Jenna Lyons talks personal taste: Part One

As creative director and president of J Crew, Jenna Lyons is one of today’s most powerful tastemakers

Jenna Lyons at her home in New York
Jenna Lyons at her home in New York | Image: Weston Wells

My personal style signifiers are my black glasses by Moscot; a weathered gold Rolex made the year I was born, which I bought through a vintage dealer called Michael Ashton; and a bespoke gold ring. My father wore a family crest ring when I was growing up and I always thought it was the coolest thing. My girlfriend Courtney and her brother, the jeweller Philip Crangi, made me a ring with a relief of the crest in rose gold. It was a really special gift. Glasses, from $250;  

Lyons’s skirt by Dries Van Noten, €1,182
Lyons’s skirt by Dries Van Noten, €1,182 | Image: Weston Wells

The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of old-school Gucci loafers. I wear them with almost anything, as long as there is some ankle showing. From£370;


And the thing I’m eyeing next is a painting by Genieve Figgis. Her work is so beautiful and so odd, and she has the most incredible sense of colour. I love House, 2014, and Raspberry Nook, 2015. My friend Sunrise Ruffalo told me about her, and then a week later I was at Half Gallery, run by Bill Powers, and he happened to have a few of her pieces. From then on I was obsessed.

Creed Silver Mountain Water, from £95 for 30ml
Creed Silver Mountain Water, from £95 for 30ml | Image: Weston Wells

The site that inspires me is the New York City skyline at night – it never gets old.

The Best of Bowie album
The Best of Bowie album

The indulgences I would never forgo are naps – nothing is better; then fresh flowers, especially coral New Zealand peonies and black and white anemones; and super-long, 24-inch tapered candles from Creative Candles. I burn them every evening. $18.75 for two;

Lyons’s Gucci loafers, from £370
Lyons’s Gucci loafers, from £370 | Image: Weston Wells

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a navy and black tulle skirt from Dries Van Noten. It’s heaven – it looks like a cupcake. Dries’s clothes are quite eclectic and I probably wouldn’t wear them head to toe but I love mixing something of his with something more structured. He’s a colour-and-print-mix master; he’s like a painter. €1,182;

A vintage Battleship trailer, part of the El Cosmico hotel in Marfa, Texas
A vintage Battleship trailer, part of the El Cosmico hotel in Marfa, Texas | Image: Nick Simonite

The objects I would never part with are the Polaroids of my son Beckett [9] when he was a baby.


The last music I downloaded was David Bowie’s complete history. I’ve always been a huge fan. He was groundbreaking, and there are so many songs that were a part of my growing up. He also made being different seem special, which was quite unusual at the time. Through his music he introduced those ideas to a much wider audience.

My favourite room in my house is my kitchen, which is the hub of the house. Everyone gathers around the island, which is 12ft across – people sit on it, dance on it, all sorts of things happen on it.

The best gift I’ve received recently was a necklace with little gold leaves. Beckett spotted it in a shop window and made the babysitter take him back there to buy it. He was so excited when he gave it to me; the look on his face – it makes me misty just thinking about it.

A recent “find” is the El Cosmico hotel in Marfa, Texas. Donald Judd left New York in the 1970s and ended up setting up shop in some old army buildings in Marfa. It has since turned into an artists’ community but remains remarkably untouched. The hotel is a series of beautifully appointed vintage airstream trailers and teepees. It’s very simple but really well done. At night you can see every star in the sky and it’s a unique and cool place.

The beauty staple I’m never without is Silver Mountain Water by Creed, a great perfume I’ve worn for a long time. Beckett would be unhappy if I tried to change it. In the morning he leans on me in the elevator, and if I don’t have it on he makes me go back up. From £95 for 30ml;

My favourite websites are and for browsing art sales; I use in a totally voyeuristic way – I love food but I can’t cook to save my life; and interiors site just feels very happy – its furniture is eclectic and colourful and I like a mix of old and new.

See also