Arm parties, leopard print as a neutral, monochromatic dressing, pattern mixing, antique mirrors over fireplaces, sequins for daytime… things we’re familiar with, right? Ever wonder where it all came from? In my humble opinion, there’s one person to thank: Jenna Lyons. The former president and creative director of J. Crew ushered in many styles we now take for granted. My take? She’s the original influencer. Moreover, Jenna Lyons’ style was lauded and emulated way before Instagram made its way onto all of our phones and before blogs became daily reads.
Why am I bringing this up? Well, over the weekend, my friend Mackenzie shared a link to an article discussing Jenna Lyons’ life after J. Crew (she departed from her 27-year career there in spring 2017). The article mentioned how HBO Max just debuted a reality show around her new professional life. I was naturally curious to see! Eight episodes later, I had to take a beat and reflect on just how much Jenna Lyons personal style and approach to design has impacted the daily lives of many Millennials and young Gen-X’ers. Namely, myself.
Jenna Lyons Style
As a girl who grew up in a bubble-gum-pink bedroom, I’ve never shied away from color. However, it’d be remiss of me to not credit Jenna Lyons in helping me form a more deliberate approach to dressing. Plus, her example, and the work of Jenna and her team at J. Crew, gave many of us the push we needed to think outside of the box when it came to how we dressed and lived. Sequins on a Tuesday? Why not?! Florals mixed with stripes? You bet! Colorful velvet furniture, chandeliers in every room, and clawfoot tubs? Gotta have it! These are all reasons why Jenna has been referred to as the “woman who dresses America.”
Whether you know it or not, Jenna Lyons paved the way for the blogging and influencer industry. After all, the images from her former home in a 2008 issue of Domino are among the most shared in Pinterest history. Ironically, the style icon just began posting to Instagram at the start of 2020.
The Current Endeavors of Jenna Lyons
After years and years at American fashion juggernaut, J. Crew (during which time she dressed the likes of Michelle Obama), Jenna Lyons has branched out into new endeavors. First, she recently launched LoveSeen, a new brand of faux eyelashes. See their line and the backstory on why they created the company here. Additionally, her new company website, Lyons LAD, is a landing page for her design and other projects. While it’s currently a bare bones destination with a contact page, I’m sure it will be expanded in new ways sometime in the future. Lastly, you can watch the trailer of “Stylish with Jenna Lyons,” her new TV show on HBO Max below!
In closing, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite J. Crew outfits from the Lyons-era. Since her meteoric rise to style stardom occurred just prior to the inception of Instagram and blogging as we know it, I found it hard to narrow down my favorites! Even though she’s moved on to a new professional chapter, I’m glad to see that J. Crew still makes use of the fashion foundations she helped to create. Scroll to the bottom of the post to see some of my picks from J. Crew’s current line that reflect her influence.
Current J. Crew Items to Shop
See my previous post where I share my thoughts on why this year’s could be the best J. Crew fall collection yet!