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Somehow, a single J.Crew sweater named the Tilly has come to symbolize all of J.Crew's recent missteps. "We made a big mistake in the Tilly," J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler said on an investors call last month. In the aftermath of J.Crew's corporate layoffs, a source told the New York Times that the Tilly was "an absolute disaster."
What's so bad about the Tilly? Retail tech company EDITD tries to explain how a cropped merino wool sweater could do so much damage, and discovers that the Tilly no longer has its name online. "On account of the scandal, J.Crew doesn’t refer to Tilly by her name anymore. She’s gone undercover as ‘Merino wool crewneck sweater,'" EDITD writes. The copy on J.Crew's site remains the same, calling the sweater "the slightly shrunken cousin of our beloved Tippi sweater." For whatever reason, the Tilly cardigan got to keep its name.
The sweater, which comes in 15 colors, is marked down to $34.99 from $75. The negative reviews remain, saying things like "its fatal flaw was its boxiness" and "this sweater is so cropped it barely covers my navel," although many other customers seem to dig it. The bad press even inspired one purchase: in a review titled "Formerly The Tilly," one customer writes: " ...this sweater has gotten a bit of bad press lately. It had been a while since I ordered from J Crew (another of the legion of folks who have veered away for quality/style reasons) and I was curious, so I bought one. It's a great sweater! I have no idea why all the negativity about this piece."