Jenna Lyons has confirmed she is departing J. Crew after a 26-year tenure.
The formidable fashionista has been working at the U.S. label since she was fresh out of Parsons School of Design, but has now announced that she is stepping down as president and creative director.
“It has been beyond my wildest dreams to work with such an amazing team of people at such an incredible brand and alongside Mickey (J.Crew chief executive Millard Drexler) – one of retail’s most talented visionaries,” Lyons said in a statement. “I am excited about the next chapter for J.Crew as well as the opportunity for other creative leaders within the organisation to step up and take on new responsibilities. Having spent the better part of my life with J.Crew, I feel an immense pride and love for everyone at the company.”
While it’s not been confirmed where she’s heading, Drexler revealed his long-term collaborator, who had a part in hit show Girls in 2014, does have “plans”.
“Jenna and I got together and we both agreed it was time for a change,” he told Business of Fashion. “That being said, she’s got plans to do other things. It’s been a great run. There’s a lot of mutual respect between Jenna and me.”
Lyons worked her way up from a menswear assistant designer to head of the company in 2010.
Somsack Sikhounmuong, head of women’s design, is being promoted to chief design officer, and will oversee the women’s, men’s and children’s design teams.
Drexler will now be in charge of creative aspects of the business, including marketing.
“I put more pressure on me than anyone else can put pressure on me, that’s the nature of the job I have and the nature of who I am,” he told WWD.
Lyons will continue to serve as a creative advisor until December, which marks the end of her current contract.
Her exit comes amid the label’s declining sales and high debt load.
– Cover Media0