J. Crew Cuts 175 Jobs, Names New Head of Women’s Design

by Harry Sheff
Somsack Sikhounmuong
Somsack Sikhounmuong

J. Crew made some cuts to its corporate staff, eliminating 175 open and filled positions, and shook up its women’s design team.

The company said that the head count reduction was in the store operations, production, sourcing and merchandising departments.

J. Crew’s head of women’s design Tom Mora has left the company and the head of design for the company’s Madewell business, highly regarded designer Somsack Sikhounmuong, will replace him. Sikhounmuong has been with Madewell for the past two years and held various positions at J. Crew from 2001 to 2012. He will report to J. Crew Group president and executive creative director Jenna Lyons.

Replacing Sikhounmuong at Madewell will be Joyce Lee—an internal promotion. Lee has also been a designer at Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs.

“We are making meaningful and strategic changes across our organization to better position us for future growth. While many of these decisions were difficult, they are necessary,” said J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler. “With Somsack in his new role, we will continue to focus on making critical improvements to our J. Crew women’s assortment including fit, design aesthetic and styling. We know what needs to be done and while many of these initiatives take time, we have a committed team in place to make it happen.”

J. Crew’s women’s business has been suffering, and some critics say it’s because it’s too trendy and too expensive. The company’s men’s business, however, is still performing very well.

J. Crew Group operates 283 J.Crew retail stores and 88 Madewell stores.