January 16, 2024 (NO COMMENTS)

In 2016, US clothing retailer J Crew was running into trouble. A move upmarket had alienated core customers. The halo effect of celebrity fans such as Michelle Obama, who once sung the brand’s praises on a talk show, had dimmed. J Crew was also buckling under a pile of debt and, with maturities looming, it was only a matter of time before the company faced default.

To dig itself out of this hole, J Crew embarked on an exercise in financial acrobatics. It shifted its brand trademarks to a