Jenna Lyons on Life after J.Crew and Building Her Empire from the Ground Up

Technically, Jenna Lyons was “influencing” before influencing was even a thing: The signature oversize frames, the hyperpolished hair, the eccentric yet somehow totally approachable style. And then, of course, those fire-engine-red lips that exude power, magnetism, and sophistication.

“It’s ironic because a lot of how my look happened was out of absolute necessity,” insists Lyons. “When I had a baby, my hair started getting thinner and my son started clawing at it when breastfeeding, so I started to put it up. And then separately, I fell up the stairs twice because I was looking at my phone—I misjudged the steps and scraped my shins—so I started wearing progressive lenses.”

Revered for her nearly three-decades-long reign as the queen of America’s OG sweetheart company, J.Crew (she dressed Michelle Obama, too), she’s totally unpretentious, even self-deprecating at times. Lyons is quick to credit so much of her sharp, discerning eye to her J.

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