What Jenna Lyons did next…

— by Alyson Walsh

Jenna in a jumpsuit. Photo: New York Times

I’ve missed Jenna Lyons. The former J. Crew creative director and goddess of the mismatch who coined the phrase, ‘leopard is a neutral’ and brought us camouflage and sequins, diamanté and denim, animal print and jacquard. Apparently, this ‘appreciation of the mash-up’ started when she was a young girl in California and dressed ‘a bit weird’. Since leaving J.Crew, Lyons has taken a bit of a back seat but all that’s about to change. According to More Than One Thing (MTOT) a podcast featuring interviews with multi-hyphenate, creative professionals on their seemingly perfect journeys (I’ve listened so that you don’t have to) – Lyons is ‘in the incubation stage of everything.’ Launching a beauty brand with ‘ a very specific product,’ in June, designing a hotel in the Bahamas, working on a lifestyle TV series with Warner Media and an e-commerce site to be launched this summer. On the podcast, 51-year-old Lyons admits that when she reached executive level at J.Crew she missed the creative process, and on leaving the company after 27 years ‘ felt super-alone when the invitations stopped coming…but it was good for me, super-humbling.’

Jenna Lyon’s gorgeous SoHo apartment features in the interiors book Live Beautiful by Athena Calderone, design expert, founder of the EyeSwoon website and the MTOT podcast. In an excerpt published in the Observer at the weekend, I liked what Lyons had to say about reupholstering her Milo Baughman sofa in pink cotton velvet, ‘ In my job, I got used to having to say, “This is what we’re gonna do, it’s gonna be OK, we’re gonna try it.”‘ A notion that applies to styling clothes and interiors, ‘ Taking a chance and trying something is probably more valuable than just staying within the borders and what the rules are.’

Jenna Lyon’s living room with pink velvet sofa and off-centre artwork. More velvet in the kitchen…




The photo of Jenna Lyons in a pink boiler suit is from the 2017 New York Times feature (with house tour video) . Interiors photos are from the Observer. And there’s another interview and another jumpsuit HERE.

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