25 posts tagged "Jenna Lyons"
Since taking over as creative director, J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons has helped grow the brand into that rare creation: a multimillion-dollar mass retailer with serious fashion cred. It’s not just her staffers who follow her lead—”Jenna’s Picks” have converted legions of shoppers to her mix-and-match sensibility. We caught up with Lyons a couple times zones away from (and several thousand feet above) her New York home base during Aspen fashion week, where she was spending a few days checking out new outerwear collections and the brand’s Aspen boutique.
What’s something you’ve seen lately, outside the fashion world, that’s been inspiring?
Probably the Marina Abramovic show at MoMA. So much of the world today is getting less personalized, and I thought it was interesting that she chose actually to be physically there for the length of the show, connecting with her audience.
How important is it for a big fashion brand to have that kind of connection with consumers?
It’s a necessity right now. We’ve been talking a lot internally about how we can run a large company but find ways to form relationships with people. There isn’t much loyalty anymore, so how do you make people feel like they’re part of something? I want people to trust “Jenna’s Picks,” and I think they respond to it because they’re looking for help editing: There’s so much noise, so many things to look at now. People say, do you really pick them? Absolutely! Once in a while I’ll have a merchant come and say, can you put this on your picks? I’m like, no.
Why carry non-J.Crew brands in your stores?
It goes back to editing, and also appreciation of quality. The Red Wing boot—they do it well, they do it in America. Why try and re-create it? Some things are amazing the way they are. Alden shoes, Sperry Top-Siders. We love that you’re buying our Ludlow suit, but we want you to have the option of the best possible shoe out there. They come with tons of history and brand integrity that we might not be able to offer in shoes.
What manufacturers do you have your eye on next?
We haven’t closed the deals on some of these, but we are looking into beauty. We’ve just seen an insatiable appetite for nail polish, so we’re looking at other things we can do for women. Women want candy. Someone else said this: “Ask a woman what her favorite thing in her closet is, and she’ll pick the thing she bought yesterday; ask a man, and he’ll pick the thing he bought 40 years ago.” So for men’s, we’re looking into heritage pieces. One is an old coat factory, and one is another American classic shoemaker. What we’d really like to do, especially for women’s, is a shoe collaboration where we maybe go to someone like Manolo Blahnik or Christian Louboutin. Gap did a great job doing that with Pierre Hardy, I thought. Women’s is just harder. Would I love to sell Chanel bags? Sure. Would they let us? No.
“How to keep building on the special.” That’s the challenge J.Crew’s creative director, Jenna Lyons, laid out for herself when approaching Spring 2010. That formula—separates done up in rich brocades or nubby tweeds paired with American staples like khakis and cotton tees—has proven profitable in recent years, and Lyons’ latest effort could be her strongest yet. Layered with the girly cocktail frocks and cashmere cardigans in acid-bright hues were camo cargo jackets, slim plaid shirts, and a streamlined version of the Men’s Shop’s top-selling suede desert boots. (More images after the jump.) Continue Reading “J.Crew Piles On The Pretty, Borrows From The Boys” »
Why: Because even though it’s more than you’re used to spending on a permanent marker, it’s far less than you’d spend on art. “[It’s] the closest that most of us will get to the art world, with a practical application. And it’s cool,” says J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons, who is well versed on affordable luxury.
Where: $12, www.tomsachs.org