Towering, at what seems to be at 7 ft. tall, Jenna Lyons is certainly hard to miss with her ultra thin frame, signature middle part, go-to black box framed glasses, that has almost become as synonymous in fashion as Anna Wintour’s bob…she still was not a house hold name I would say until the First Lady Michelle Obama began appearing at press conferences clad in J.Crew’s classic American apparel. As the Creative Director of the $1.9 billion US brand, Lyons has made headlines for issues outside her design realm when Page Six exhaustively covered her split from her husband Vincent Martin, of Depeche Mode fame, and her current relationship with Courtney Cranghi (yes, she is now a lesbian – and currently resides with her and son Beckett in SoHo), which left New Yorkers tongues wagging. But I don’t find it fair for her personal life to trump her successes as a business woman and how her style has redefined “American Chic”.
After reading up on the geek-chic princess, I discovered that Lyons just celebrated her 22nd anniversary with J.Crew this past December, so basically half her life has been dedicated to the company. As a graduate of Parsons School of Design in NYC, she got her start as an assistant designer in menswear and slowly worked her way up over the last two decades to where she is now also the President (since 2010). I think she literally “IS” J.Crew in a sense – she is responsible for every aspect of the company from the print catalogs, website and the store’s aesthetics. Ms. Lyons is the one solely responsible for taking the label from an inexpensive, preppy brand to how North American women “want” to dress.
But let’s get back to the fashion…with her statuesque frame, it’s almost impossible for this lady to look bad, let’s be real, but I just adore her ability to be able to fully work juxtaposed looks with varying colours, textures and fabrics. I sometimes wake up in the morning wishing I could be as cool as her – no chance in life BTW! But I am feeling that I may alter my look this coming spring with a center part in my hair and a pair of nerdy Warby Parker glasses in attempts to mimic her look! Mixing sequins with breton stripes, brocade trousers with denim shirts, denim on denim (otherwise known as the Canadian Tuxedo according The Coveteur), even a jean jacket with a Schiaparelli pink full length skirt to the MET ball, she is an effing fashion champion in my eyes.
…And without further adieu, here are some my fave Jenna Lyons style moments, in no particular order: