I am currently working on a serie of short portraits on what I call the new Martha Stewarts … These business women who specialises on lifestyle mostly through online services and new types of media, and into a second (professional or B side) life, some kind of VIP lifestyle slashers. I intended to include Jenna Lyons as my third personnality but …
In one of my last post I complained about the lack of originality of a video made by J.Crew marketing team. Not that I do not like the brand, it appears to be just the opposite ! I am a fan since long before it to initiated its conquest of the outer world (ndlr : outside the USA). I know all about sister brand Madewell as well, I am myself a J.Crew Insider ;-) Just that I am quite aware of whatever step and direction it is taking and I like to analyse it.
To scrutinize J.Crew’s strategy is to understand who is its creative director as well. Meet Jenna Lyons. Let me introduce you to one of the most talented lifestyle strategist in the world. It was no surprise to me last saturday to see that she had a feature in the ‘100 most influential people in the world’ Time Magazine issue. I really thinks she deserves it. A Parson School graduate, she spent her last 22 years working for J.Crew and she now have the responsability of the brand image, product design and a good take on its figures as she is one of its VP, in charge of creative direction. She is what Jonathan Ive is to Apple, see what does it stand for ? Striving to grab all that can enhance the brand’s philosophy, attractiveness, ‘sexyness’. And here J.Crew won where pals such as the GAP failed or did not do long enough … from a shop that sells chinos and nice flower dresses for the week end, J.Crew became the brand that Michelle Obama chooses to wear for both her daughters and herself for presidential major events (inauguration ceremonies).
Next what you should know is that Jenna Lyons loves shoes, she collects them (more or less 289 pairs). In a video the tastemaker tells about the outfit-making, mood-lifting power of a great pair of heels and takes J.Crew lovers on a trip to Pisa, Italy, where the shoe collection is brought to life in a small workshop.
- How Jenna Lyons Transformed J.Crew Into A Cult Brand (fastcompany.com)
- Jenna Lyons by Prabal Gurung (The 2013 Time 100)