Jenna Lyons talks designer crushes, life in Brooklyn and her quest for Zen

My style: Jenna Lyons
My style: Jenna Lyons

See photos of Jenna’s style picks »

What was your first job at J.Crew?
“I started 20 years ago. I was an assistant to an assistant.”

Are you bringing back company loyalty?
[Laughs] “I never in a million years dreamed that I would be at the same [place]. I spend more time at my job than I do with my family, so my job does feel like a family.”

What’s your secret to becoming a fashion powerhouse? What advice would you give to someone starting out?
“Love what you do. The people who I see as successful [are those who] stay in the moment and try and do the best they can. Those are the people you want to promote. They’re the ones who are thinking about new ideas and trying to do their job better.”

Who was your first mentor?
“Emily Cinader Woods, who [co-founded] J.Crew. She was the one who hired me. She had a huge impact on my career, especially in the beginning.”

If you weren’t working in fashion, what would you do?
I would love to do interiors or have a horse ranch.”

How would you describe your personal style?
“A little bit tomboy and a little bit grandma. I like boys’ clothes and sparkly things.”

What are some of your fall must-haves?
“Every day I have J.Crew on. But I love clothes so much—I’m a voracious shopper. I have lots of Céline on my fall wish list. The Row had some really beautiful pieces, and I’m a huge Marni fan.”

How do you shop?
“I use personal shoppers all the time—it’s the only way that I can really shop. Whether it’s a personal shopper at Bergdorf’s or Barneys, I work with someone and then plan my wish list after I see the shows.”

Which designer are you currently most excited about?
“Phoebe Philo for Céline. She’s incredible at making huge changes in the industry, along the lines of Yves Saint Laurent in the early days. Her attention to detail and trim and cut is really inspiring.”

What are your go-to beauty products?
P50V tonic from Biologique Recherche. My facialist [Aida Bicaj] uses it, and I swear by it.”

How do you combat stress in your life?
“I just started doing yoga. I can’t even touch my toes—it’s really pathetic. I have a remarkably supportive family, and being with my son is an absolute battery recharger.”

What’s the best thing about living in Brooklyn?
“Sitting on my stoop and watching my son ride his scooter up and down the street.”

What is the most inspiring place you’ve travelled to?
“I’m still completely obsessed with Paris: the city, the architecture, the language, the food. There’s something about that European aesthetic that I’m incredibly drawn to.”

Where do you stay?
“At the Meurice. In their lobby they have this mirror that they freeze—[my son] Beckett loves to put his hands on it. We can stay an hour [there]. I can have champagne and he can just play with the mirror.”

Do you have any hidden talents?
“I used to be a synchronized swimmer. I didn’t have to wear a nose plug, but I did have to wear this really ridiculous hat.”