Even Jenna Lyons Is Surprised That Birkenstocks Are Back

jenna-lyonsPhoto: Courtesy of J.Crew.
Jenna Lyons is one of the greatest champions of offbeat styling with a tomboy edge, but one specific trend has really gotten her attention. (Spoiler alert: It's those Birks.) At yesterday's launch of the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund winners' collection, we talked with the J.Crew executive creative director and president about our current obsession with comfy casual wear, and her brand's take on bringing menswear to the (female) masses.
"The idea that you'd wear sweatpants and tennis shoes to the office two years ago wouldn't have happened, but everyone in the [J.Crew] office is wearing tennis shoes. I mean, we have Birkenstocks!," Lyons told us. "We have white Birkenstocks. I would have never expected."
Still, she added, menswear is "something we've talked about since I've been at J.Crew…which is a really long time." In light of the company's new looks from erstwhile menswear label Public School (she's shown here with designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne), Lyons shared her take on bringing masculine silhouettes into the women's section. "It's nice, because of the casualness of it. It still feels clean. It's not about casual Fridays [in] a T-shirt and chinos; it's more about taking something that's casual and [making] it different." And, while you can certainly pick up tailored trousers and tees from the brand that grants wishes, the CFDA collaboration takes those concepts a bit further, with Public School's sleek, tailored sweatpants and a Juan Carlos Obando jumpsuit that's part denim, part so silky you'd gladly wear it to bed.
Even if — fashion forecaster that she is — Lyons didn't see those camp sandals coming back in such a major way, she must appreciate the fury with which they're flying off her stores' shelves. We'll say it: "ugly" shoes strike again.
Psst! Be sure to shop the whole J.Crew/Vogue Fashion Fund winners' collections — including designs from Public School, Juan Carlos Obando, and Marc Alary — when they become available in select stores this Monday, June 16.

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