J. Crew's Creative Director Jenna Lyons Stepping Down

By Tonya Garcia Markets MarketWatch Pulse

J. Crew's creative director and president Jenna Lyons is stepping down from her post, according to The Wall Street Journal. Lyons, who has been with the company for 26 years and is second in command after Chief Executive Mickey Drexler, will stay on with the company as a consultant until her contract expires in December. Somsack Sikhounmuong, J. Crew's head of women's design, will become chief design officer, though Lyons will not be replaced. Sikhounmuong, who has been with the company since 2001, has also overseen J. Crew's Madewell label. Lyons became a fashion icon and J. Crew, a trendsetting label, under her leadership. The brand has struggled with sliding sales of late, with revenue decreasing to $572.6 million in the fiscal fourth quarter from $604.5 million last year. Madewell's revenue grew to $102.9 million from $92.5 million year-over-year. Moody's downgraded J.Crew to Caa3 from Caa2 at the end of March due to concerns about its debt level and its ability to return to growth. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF is down nearly 10% for the last year while the S&P 500 index is up 13.4% for the same period.

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