After 26 years at J. Crew, Jenna Lyons announced that her time with the American clothing brand is coming to a close. Major publications and a few industry personalties across the fashion world were quick to jump on the news.
In 2015, Jenna Lyons told the Cut her perfect day would include no Wi-Fi, ice cream and Minecraft. 🍦 @jennalyonsnyc has been at @jcrew for 26 years. But today, it's been reported that her time at J. Crew has come to a close. Tap the link in bio to read more about her departure. 📷: Getty, #jennalyons
"I legitimately did not know you could wear a ball skirt with a sweater until Jenna Lyons did it at the 2011 Met Ball. To Jenna, who manipulates clothes like an agile chef crossed with a psychic, it was just another day at the office." – a salute to the woman who made @jcrew cool, from @amilli0naire (link in bio ☝️)
— W magazine (@wmag) April 3, 2017
Jenna Lyons is stepping down from her position as President of J.Crew. https://t.co/jyIgzErMbP
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) April 3, 2017
— PAPER Magazine (@papermagazine) April 3, 2017
Wow! Jenna Lyons Exits J.Crew https://t.co/mvjTzdLVGr
— Nina Garcia (@ninagarcia) April 3, 2017
In an exclusive interview with Business of Fashion, Jenna says she’s grateful for everything the company has given her, including being able to work closely with J. Crews’ chief executive officer Mickey Drexler. “It has been beyond my wildest dreams to work with such an amazing team of people at such an incredible brand and alongside Mickey—one of retail’s most talented visionaries.”
Slate breaks down the significance of Jenna’s impact in the industry as the creative director and president of J. Crew. They cite how she gave the label its cool factor, “bringing a colorful, chic edge to what had been a preppy catalog brand.” A feat that is only second to how Jenna also translated the revamp to growing sales in a time when a lot of J. Crew’s peers were suffering major losses.
Slate also pointed out how Jenna solidified the brand’s status as she got the admiration of Michelle Obama. “For one brief shining moment, there was a first lady who wore accessible American fashion and accessible American fashion that was actually stylish!”
But just like trends in fashion, things come and go quickly. Jenna’s departure from J. Crew puts her successor in the spotlight. Somsack Sikhounmuong will be taking over the creative director spot. Somsack has been with J. Crew since 2001 and previously worked for Madewell.