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inspired by: JENNA LYONS

Jenna Lyons is the Executive Creative Director of J.Crew. And my idol.

Sara Radin, a senior pursuing a BA in Art & Design, is always searching for beautiful, unusual, & inspirational people, places, and things.

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

Turning twenty-two last weekend brought on more anxiety about the future. Just one more year until I’m actually old! I keep thinking as the same question I was asked at age five, continues to come back and haunt me. Then, I answered it by finger-painting a picture of myself as an artist holding a palette and wearing a beret by an easel. Seventeen years later, I’m still making art and I’m now wearing a fabulous beret my friend got me while studying abroad in Paris. But trying to figure out what kind of artist or creative person I want to be? Now that’s the hard part.

After my internship last summer at Polo Ralph Lauren, I realized fashion combined all of my interests in one industry, including art, culture, business, and journalism. Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time researching fashion companies and learning about career opportunities as well as successful people in the industry. I’m even skipping spring break in Punta Cana with my friends to do interviews in NYC. Big moves in “The Big Apple.”

In all of my research and late nights spent creepily stalking companies and people on linked-in instead of doing my schoolwork, I’ve finally figured out who I want to be when I grow up. Cue the drum roll, please. Jenna Lyons.

Jenna Lyons is the Executive Creative Director of J.Crew, my twin (she has light brown hair and wears funky glasses just like me), and my idol. In twenty years when I’m forty-two I hope to be just as successful, stylish, and innovative as her.

While she started at the bottom of the company about twenty years ago and worked her way up, Jenna continues to lead J.Crew in the direction of success with her dynamic vision and creative passion. In a 2006 interview with Vogue magazine, Jenna stated, “I learned early on that what I wanted to do was something that was approachable and real and that a lot of people could afford,” I, too, share the same desire—I want to help design clothes I’d actually wear.

There are far too many quotes and Jenna-isms I’d like to share here (see links to related articles below), but what I love most about her and the J.Crew company is their dedication to making classic items that are still contemporary and eclectic. J.Crew's timeless pieces truly allow shoppers to mix and match in order to create their own personal style.

David Maupin, co-owner of the Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Manhattan, says that, “If you had to caricature a New York fashion person, it would be a drawing of Jenna. She’s someone who touches every part of contemporary culture.”

Some day, in a hopefully not so far off land, I hope people will be saying the same thing about me… but for now a girl can only dream, and perfect her resume.

Finding incredibly inspirational people like Jenna has definitely helped me feel better about my almost-quarter-life crisis. The transition from art student to artist in the real world will be tough one, but now I know who to look up to and where to find faith that I, too, can be a successful designer.

More about Jenna: http://www.style.com/stylefile/2010/03/jcrews-jenna-lyons-talks-picks-preps-and-the-art-of-personal-connection/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703515504576142423223345298.html

Jenna’s favorite items hand picked for J.Crew shoppers: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_feature/Jennaspicks.jsp

“About A Shoe” Jenna and J.Crew VP of Women’s Design, Marissa Webb, go to Florence to work with Italian shoe manufacturers. http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Navigation/made-in-italy.jsp#/shoe/video God, this made me miss Italy so much.



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