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J. Crew's Creative Director Jenna Lyons Talks About the Future

J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler (left) and Jenna Lyons.
J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler (left) and Jenna Lyons.

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Jenna Lyons has been at J. Crew for 20 years—she started as an assistant to an assistant in the menswear department. Since becoming the company's creative director, Lyons has grown into a sort-of cult figure—her Jenna's Picks at jcrew.com are, to many women, die-hard must-haves. J. Crew's a mass contemporary retailer that's come through the recession with flying colors—due, in large part, to Lyons and CEO Mickey Drexler's enthusiasm for expanding the stores' merchandising horizons. From Quoddy boots to Sperry Topsiders, there's something for every classicist. What's next?

We've just seen an insatiable appetite for nail polish, so we're looking at other things we can do for women. Women want candy. Someone else said this: "Ask a woman what her favorite thing in her closet is, and she'll pick the thing she bought yesterday; ask a man, and he'll pick the thing he bought 40 years ago." So for men's, we're looking into heritage pieces. One is an old coat factory, and one is another American classic shoemaker. What we'd really like to do, especially for women's, is a shoe collaboration where we maybe go to someone like Manolo Blahnik or Christian Louboutin. Gap did a great job doing that with Pierre Hardy, I thought. Women's is just harder. Would I love to sell Chanel bags? Sure. Would they let us? No.
· J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons Talks Picks, Preps, And The Art Of Personal Connection [Style.com]