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Jenna Lyons to leave J Crew

Lauretta Roberts
03 April 2017

Jenna Lyons, the creative lead at US brand J Crew, is to leave the business and be replaced by its head of women's design.

Lyons, president and creative director, has left her post, according to WWD, but will remain as a consultant for the brand for the rest of the year.

Somsack Sikhounmuong, head of women’s design, has been promoted to chief design officer, overseeing the women’s, men’s and "crewcuts" design teams and will report into chairman and CEO Millard "Mickey" Drexler.

"It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Jenna as my trusted partner for the past 14 years,” Drexler told WWD. “She has made many significant contributions to J Crew and has built an incredibly talented team."

Lyons has held her current position since 2012 and was credited with bringing J Crew to fashion prominence by dressing, among others, Michelle Obama and her children. As well as raising the profile of the brand she became a well-known figure in her own right often appearing in the style pages of newspapers and fashion magazines.

However J Crew has been hit by the slowdown in US retail of late and is also grappling with a $1.5bn debt pile. Its recently reported results for 2016 show sales down 3.2% to $2.4bn (and like for likes down 7%) with losses of $23.5m (compared to a loss of $1.5bn in the prior year).

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