts and shorts.
Question is: Did J. Crew know what it was doing when it published this photo? Did it court controversy to draw headlines?
J. Crew caters to a crowd that doesn’t care what color you paint a child’s toenails as long as none was spilled on the new bamboo flooring. Its clientele presumably is so enraged that others are enraged that they’ll be more likely to buy their kids’ clothes there now.
I, for one, had no idea they sold children’s clothes. Now I know where I’ll be buying my nephew’s birthday present, which I’ll wrap on my Restoration Hardware coffee table with recycled wrapping paper.