It goes without saying that J.Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons has taken the iconic company from granola ladies who lunch to power girls in cardigans and pearls. So when the notoriously unedited face of the brand faced Oprah and Nail PolishGate earlier this year and came out unscathed, I breathed a happy sigh of relief (how dare conservatives even suggest that painting your son’s toenails will make him gay!).
Unfortunately, the conservatives might have been on to something. While Lyon’s son has yet to declare his rainbow flag affiliation, she’s managed to dash my dreams of the perfect Brooklyn (hetero) marriage complete with an artfully crafted townhouse built for two.
According to Page Six, Lyons is mired in a messy divorce complete with another woman — as in HER woman. While details are hazy on her exact identity (though papers identify her as working in the fashion industry too), it does beg the question as to how a family-friendly company like J.Crew is supposed to handle this romantic about-face.
As someone that actively documents her personal life for their newsletters and catalog pages, ignoring Lyons’ new same-sex relationship would certainly ring false to her many legions of fans. On the other hand, J.Crew has never blatantly said they were for or against gay rights either way (happily, a recent J.Crew catalog shoot with an employee and his boyfriend adds some subtle clarity).
It seems obvious that J.Crew will eventually have to pick a platform or comment on the scandal if they hope to save face. (I mean, it’s not like Lyon’s husband hasn’t appeared in J.Crew stuff as well — you can’t just photoshop him out and add the new girlfriend without creating some context beyond “Mommy’s ‘special’ friend Kathy”).
My suggestion? Ease Lyons out of the spotlight for awhile, start a different campaign and just let her focus on her personal business. Trust me, change isn’t necessarily a bad thing…as long as it doesn’t involve a return to corduroy barn coats and striped rugbys.
Bottomline: The lady may be out of the closet, but I still enjoy hanging out in hers no matter who she’s shacking up with.