7 Things We Learned From Jenna Lyons at NYFW

Jenna Lyons at NYFW - P 2015
Kathryn Romeyn

Jenna Lyons at NYFW - P 2015

The J.Crew creative director gave us a few minutes of her time before the Mara Hoffman show, and we learned how she survives Fashion Week and that after almost 25 years she’s still pretty giddy about getting paid to to do what she does.

When Jenna Lyons walked into the Mara Hoffman show at NYFW, she couldn’t be missed. Not only was the J.Crew creative director and president — and fashion power player and girl crush — wearing tall graphic heels, elongating her already-tall frame, but she was dressed in head-to-toe orange.

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Her outfit inspiration? "Hanging onto the last days of summer sunsets!" And, in a very rare instance, it was literally all J.Crew. "This is probably the first time I’ll ever answer this way — I never normally do that," she told Pret-a-Reporter when we stole her away from her front-row seat beside Courtney Crangi, Jennifer Fisher and Pamela Love. Oh, and her fantastic lipstick? NARS Red Square ($26). 

With a few minutes before showtime, we picked Lyons' brain. Here, seven things we learned from the fashion queen bee.

1. The key to surviving fashion week is good breath.

"My favorite thing are those little toothbrushes you buy that have toothpaste on them and then you can throw them away. I keep a ton of them in my bag and in the car. There’s nothing worse than Fashion Week breath."

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2. She’s excited waistlines are rising.

"I’m super happy that waists are coming back. I have a pair of wide-leg pants I’ve been planning my outfits with. I’m totally obsessed with wide leg, and I can wear it because I’m tall. It always works well for me."

3. Lyons, like the rest of us, is obsessed with Lupita Nyong’o.

"Lupita Nyong’o, oh my gosh. The most breathtaking, eye catching. I’m obsessed with her."

4. Knowing what works on you — and a genuine smile — goes a long way.

"I always like Julianne Moore just because I feel like she’s one of those people who really understands her body, her colors, what looks good on her. She always looks flawless but has that gorgeous real smile which I love because I think a lot of people are so poised and she always gets up there and just smiles — she makes you want to be her friend."

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5. Understand the industry you want to be in before diving in.

"All I can say is before you jump in, intern. Intern as much as you can. The thing I always see is people have no understanding of what goes on. They jump in and think they want to do it then they get in there and don’t really understand what it’s all about. It’s not for everyone and it’s not what it looks like from the outside. You have to really love it because it’s not easy. It doesn’t really work to be half in."

6. But also follow your childhood dreams.

"I feel extremely lucky that I actually get to do for my job the thing that I always dreamed of when I was a little kid. I get to sit in a room and look at color and jewelry and sequins and plaids and that’s sort of a fantasy. I actually get paid to do that. It’s awesome. I would do that in my spare time if I could!"

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7. Variety is the spice of life.

"Even sometimes when business isn’t as good as you want it to be and it’s hard, I still get to have fun with it. It’s also never the same. Fashion there’s always something different — it’s not like the same old clothes. It’s like, 'I haven’t met you before, you’re cute!'"