Creative Director and President of J. Crew, until Monday, when I heard the sad news of her departure. If you don’t know already, this woman is seriously cool. Design is in her genes, whether she wears them (jeans that is) to the Met Ball, the who’s who of whoing in American Hip People of the Moment, or she’s donning a jacket that any American teenage kid would wear to school, with stilettos, and a high-fashion silk print pencil skirt. She can pull it off.
Like great interior design, there is a fascination with well juxtaposed materials in fashion. Fluffy fur, paired with a utility jean, sequins with khakis, suiting with a pajama top. Yes, it’s surely true this look will not work for everyone, and I don’t want it to. She’s special. She’s amazing. She’s the reason I still spend more money at J. Crew (shoes excluded) than on any other brand combined.
I feel like the air has been let out of my balloon.
I admit that I didn’t come to know who she was before her Park Slope Brooklyn Apartment was featured in Domino Magazine. Will you hold that against me? Not too long ago, she came to Boston and spoke at the Copley Place Store. I was fascinated by her upbringing, her self-consciousness, her belief that she wasn’t pretty. She’s so incredibly relatable, real, warm, and when I had my picture taken with her, she made me feel fun…special.
Jenna Lyons Park Slope Home. Black . White and Yellow Graphic Beauty.
I find it interesting that not all people that are fashionistas, are good at interior design, and not all interior designers are terribly fashionable. Interesting because I draw inspiration from fashion for my interiors projects all the time, and I adore fashion. I would’t say I am a huge risk taker, but wearing 5″ heels on a construction site is riskier than any Safety Officer wants you to be – what do they know about fashion anyway? I love my industry, but I simply could not be in it, if it didn’t allow me, to be me, as far as fashion is concerned.
“It only takes one colorful item to make a great day beautiful – or a bland outfit sunny.” Jenna Lyons
J. Crew followers may not have been able to express themselves in quite the same way as Lyons – I suspect she wouldn’t want them to, but at the same time, to go back to a plain old t-shirt, khaki pant, and tennis shoe – the brand of old, seems too dull for words.
“As far as I’m concerned…leopard is a neutral.” Jenna Lyons
I’m hoping that the Leopard that is so often present in her style, expresses itself in her comeback. If her “Crew” couldn’t get on board the J., she’ll find another vessel and trust me when I tell you, I’ll be her winch man.
“When something hasn’t been as beautiful as it can be, the reason is always bigger than the thing.” Jenna Lyons.
Whatever the reason for the departure, it won’t be bigger than her ability to overcome it. Certain of that!