Jenna Lyons appeared on The Wendy Williams Show on Thursday and two things were surprising about that: 1. She was promoting her new line of faux eyelashes (not fashion?!), and 2. She showed off a crown of silver hair.
If you’re not familiar with Lyons, she spent 26 years working at J Crew, eventually becoming creative director and later president until she left the company in 2017. There was a very silly, controversial (to some) incident with her young son and pink nail polish. Also during her time at J Crew, she divorced her husband and started a relationship with Courtney Crangi, a jewelry designer, and was publicly outed by tabloids. (Earlier this week she told this story to The Cut.) More recently she produced and starred in an HBO Max special, Stylish with Jenna Lyons.
She practically single-handedly popularized high-low styling, and is known for unexpected pairings like slouchy cashmere sweaters with a ball skirt, or pajama pants with stilettos.
And if you dig a little deeper, it’s actually not all that surprising that Lyons launched a lashes business—she was born with no eyelashes because of a genetic disorder.
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When Lyons left J Crew, she says she expected to move on to her next act pretty quickly, but the phone didn’t ring. Instead, she says, she “sat on her couch for a year.” This all happened in her 40s, and while she has seen so much success, it also sounds like it must have been a pretty harrowing time in her life.
I was standing in front of the room, and I get a call over the intercom. The heads of marketing were on the other end, and they said, “We have a call from New York Post. There’s a report that you’re seeing a woman — should we confirm or deny?” You have to imagine: I’m standing on the phone with a whole room full of people and I can feel their eyes on me. And I’m like, literally six weeks into this totally new relationship. I heard the word “confirm” come out of my mouth.
Her 50s, on the other hand, seem to be off to a better start so far. She’s got her own show, a new business, and is rocking her silvers. All signs point to an excellent decade ahead.