Jenna Lyons and J.Crew have been synonymous for so long. 26 years, to be exact—that's how long Jenna's been working as a designer for the brand. After working her way up to land the title of creative director—and becoming a household name with fashion fans thanks to her style—Jenna announced last week that she is stepping down from her role at J.Crew.
Now that her time at the preppy brand is winding down, we wonder: what will Jenna do next? Well, first, a bit more of the same: She'll still work as a consultant until her contract runs out at the end of 2017, and she has a year-long non-compete agreement, according to Fashionista. That’s plenty of time for Jenna to figure out her next career move. In the meantime, we asked fashion insiders to look into the crystal ball and predict on Jenna's next career move.
Gabriella Santaniello, founder of retail research company A Line Partners, has a soft spot in her heart for J.Crew as a long-time shopper of the brand. But, she also believes Jenna could make a big splash with her own fashion label. “My educated guess would be that she is going to launch her own line,” Gabriella says. “She's made a name for herself, she has a fanbase, she's like a walking advertisement for great style.” Gabriella predicts that a luxury line could be a natural next step for Jenna, where she could create pieces with good fabrics and distinct style without having to answer to investors and battle fast-fashion outlets the way J.Crew has to right now.
“I can't imagine her going to another retailer. She may sit on the board of a few, but I can't imagine her going to another retailer and doing what she was doing at J.Crew,” Gabriella says.
Julie Zerbo, founder and editor in chief of The Fashion Law, thinks Jenna might go for a more low-key position once J.Crew is behind her. “I suspect her next move will be more in line with a consulting-type role working with an array of brands, as opposed to aligning with a single brand as she has done with J. Crew for the past 20-plus years,” Julie says. “She has the ability, of course, to launch her own brand, to really do whatever, but I would not be surprised if she did something a bit more behind-the-scenes for a little awhile. As soon as her non-compete is up, that is!”
We’re also into another of Gabriella’s predictions for Jenna’s next gig. “I can see her going into home,” she says. As major fans of Jenna’s home décor— that yellow couch in her Brooklyn brownstone, gasp—we’re hoping maybe Jenna’s next venture can outfit our entire home, not just our closet.
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