At Home With Jenna Lyons

Step inside the oh-so-cool New York loft of fashion icon and entrepreneur, Jenna Lyons.

Jenna Lyons knows style. Since her days as president and creative director of American label J.Crew, Lyons has inspired women to adapt her je ne sais quois approach to dressing, be it mixing the unexpected pieces to achieve a relaxed yet polished aesthetic, to rocking her slicked back signature do’ and chunky eyeglasses.

Now, fresh from her season debut on the reboot of The Real Housewives of New York City and making history as the first openly gay star, the founder and CEO of LoveSeen lashes (available at Mecca) tells marie claire how her unexpected return to television came to be.

“I never in a million years would have considered going on the Real Housewives,” Lyons explains.

“Someone told me that I wasn’t doing enough to support the gay community. So I went on a podcast and was asked if I’d ever consider being part of the reboot of the Real Housewives and I was like, ‘sure!’, and they photoshopped me into the lineup with all the women that were currently on the show and then they posted it, and I forwarded Andy Cohen who I know and he wrote back, he’s like, this is actually not a bad idea. It was like mine, and it wasn’t a joke. It was a total joke. It was like, just for fun.”

“About 10 months later, I got a call from the casting agent saying. At the same time, Loveseen, my brand of eyelashes, was selling very well in Target (available at Mecca in Australia) in certain cities across the United States and not so well in others where I wasn’t as well known and Target was coming to us and saying how can we get the news of the world out there who you are across the country? And I was like, I can’t afford a national marketing campaign. And then in the back of my mind I thought of the Housewives thing, even though I hadn’t really considered it. It just kind of worked out!”

As well as Lyons, fans across the world have fallen in love with her chic Soho loft, which—no surprises here—is a living expression of her eccentric charm and enviable approach to design— and just like her style, you’ll want a piece of it.

The 3500-square-foot-loft on the fourth floor of a 19th century cast-iron building in Soho was purchased in 2015. Lyons enlisted architect Gray Davis of Meyer Davis Studio to redesign the space, a two-year-long project that resulted in the home of her dreams, complete with a walk-in wardrobe boasting floor to ceiling displayed shoe storage and Lyon’s favourite room, her particularly spacious bathroom.

Image: Supplied.

“I really do love my bathroom,” she says. “It is connected to the bedroom so it feels like an all-in-one space that’s a bit of a respite, it’s very cosy and very personal.”

Echoing her approach to style, Lyon’s interior design process was all about the vibes.

“I really enjoy things that are unexpected, like my bathroom is enormous and I have a very open closet and brass counters. Most of the design choices in my apartment are just sort of unusual, which works for me,” she explains.

Admitting her own personal approach to design is “eclectic maximalism”, Lyons’ personal oasis is filled with treasures from her past and travels, from sentimental items made by her son Beckett, to an original piece by Cy Twombly.

“I love beautiful things and I have always really been attracted to bits and bobs that have meaning,” Lyons explains to marie claire of her approach to decorating. “I love things that are weird, crowns, and art—I can’t help myself!”

Among Lyon’s prized pieces in her space, is one item of clothing she keeps on display, that might look familiar. “I wore this feathered white skirt to Solange Knowles’ wedding with a little fur coat and white shirt, and the photo of me in it ended up more famous than I am,” Lyons laughs. “I also wore it to my first Met Gala and I just love it. Even though it costs $800 to dry clean.”

Lyons first moved to New York from California for college at the age of 18, and from that moment she knew this electrifying city was to be her home.

“I grew up in California, where everyone looked the same; tan, toned, blonde and had big boobs, and I was none of those things. I never really felt pretty, I never felt interesting until I came here,”  Lyons confesses.

“California was such vanilla landscape with not much diversity, like I’d never met a gay person until I moved to New York. Since then, my world has opened up, and I’ve found that this is a much more interesting place to be.”

Inside Jenna Lyons’ New York (SoHo) Apartment:

On the rooftop. Image: Bravo/YouTube
Her maximalist kitchen. Image: Bravo/YouTube
A perfect nook to read. Image: Bravo/YouTube
The shoes! Image: Bravo/YouTube

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