Thursday, April 25, 2013

"The Devil Wears J.Crew"


In their most recent issue, Fast Company Magazine did a profile on one of my favorite brands, J.Crew (surprise, surprise), and the woman holding the reins there, Jenna Lyons. 

And I swear, it's written like a poem.

"Jenna Lyons is in her corner office
 sucking on an iced coffee as if it were manna.
The room looks like a cross between a boudoir and an artist's loft, with a peach fur draped over a white leather eames chair.
The industrial windows stretch up and up, like Lyons's legs, which are punctuated by a pair of metallic, sparkled 3-inch stilettos."

And it gives me more and more reasons to love her:

On her 10-day cleanse, "I'm a little bit mangry. Hangry mangry," Lyons says.

On her look, "a high-low look that reflects her own boy-girl style--androgyny with some sequins and a dash of nerdy glasses"

On how she's just like me, "she looks like a model and then she talks like the best salesperson you've ever met"...kidding about how she's just like me!

On her approach at J.Crew, ",,,make and sell only what they love. The love would not be unconditional; they would adjust their product line always, trying new ideas, assessing and quickly getting rid of anything that didn't work. J.Crew would become a company of constant and freewheeling experimentation, iteration, adaptation."

On J.Crew employees, "J.Crew employees reveal themselves by the nakedness of their ankles. It's as if the company's uniform, ambiently dictated by Lyons, is enforced only from the knees down. Bare ankles, for men and women alike, whether with suede bucks, ballet flats, heeled ankle boots, high-top Converse, vintage Nikes, or glittery pumps, fill the company's East Village headquarters."

On beauty, "when something isn't as beautiful as it can be, the reason is always bigger than the thing," says Lyons.

On issues of struggling with her looks, "I searched for ways to make things more beautiful and surrounded myself with beautiful things because I didn't feel that in myself. I felt a huge drive to make clothes that everybody could have because I felt ostracized by the world of beauty and fashion," she says.

On Jenna, "Jenna leads by example. She'll be wearing an oversize men's cashmere sweather and a maxi skirt with feathers. If you described it to a famous fashion person, it would sound ridiculous. But it's liberating for everyone who works for her."

Read the full article here. And check out Jenna's poetic office here.

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