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FabSugar Interviews J.Crew's Jenna Lyons

Fab Exclusive! When Jenna J.Crew Realized It Was OK to Wear Red Lipstick and Dorky Glasses

As we continue exploring the depths of J.Crew's Creative Director, Jenna and I discussed one of my favorite topics: the difference between East and West Coast style. I lived in NYC for six years, but am back in California, to stay. Needless to say, my years in New York influence my wardrobe. Than again, so has my active lifestyle in Cali. I mentioned before that Jenna is a born and bred Cali girl, but she is a self-proclaimed New Yorker, after living there for 25 years now.

What do you think are the main differences between East and West Coast style?

That to me is easy. I remember when I moved to NY, the first week that I was here, I noticed that guys were looking at me on the street and the idea of beauty here is so diverse — you can be six feet tall and brunette, you can be blond, you can be bald, you can have blue hair, you can be a tomboy, you can be a sex kitten — you can be anything here. There are all different ideals of beauty here and I think being an individual is praised, whereas when I grew up in CA I always felt like an outcast because I didn’t have blond hair and blue eyes, and I didn’t have any boobs. There’s definitely a look that exists in CA — everyone dresses alike — and I think that was really challenging growing up. I didn’t realize how hard it was until I moved here and all of sudden realized it was OK to look different. It’s OK to wear red lipstick and dorky glasses and a lot of people thought that was cute and that wasn’t the case when I was in CA. And the other thing I love: People dress up here. Like, I looove to dress up.

To see what else Jenna had to say, read more

The first year I moved back I would go out in SF and wear my best party clothes and my girlfriends were like, you’re really overdressed and I was like, “Screw it! I love this stuff.” And actually now, I’ve toned it down a bit and gotten more sporty and casual — but that’s just what’s gonna happen.

I know. I love a sequin mini skirt, with an oversized sweater, with a sky-high heel, ‘cause you can!

Do you consider yourself a New Yorker?

Totally. I mean when I say home, it’s here. My family’s still in CA. I go to visit them, but here is home. My husband and I, in our wedding vows, said we would never leave NY.

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