Jenna Lyons

Some consider J.Crew the best store to stock up on wardrobe staples, others think of it a place to splurge on one special piece. Either way J.Crew has surely solidified itself as a necessary American brand and much of the credit for that success is due to Creative Director Jenna Lyons, the woman who thinks sequins are the new black.

image via Glamour.com

Lyons first became creative director in 2008 and has worked for J.Crew since she was 21. "I was an assistant to an assistant" she told Cindi Leive in an interview with Glamour. Her actual title was assistant designer in menswear and her first task was to redesign men's rugby shirts for the brand. She quickly worked her way up the ranks to the point that now I can barely imagine a J.Crew without her. Her signature style of mixing well tailored basics with loud, sometimes over-the-top details like sequins or feathers has become the new norm for the brand. And if you think her outfits look like they have been copied and pasted from a J.Crew catalog, then you would be absolutely spot on. Lyons is responsible for changing the catalog to a "Style Guide" meant to more closely resemble a fashion magazine editorial. Her influence on the styling and design of the guide is undeniable and many see Lyons as completely synonymous with the J.Crew woman.

Lyons was born Judith, not Jenna, in Boston, MA but moved to Palos Verdes, CA at the age of four. She was born with a genetic condition called incontinentia pigmenti which causes scarring, hair loss, and tooth problems. She began taking sewing classes at 11 partly as a solution to the problem of finding clothes to fit her lanky frame and partly as an escape from the bullying endured from her classmates. it wasn't long however, before fellow students began admiring her talent as a budding designer. "A girl in social studies passed me a note saying, "I like your skirt." I was like, Is this for me? It was major (Glamour)." She was named one of Glamour magazine's Women of the Year in 2012 and currently holds a much revered position on the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Board of Directors. In the latter position she assists in choosing the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund finalists and winners.

images via 1. Instagram @theOutsiderBlog // 2. WhoWhatWear // 3. Jean Stories // 4. Vogue UK // 5. Vanity Fair // 6. Madame Le Figaro // 7. Elle // 8. How To Spend It // 9. WWD // 10. Jean Stories // 11. Vogue // 12. Where did U Get That // 13. Style and Forks // 14. Elle // 15. Popsugar

Fast Facts:
- Because of her genetic condition she wears dentures
- She graduated from Parsons Design School in 1990
- She has a son Beckett with artist Vincent Mazeau
- Lyons currently resides in Tribeca with her son and girlfriend Courtney Grangi
- She owns almost 300 pairs of shoes as seen in this video (and I want them all...)