One of the intentions of this blog has always been to showcase people I find inspiring and who motivate me to reach for the stars. Although, there’s a lot of inspiring people out there I have decided to focus primarily on individuals within the wonderful world of fashion – since I hope to be an active participant within that great world someday, and it is my main love and source of inspiration.
For me, Jenna Lyons (President and Creative Director of J.Crew) has always been at the top of my list of movers and shakers. A graduate of Parsons (she received a BFA in Fashion Design) Lyons began working as a designer at J.Crew shortly after graduation. After years of working there she was noticed by Mickey Drexler and was soon promoted to the position of Creative Director. This was a decision that would prove to be invaluable on Drexler’s part. Not only does Lyons have a great sense of personal style but she is also an extremely smart business woman who “truly gets at the heart of how American [and Canadian] women want to dress.”
It is this influence and Lyons’ amazing eye for style that have turned J.Crew into the company it is today. No longer just a store to turn to for great basics, J.Crew now makes clothes for women that are fashion forward, that fits most aspects of their daily lives, and at the right price point. What could be better than that?!
In a recent interview with Parsons, Lyons stressed the importance of internships and getting your foot in the door with an entry level position if it means happiness in the long run. This particular advice has resonated with me especially since Lyons herself worked her way up from the bottom. Other keys to success? 1) teamwork (Lyons is noted for always thanking her amazing team) and 2) the desire to always push yourself forwards and be better than who you were yesterday. A noted perfectionist, Lyons herself has said, “I’m always looking for ways to do more… my day is never over!”
But perhaps what makes Lyons so inspiring is her confidence in the idea that you should do what you love and eventually that will lead to success, as long as you are smart and willing to work hard for it.
Lyons mantra of “amazing things happen when you’re having fun doing something you love” is a constant source of motivation for me to find a career that I’m passionate about. Not only is Lyons one of my personal sources of inspiration but is someone who I hope all of you will find inspiring as well.