Jenna Lyons leaves J.Crew after 26 years


She's been at the helm of J.Crew's creative direction for years -- and she helped turn the brand into the cultural phenomenon it is today.

It was announced Monday that longtime President and Executive Creative Director Jenna Lyons is leaving J.Crew. The brand's CEO, Mickey Drexler, told Business of Fashion in an interview about the departure "Jenna and I got together and we both agreed it was time for a change," but cites the mutual respect the two share, and that it's "been a great run."

And quite a run it's been -- 26 years, to be exact. Lyons landed her first job at J.Crew in 1990, but worked her way up and was promoted to VP of Women's Design when Mickey Drexler became CEO in 2003. They developed a close relationship, and Drexler promoted her to President in 2010.

"Having spent the better part of my life with J.Crew, I feel an immense pride and love for everyone at the company," Lyons said in a statement.

Lyons will be replaced by Somsack Sikhounmuong, J.Crew's current women's head of design, who will be promoted to chief design officer. He will oversee men's, women's and children's design teams, effective immediately.

The company has been suffering a bit in the last few years, but it's no question that Lyons had a major role in turning it into the massively recognized brand it is today. From the statement necklaces to the onslaught of stripes and perfect pencil pant, she's certainly left her mark on the mass market in a big way.

Lyons will remain as a creative adviser to J.Crew throughout the rest of 2017.