Brett’s fall 2018 relaunch of the J. Crew brand, involving adding more fits, sizes and color range, lacked sufficient verve, and was perceived as watering down the product and quality. But right after his dismissal in November 2018, he argued that the new assortment created “a compelling brand narrative” with “upgraded quality, accessible price points and style, all while still feeling iconic to J Crew…it was never about cheapening the core J. Crew brand.”

In April 2019, Libby Wadle, longtime J. Crew Group executive, was named Madewell ceo, and in January, Jan Singer became ceo of the J. Crew brand. Singer, a veteran executive in consumer goods and retail, was ceo of Victoria’s Secret, and earlier worked at Spanx and Nike. When Singer joined JCG, the company specified that she was selected to oversee the J. Crew and J. Crew Factory brands and businesses, without having responsibility for Madewell, which was being set up for an IPO. Singer and Wadle report separately to the board, which will be recast with the bankruptcy.