Thursday, March 11, 2010

GQ, Behind the Scenes: Frank Muytjens, J. Crew.

When it was announced a while back, I was stoked to hear that Frank had been nominated as one of GQ's Best New Designers of 2010. Like most of the other nominees, Frank is anything but new to design. Having done his requisite time at RL, Frank took the helm of men's design at J. Crew a few years back and in the meantime has, with the help of his able design team, the pitch perfect Creative Direction of Jenna Lyons and the CEO-ness of Mickey Drexler, steered J.Crew into a whole new direction. There may be some debate, and when I say "may" I mean "is", as to whether what J.Crew is doing is anything other than co-opting what many feel is something that belongs to the initiated few and mass-retailing it across the country. I know this due to the amount of comments, left here and elsewhere, whenever a J.Crew post pops up. And I can't say that, at times, I don't see that side of the argument. The fact remains that J.Crew has surfaced on radars where, a few years prior, they hadn't even blipped.
Knowing Frank and Jenna a bit, it's a very genuine excitement that gives genus to what they do over there. Frank has an earnest and totally legit love for the same things that we all do. He just happens to be the head of Men's design at J.Crew.
We all have our opinions on the matter. Feel free to leave yours in the comments if you like.
Congratulations to Frank for the nomination. Well deserved.


startwithtypewriters said...

I think Frank is one of the few designers left with integrity. When I met him he was quite humble and has a huge love and admiration for the brands people say he is "copying".
He'll be the first guy in line to sing praises to Daiki and etc.
If anything he is doing nothing but turning the J.Crew spotlight to other designers and companies. This in turn letting others discover brands he is inspired by.
He should get all the credit he deserves because he will never ask for it. Well done Frank. Todd Snyder would be proud.

Anonymous said...

J.Crew and the internet have kept me sane since moving to NC. I am in a fashion-vacuous area and i can genuinely say I can walk in the store and be pleasantly surprised by some of the garments they produce. The quality and fit improve with each season-- J.Crew under Frank has definitely separated itself from any of the other "fast fashion" brands.