While many of the J.Crew pieces I lust after are a touch outside of my price range, I’m still a total J.Crew brand junkie. I just love. I think the brand’s commitment to the its signature aesthetic is so impressive—it’s somehow consistently surprising, yet always recognizable. And I 100% admire the business savvy, creative approach and drive in both Jenna Lyons and Micky Drexler. So, as you can imagine, whenever I can get a peek into their everyday lives, thoughts and motives—I get really really excited. I’ve watched every documentary and continue to be inspired. I can always count on at least one good life lesson + one good business takeaway.
I recently stumbled across the most stunning images of Jenna Lyons, and in looking for their source I of course read roughly 95 articles about the designer turned executive creative director and president (whoa!) — a record. Here are a few fun factoids about our girl. Oh, and I never did find the source. Really?
1. Who knew a Vogue and a sewing machine could make history?
Oh. Every fashion magazine editor ever? But still, Jenna’s story is way cute. In the seventh grade, she took a home economics class. In that same year, her grandfather gave her gave her a subscription to Vouge. The rest, as they say, is fashion history.
2. She’s tardy now and then.
Or always? In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar she confessed to owning—rather, being gifted—a T-Shirt that says SORRY I’M LATE.
3. Her Christmas bonus was bigger than yours. Like much bigger. Like much much bigger. And she earned it.
Jenna Lyons was considered a key figure in J.Crew’s 14% growth in 2009. Her payback? A not-too-shabby one million dollar bonus for her stellar 2009 performance. A months later, in 2010, was named Executive Creative Director.
But she earned it like woooooooeeee. And for all who think getting to the top should be quick and easy, look to Lyons for a more practical reality: you gotta work your ass off and pay your dues.
She spent not five, not ten but TWENTY years climbing to the top. The tippy tippy top. I hear it’s sparkly up there.
Her climb to the top of J.Crew went as follows:
Graduated Parson’s school of design
In 1990 she landed a job at J.Crew as an Assistant Designer
(she was designing the men’s polos)
1994 to 1995 Designer
1996 to 1998 Design Director
1999 Senior Design Director Design from
1999 to 2005 Vice President of Women’s Designs
2005 to 2007 Creative Director
2007 to April 2010 Executive Creative Director
July 2010 to Present President and Executive Creative Director
4. She’s addicted to Instagram too!!!
In fact, she even confessed to checking her IG in meetings.
5. She hits snooze until she absolutely can’t anymore.
She even showers at night so that she can a) crawl into her incredibly fabulous bed so fresh and so clee’clean and b) sleep in said bed just a little longer the next morning. (she also doesn’t like getting wet in the morning. makes sense.)
Here are a few of my favorite J.Lyons looks, plus a couple awesome video interviews that I found super inspiring. The video of her speaking at Lucky FABB is quite a treat—save it for the morning if you don’t have time!! Happy Friday!