As a loyal fan of J.Crew, I am a serious of admirer of their creative director Jenna Lyons. A Southern California girl at heart, Lyons started at the company 20 years ago as an "assistant's assistant". She then climbed the ladder until 2007 when she was crowned creative director of one of America's favorite companies.
If you've followed J. Crew at all over the years you've definitely noticed a difference in the brand since Lyons became CD. In an interview with Style.com, Lyons noted many of the changes she has brought to the company, including carrying non J. Crew brands, from Rolex to Sperry. " Why try and re-create it? Some things are amazing the way they are. Alden shoes, Sperry Top-Siders. They come with tons of history and brand integrity that we might not be able to offer in shoes. "
Lyons' inspiration board:
As the brains behind the classic American clothier, Lyons has turned the timeless line into a swimmingly popular brand with her frilly tops, tweeds and sequins. And for that she has been vastly rewarded.
With the intention of keeping Lyons at J. Crew for the next several years, she received a $1 million bonus in October 2009 according to the Wall Street Journal, who can blame them? She's turned a brand for the masses into a fun, unique shopping experience.
Lyons shares a Brooklyn townhouse with her husband and their three-year-old son Beckett, and as you can probably imagine, Lyons' life is quite enviable. Just check out her shoe "closet" where Beckett picks out her shoes every morning:
In a recent Oprah appearance, Lyons takes us through a day in her life:
Jenna on Oprah
Not bad for a girl who started out as an "assistant's assistant".
3. Huffington Post
4. Elle Decor