J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons: How I became one of the biggest names in fashion

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  • J.Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons is a fashion force to be reckoned with. And, as she opens her flagship store in the UK, we thought it wise to tap her for her four key career tips.

    When America’s First Lady Michelle Obama chose J.Crew for the presidential inauguration it was a defining moment for J.Crew and Jenna Lyons.

    Of course, Brits in the know have been snapping up J.Crew pieces on trips to the States for years, but now the brand’s cashmere knits and chic, yet affordable, pieces are available on the high street (London’s Regent Street, to be precise, as well as two new boutiques in Bloomsbury and South Kensington).

    Jenna Lyons is the creative force and has been responsible for the brand’s epic reinvention. Here are her four tips for success:

    1. Big breaks come during moments of flux.
    ‘Things were swelling up underneath me, and I was always sitting on the raft. I ended up having insane opportunities.’

    2. There’s no such thing as overnight success.
    ‘There’s this idea that everybody has to have everything right away. But you have to let the slow burn happen. I wasn’t the superstar. I had to work for it. Really long hours.’

    3. Work with superiors who respect your talents.
    Lyons clicked with new CEO Mickey Drexler: ‘When someone trusts you that much, you won’t want to fail.’

    4. Stay true to your values.
    ‘I don’t want people to feel they have to live a certain way to have access to the brand. I certainly didn’t grow up that way.’

    Looking for more career inspo? It’s not too late to book tickets for Marie Claire’s @ Work Live, in association with Cointreau and Next. A one-day event on 23 April 2016, featuring advice, tips and inspiration from incredible speakers.

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