Jenna Lyons is leaving J. Crew after 26 years

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Hayley Spencer
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During Jenna Lyons’ 26 year tenure at J. Crew, the all-American brand has become a cult phenomenon, now synonymous with sequins, neon shades and statement jewellery. The designer herself, meanwhile, has become a style icon in her own right, thanks to her laidback, luxe aesthetic and iconic black eyewear. But, yesterday, it was confirmed that Lyons is leaving the label.

“It has been beyond my wildest dreams to work with such an amazing team of people at such an incredible brand and alongside Mickey — one of retail’s most talented visionaries,” Lyons said in a statement.

She continued: "I am excited about the next chapter for J.Crew as well as the opportunity for other creative leaders within the organisation to step up and take on new responsibilities.

“Having spent the better part of my life with J.Crew, I feel an immense pride and love for everyone at the company.”

J.Crew chief executive Millard Drexler, speaking in an interview with Business of Fashion, added“Jenna and I got together and we both agreed it was time for a change.

"That being said, she’s got plans to do other things. It’s been a great run.”

Drexter added: “There’s a lot of mutual respect between Jenna and me.”

Current head of design, Somsack Sikhounmuong, who has been at the company since 2001, has been promoted to chief design officer with immediate effect. He previously led womenswear design at sister label Madewell. Lyons will remain a creative advisor at the brand until her contract runs out in December.

It is not yet announced what Lyons next move will be, though rumours previously whirled that the quintessentially New York designer may be headed to a European label. Watch this space.

Images: Rex Features