WOW! Grazia speaks to J.Crew's Creative Director, Jenna Lyons!

14 June 2010

It’s simple. We love J. Crew and frankly, who doesn’t? From First Lady Michelle Obama ordering online to be delivered to one White House to editors stocking up on wardrobe staples like tees and blazers on their US trips, the all-American label has been elevated to cult status in recent years, all thanks to its Executive Creative Director, Jenna Lyons and, what must be, her magic touch! Now, for the first time ever, the label is available outside of the US through Net-a-Porter and we couldn’t be more excited! Jenna epitomizes the brand’s eclectic mix of preppy classics and more on-trend pieces, from her personal style to her Brooklyn townhouse where she converted a bedroom to house her wardrobe where she recently told Oprah - can you think of a better stamp of approval? - “It’s fun getting dressed in here, it’s like going shopping every day!” Our girl-crush is now official!

michelle obama j.crew

GraziaDaily: You started working at J.Crew some 20 years ago! How does it feel being there after all this time and how do you manage to keep things fresh and current?

Jenna Lyons: Fortunately for me, fashion is always changing. Something always looks new, something always looks old – it’s a constant evolution. I love working for a company where the team is forward-thinking and open to the next idea.

GD: To what degree does your own - fantastic! - personal style influence J. Crew's collections and do you tend to try samples on for fit?

JL: (Well, thank you!!) I’m sure I end up in there – not intentionally – but I do push for the thing I love and want to wear. I love trying things on, but I am NOT the fit model. I’m 6’ tall and not the average girl – if I were the fit model, the clothes would have monkey arms!

GD: We're very excited to finally get J. Crew here in the UK! The brand is so quintessentially American but do you also get inspired by more British or other styles?

JL: I do love British history and influences – everything from the classic hunting-inspired clothing to school uniforms to Savile Row tailoring. Those influences have permeated all fashion – men’s and women’s – they are references we are constantly looking to for inspiration.

GD: What are your own personal J. Crew must-haves for SS10 and which staple pieces do you find yourself returning to again and again? Also, any advance tips for AW10?

JL: Must haves:
- The striped boat neck tee (I have four!)  
- The Sequin Sweatpants
- The Tulle Swimsuit with an underwire top and retro hipster bottom.

For Fall, my obsessions are:
- A wool poncho
- An olive sequin tee
- A cashmere popover
- A Mongolian Lamb bag
- The Kilty boots.

GD: Outside J. Crew, what other labels can we find in your wardrobe, which designers do you admire and where/how do you like to shop?

JL: Céline and Phoebe Philo, Lanvin and Alber Elbaz, Phillip Lim, Tricot Fields and Madewell.

GD: You're known for a tendency to mix and match - we loved the striped top and sequin trousers you wore on Oprah recently! What's your getting-ready-in-the-morning routine and any tips you'd like to share?

JL: My rule is that there always has to be one purely classic item. A boatneck tee, a man-tailored shirt, a classic blazer – from there, go crazy!

GD: We also love your 'Jenna's Picks' page on the J. Crew website. How do you usually pick what to showcase and feature and is this the closest we'll get to your personal style blog?

JL: The picking is literally just that! It’s what’s new that month that I would recommend to my friends (and buy for myself). Yes, for now, this is the closest you’ll get – no blog for me! I have a lot to do already!

GD: OK, time for a quick fire round:

If you weren't the Creative Director for J. Crew what would you be doing instead?

JL: Renovating houses or interiors and spending LOTS of time with my husband and son.

If you could have the contents of someone else's entire wardrobe whose would it be?

JL: Slim Keith.

What would your dream collaboration be?

JL: Cy Twombly for J.Crew!

by Kiki Georgiou


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