You might have read that J Crew, the iconic menswear retailer and a brand that introduced many of us to great classic clothing is going bankrupt. Yeah, the virus finally delivered the last nail in the coffin for a brand that has been going downhill for a long time. Fashion writers are bemoaning its loss — I am not. It became a pointless company about a decade ago. It went from a must-shop destination to a classic brand chase growth and devalue itself. They needed revenues so badly that they always put everything on sale all the time. The quality has been going downhill for a long time. And from that standpoint, good riddance with the brand.
The Washington Post in an op-ed notes that “many men would still benefit from having a J. Crew — or something like it — nearby.” Well, I have an answer for you: Todd Snyder. Todd used to work for J.Crew during its heydays. He left to start his own label, and has slowly but surely developed a line of clothing that is essentially J. Crew 2.0. Much higher quality.
Much more contemporary in understanding what men need and how they dress in this changing world. Most importantly, Todd Snyder’s collections are tasteful. They aren’t trying to do everything and at every price point. They are just good clothes for men who like to dress well, without looking like Christmas trees — we will leave that look to Gucci and LV fans. More importantly, Todd has got the prices right. And if that is not enough, Todd curates good products from brands he loves and respects in his store (in New York) and online. Like a good editor, he knows when to leave something out.
I have owned several pieces from Todd — two cardigans, two T-shirts, one long sleeve wool sweater, a crew neck sweatshirt (collaboration with Champion), and a pair of sweat pants. They are some of my favorite pieces, and after four years of ownership, they still look amazing. They are my go-to pieces during this time of sheltering in place. I am not looking for new clothes, but if I were looking for quality basics — I wouldn’t look elsewhere: Todd Snyder would be my pick. It is a brand worthy of being on the OMakase list.
Photo of Todd Snyder by Om Malik. Made with Mamiya 6 and 60mm lens. Film used was Kodak Portra 400