J. Crew, There’s No Difference Between 000 Jeans & A Cane

Posted on July 30, 2014

Dear J. Crew,

It seems to me you have found yourself in an uncomfortable situation. In trying to grow your market (to Asia) you hit the nerve that is weight, sizing and our perceptions of thinness in America. And it begs the question how do you market to one customer while sensitively addressing the concerns of another.

Quick Note: Check out thelaughingphotographer.tumblr.com to learn more about the photo above. It’s a really incredible project.


It’s obvious that the hot button of weight currently drowns out the inclusive needs of all other body types. You’re going to find that in the next year, the next decade, in our lifetimes… the fight for inclusion will make room for ALL bodies. You may not agree with me right now, but I would like to point you to two companies who have fallen mightily due to their inability to think thoughtfully of and include their entire customer base. Abercrombie & Fitch and LuluLemon. SayNoMore.

LuluLemon Thigh Gap

So how do you market a cane? It’s simple. You just do it. You do it in your stores. You do it in your catalog. And you do it online. You do it in every country city mall and store. You include even when it doesn’t apply to the majority of your customer base. You said it yourself, “We are simply addressing the demand coming from Asia for smaller sizes than what we had carried. Our sizes typically run big and the Asia market tends to run small. To further put into perspective, these sizes add up to the smallest possible percentage of our overall sizing assortment.”

I have thought about how hard it would be to convince you that sales may not come right away. I have worried that you wouldn’t understand the need to simply make it known that you carry something, because the market will grow. I was worried you might feel misunderstood when someone thinks you’re asking customers to buy a cane as an accessory. I was worried you wouldn’t have the patience. Your 000 jeans tell me you already know all of these things and more.

So you tell me she isn’t catalog material.


And that these kids wouldn’t look adorable in some crew cuts.

Crew Cuts Prosthetic

Tell me yes. Because you can no longer tell me no, that the cane market is too small. Because 000 jeans and the market for them are even smaller.

So do as you sell and SAY YES.

J. Crew Say Yes JCrew Cane

Yours Truly,

Liz Jackson
The Girl with the Purple Cane

P.S. If you are reading this and haven’t already done so, please consider signing #YesJCrewCane!

P.P.S. I will be doing a post in the near future on the ‘Tools of Life’ project (the lead-in photo to this post). Until then, feel free to check out these websites for the artist and the subject.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Noam N. Kogen July 30, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Dear Liz:

    Another sterling column. Give ’em hell, Liz.

    Noam N. Kogen

  2. Pingback: She Wants Size 11 Bucketfeet For Her Size 11 Bucket Feet - The Girl with the Purple CaneThe Girl with the Purple Cane

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