I first met Jenna when I was a contestant for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and she was a judge. It’s one of the most nerve-racking things you can do, to present yourself and your brand to 10 judges in 12 minutes. I’ll never forget when I walked in: I saw her, immediately made eye contact with her, and she was the one person out of all the judges who was beaming — smiling from ear to ear. I thought, Thank God. That tells you a lot about her. She’s always on your side, not just as a person but as a designer for a billion-dollar brand.
In 22 years at J. Crew, where she is now executive creative director, she has made fashion relatable. She’s allowed mothers and daughters to dress with the same kind of attitude. I buy J. Crew, my mom does, my sister does, my niece and nephew do. She understands our zeitgeist. Being fashionable doesn’t mean being trendy; it means having a sense of style. Jenna has made J. Crew more than a brand or a company — it’s a philosophy that believes in style.
Gurung, a fashion designer, launched his own collection in 2009
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