Image VIA Zimbio
If you subscribe to J.Crew’s email updates then your inbox is regularly filled with tips about upcoming sales, collaborations and also a curated piece called “Jenna’s Picks” which is what the brand’s fashionable president and creative director Jenna Lyons is obsessed with at any given time. Lyons’ signature “borrowed from the boys” aesthetic and sartorial je ne sais quoi has been a big part of J.Crew’s rise from dusty old catalogue sitting in the recycling bin with L.L.Bean to super chic first lady-wear and trendy looks for the office. However J.Crew seems to be distancing themselves from Lyons recently and their first step has been to put “Jenna’s Picks” on an indefinite hiatus.
According to Business Of Fashion, J.Crew isn’t afraid to take a real stylistic point of view, most famously with ‘Jenna’s Picks,’ a wildly successful section in the company’s catalogue and website — currently on hiatus — featuring products hand-picked by Lyons. “It was totally not my idea, just for the record. It was actually the person who ran marketing at the time, who’s no longer here, and wanted to do something that felt a little bit more personal. We were trying to make people feel like there was a selection of things.”
“Ultimately, I think what we’re trying to do is create something that feels a little bit more like a magazine and a little bit more like an inspirational piece — but that is also shopable.” To that end, the company’s catalogue has recently been rebranded as The J.Crew Style Guide. “So much more than a catalogue,” the company website states, “it’s your source for what to wear and how to wear it.”
What Jenna does not mention to BOF in the interview is that they are indeed still “recommending” picks to shoppers but not exclusively by the her anymore. J.Crew is looking for other fashionable people within the company to offer their two-cents on retail inspiration like women’s fashion director and head stylist Gayle Spannaus. Gayle who has been with the company for 16 years is incidentally just as nerdy-chic as Jenna is but it sounds like people have been seeing a bit too much of Lyons lately. From the Crew website to being the “face” of J.Crew when they presented at New York Fashion Week this past season, in recent years Jenna seems to have taken on a much more public role than her regular 9 to 5 at the office.
It’s easy to see why the marketing team feels customers might need a hiatus from the over-exposed creative director, there has been no word on how Lyons feels about this though. On a personal note, Jenna finally managed to sell her gorgeous gigantic mansion in NYC following that public divorce of hers. Silver linings.
Image VIA Glamour