While president and executive creative director of J. Crew Jenna Lyons was widely recognised as the creative force behind the American retail chain’s phenomenal rise from floundering catalogue chain to one of the most coveted fashion brands in the US. Appointed to creative director in 2008, then president in 2010, Lyons oversaw the brands successful image overhaul in its stores, marketing campaigns and clothing designs. Championed by the likes of Michelle Obama and Anna Wintour , J. Crew also launched its first retail outlet in Britain in 2013.
An alumnus of Parsons New School of Design where she obtained a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts, Lyons undertook an internship at Donna Karen before joining J. Crew’s creative design team as a junior designer in 1990. In 2003, after a steady ascension to vice president of women’s design, Lyons, under the direction of newly appointed CEO Mickey Drexler , began seeking a new design direction for the floundering store, bringing in new styles and re-shaping the brands identity through collaborations with designers such as Prabul Garung and footwear brand Sperry Topsider. She stepped down from the J. Crew helm in April 2017, exiting after 26 years with the specialty retailer.
A style icon in her own right, Lyon’s is regularly featured in magazines such as Lucky, Glamour and InStyle and on street style blogs for her quirky androgynous aesthetic. In 2013, Lyons was also featured in Time magazines list of "100 Most Influential People."