J. Crew's famous creative director is leaving the brand after 26 years

Jenna Lyons is leaving J. Crew after more than two decades with the company, Business of Fashion reported Monday.

Lyons, who joined the company in 1990 and became creative director in 2008, is often credited with much of the retailer’s early success.

She became the face of the company and was known for her signature geek-chic look, epitomized by her wide-rimmed black glasses. Much of the brand’s style mirrored her personal look.

But at the end of 2013, J. Crew profits declined 42%, and the company suffered a net loss of $US657.8 million in 2014. Allegedly things turned sour for Lyons.

Page Six reported that J. Crew had asked Lyons to cut down her self-promotion, attributing low sales to her celebrity status.

A J. Crew spokesperson told the website that “this [was] completely inaccurate and couldn’t be farther from reality.”

Some customers criticised her for J. Crew’s unaffordable products.

In 2015, writer Tricia Louvar wrote an open letter to Lyons on The Hairpin, prefacing it with “you are pretty dope,” but stating that all dopeness aside, the clothes J. Crew was selling were unaffordable and not practical. “If only I, an ordinary mother on a modest income, could afford to wear a $US400 cashmere skirt, silk barely-there blouse and belt to a one-time business-casual event,” she wrote.

Customers also complained about ill-fitting cashmere sweaters and allegedly poor quality.

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