First of all, J.Crew is huge. Their office takes up two floors, each the size of a city block and includes everything from photo studios to mock-up stores to color libraries to faux store windows to design to merchandising to catalog to Crewcuts to Madewell - seriously, overwhelmingly big.
In two hours, we toured the building and met the head designer's various department teams: denim, kids, shoes, bags, jewelry, graphic tees, etc. I tried to grill Jenna on her day to day life but there's just too damn much.
I naively assumed that when one lands in a top position at a major company, one signs off on other people's creative decisions and orchestrates everything from above instead of minutely contributing to every single facet of the business. But no, whether it's deciding what color to paint the staircase in the East Hampton store, which chairs to put in the renovated Prince Street location, sourcing wooden hands on which to display gloves come fall, casting catalog models, deciding how to sell colored pencils at Crewcuts, how one collaborates with a man who makes shirts out of sugar cane, or recruiting artists to work with, Jenna Lyons is deeply, deeply, deeply involved.
Here, we talk collaborations, models and vintage jewels. Monday we'll talk personal history, architectural meetings and Mickey Drexler's bike.