The style trade’s endless sport of designer musical chairs took a stunning activate Monday, when Enterprise of Style reported that Jenna Lyons, J.Crew’s inventive director and president, is stepping down from her position on the all-American retailer after 26 years. Based on a launch from the model, Lyons will proceed working with J.Crew as a inventive advisor till the top of her contract, which expires in Dec. 2017. After that, in keeping with a 10-Ok filed on March 21, upon her exit, Lyons is topic to a year-long non-compete settlement along with $1 million in money severance.
Few inventive administrators of Lyons’s era are so intently related aesthetically with the businesses they work for. Her quirky styling sensibilities, affinity for blended prints, and talent to seamlessly combine components of menswear with female staples gave the model’s preppy wares a completely fashionable, contemporary attraction — seen in the whole lot from its catalogs to its well-loved New York Style Week displays. Based on BoF, Lyons reportedly had been spending a lot much less time on day-to-day design duties, positioning her as extra of a face of J.Crew than a inventive director. The Ladies’s Head of Design, Somsack Sikhounmuong — who moved to J.Crew from sister label Madewell in 2015 — will probably be promoted to the position of chief design officer.
That is solely the latest bummer that J.Crew has confronted on the enterprise facet in current months: The retailer posted disappointing earnings outcomes all through 2016 after years of incremental gross sales decline, closed dozens of underperforming brick-and-mortar shops, and in November of final yr, it discontinued its bridal line. The corporate additionally has substantial debt. As for buyer suggestions, loyal buyers took to social media to voice their criticism of the model final yr, going as far as to designate the hashtag #ReviveJCrew to their complaints about decline in high quality. The lack of Lyons as an inspirational and aspirational lady on the helm is one other large blow, and although Sikhounmuong has confirmed himself as a worthy successor, he is left with some massive footwear to fill.