Following a sales decline, Jenna Lyons exits the U.S. retailer after more than a quarter of a century
Along with being the second in command, creative director and president of J. Crew, the Jenna Lyons persona has become almost synonymous with the brand. Although her journey at J. Crew began in 1990, the brand properly flourished into its position of immense cultural impact after CEO Mickey Drexler came on board in 2003. Since then, the two have elevated the pieces from the classic American wardrobe to preppy versions of phenomenal gravitas.
"There's a lot of mutual respect between Jenna and me," said Drexler in an exclusive piece with Business of Fashion. He also conveys that prior to the exit, both parties were in agreement that the "time for a change" has arrived and Lyons will proceed with a switch of environment.
Lyons offers, "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... I am excited about the next chapter for J. Crew as well as the opportunity for other creative leaders within the organisation to step up and take on new responsibilities."
The brand—like many others—has suffered in a market obsessed with fast fashion. Net sales dropped 6.7 percent in the fiscal year that recently ended and improvements are yet to be seen despite collective efforts. The design department will be left at the hands of Lyons' deputy, Somsack Sikhounmuong, who was previously head of the women's section. The role of creative director will largely be eliminated.