President and Creative Director, J.Crew. New York.
In modern fashion history, there are very few designers who have essentially changed the way we dress. There's Coco Chanel, Cristobal Balenciaga, Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs—and our latest subject, Jenna Lyons, who, with J.Crew, has pretty much defined that classic-casual style into what you've been wearing for the past five plus years (and are probably wearing some riff of right this moment). It's for this reason that you can’t exactly blame us for trying to get some face time with the creative director for going on two years. Like we said, Lyons, with her ubiquitous thick-brimmed glasses, sleek hair, bold lip and pragmatic approach to tailored trousers, has revamped American style and, frankly, she's a woman in demand. As in, since she’s been at the helm of J.Crew, she’s made it something that's much more than just khakis and white button-downs, injecting patterns, luxe fabrics, precise tailoring, and intricate embroidery—along with her signature sense of fashion, as play. We mean, she's probably the single reason that a mall brand could ever be considered to have a cult following. And, if you've followed her ascension at all, you'll know that no one is a better spokesmodel for the company than Lyons herself, who, we'll admit, is as close to a style icon as anyone could possibly get (see her denim jacket-with-pink ball gown Met Gala moment). It all amounts into no less than a Coveteur dream—in case you hadn't picked up on it yet, Lyons is a big effing deal. And when we finally made it to her New York office to rummage through her desk drawer and on-site wardrobe (uh, you should see the cache of block heels!—or in Lyons' language, #shinyponies), it was kind of impossible to be disappointed. Plus, we were lucky enough to get a second glimpse of J.Crew one-offs, like a chain link faceted blazer and confetti-sequinned coat, which we styled with the help of Lyons' adorable son (we may or may not have offered him a job). Once we settled in (a.k.a we stopped touching all the shiny things—a NASA chair by Tom Sachs and collected go-kart tires, to name a few), we shared slices of pizzas (the woman knows the way to our deep dish-loving hearts) and got to talking beef jerky and ice cream, why loving your job is the most important thing, shoes (of course) and our mutual Insta-love for Black Jaguar White Tiger (no seriously, there are lion cubs involved—‘nuff said). And then there was our somewhat epic exit: an elevator ride with Lyons and Mickey Drexler, the CEO of J.Crew himself. All in all, it was unquestionably one for the Coveteur history books.