Woah: Jenna Lyons Is Leaving J.Crew

Cheryl Sanders
April 3, 2017

Jenna Lyons is exiting J. In 2010, J.Crew chief executive Millard "Mickey" Drexler appointed her to be president of the company.

After proving unable to arrest J.Crew's dramatic sales declines, Jenna Lyons is out of her job as the once beloved clothing chain's executive creative director, the company announced on Monday. But today, Business of Fashion reports that her time at J.Crew has come to a close.

Lyons has held her current position since 2012 and was credited with bringing J Crew to fashion prominence by dressing, among others, Michelle Obama and her children. "It's been a great run". Drexler also mentions their mutual respect, and remains vague about Lyons' future plans. The only bright spot now in J.Crew's financial picture is the growth of Madewell, the company's hipper, artier women's denim chain, which is a much smaller business than the namesake retailer. Criticism against the brand even took to social media with the hashtag #ReviveJCrew. Her personality seeped into all facets of the brands.

From the J.Crew presentation at NYFW in February 2017. The transition to a market flooded by lightning-fast trend cycles and defined by increasingly casual dress has affected J.Crew as much as any speciality retailer, and Lyons' transition is likely the first in a set of changes to J.Crew's strategy. BOF points out that sales were down 6 percent in 2016. Somsack Sikhounmuong, J. Crew's head of women's design, will become chief design officer, though Lyons will not be replaced. The loss of Lyons is just another hard blow for the brand.

Lyons, of course, issued her own statement, and seems to have new projects in the works.

"It has been beyond my wildest dreams to work with such an unbelievable team of people at such an incredible brand and alongside Mickey - one of retail's most talented visionaries", Lyons told BoF in a statement. Her disregard of gender norms, seamless combinations of traditionally feminine and masculine silhouettes, statement eyewear and fresh take on preppy styles elevated J.Crew to a new level. Having spent the better part of my life with J.Crew, I feel an huge pride and love for everyone at the Company as well as for our loyal J.Crew customers.

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