Jenna Lyons has returned to the world of design with a collection for Mejuri made to mark International Women’s Day.
The former J. Crew creative director and the direct-to-consumer Millennial jeweler have collaborated on two signet ring designs and a chain that they can be strung on. Prices range from $125 for a vermeil ring to $595 for the 14-karat version. The collection will become available for sale on Feb. 21, with $5 from each sale donated to Mejuri’s Empowerment Fund.
While Lyons has taken an extended break from product-focused fashion design, she said she’s kept busy. “I don’t feel like I ever left! I may not be working in fashion directly — but every project I am currently working on is design-focused,” Lyons told WWD.
She continued: “Launching my faux lash brand LoveSeen has been a labor of love. I painstakingly worked on the design and development of the lashes themselves — the packaging, the voice and the image. I am also working on a Hotel project in the Bahamas, which has been incredibly hands-on and deeply creative. The development of the HBO MAX show, ‘Stylish with Jenna Lyons,’ was also one of the most creative projects I have experienced. I also designed a line of furniture for Roll & Hill and.…I have been working on the Expert, an interior design platform that allows clients to book time with you for an hour at a time: everything from full-house projects to just helping work though a furniture layout.”
Lyons said working with Mejuri, after learning about the brand from her goddaughter, “has just been an overall incredible partnership. I never really heard young women talk about how much they loved a brand of jewelry: specifically, fine jewelry [until Mejuri].
She feels the company has initiated a larger paradigm shift. “Culturally, we are told that the man is supposed to buy you diamonds — that jewelry is a gift — but the founders of Mejuri wanted to make fine jewelry specifically designed for women to purchase for themselves,” said Lyons. “They wanted to make women feel like the store was for them. Designed for them. Priced for them. Shown the way they might wear the jewelry every day. They have made it their mission to promote and support women — and they show up.”
Lyons also stars in Mejuri’s International Women’s Day collection to coincide with the launch of her designs. She is featured alongside Tommy Dorfman, Allyson Felix and Noor Tagouri with photos captured by Cass Bird.
“When we were discussing casting for this project, we discussed working with Tommy Dorfman. There was no hesitation to work with a trans woman. It’s one thing to say you are “inclusive,“ it’s another to really show up. I am so proud to work with the team at Mejuri. And trust me — I am not an easy critic,” Lyons said of the campaign experience.
Mejuri co-founder and chief executive officer Noura Sakkijha said of the collection and campaign: “My goal is for us to continue to raise the bar and work with our community to see how we can actually make a difference to them. Nurturing a dialogue with them and hearing what they want from us is the only way we can evolve our celebration of International Women’s Day.”
So are more blue-chip design collaborations on the brand’s horizon? “Absolutely,” said Sakkijha. “We built the brand on empowering women and redefining the jewelry industry, and because of that, we want to tell stories about other individuals who have done the same, providing space and platforming our community and the women who support the brand as much as possible.”
Speaking of Lyons’ beauty project, LoveSeen — the line of cruelty-free fake eyelashes has expanded. A brand extension called Featherlift entered Target stores this week. The packaging components are either biodegradable or made from postconsumer recycled materials. The brand’s assortment at Target has 15 stock keeping units, 12 lash styles and three accessories, which range in price from $15.99 to $29.49.
“I learned a lot from my previous life about listening to your customer and getting feedback, and the feedback we get is interesting, it’s not just about lashes,” Lyons said, adding that sustainability bubbled up in most recent business conversations.
The brand wasn’t immune to pandemic-induced headwinds in cosmetics, but Lyons is encouraged by consumer behavior online, where she also keeps tabs on consumer feedback. “We’ve had a lot of incredible moments and wins, and it’s also been really hard. We launched the business in the middle of a pandemic, while people were canceling weddings and not going on dates. There was less motivation to get dolled up,” she said.
“There are all sorts of things we’re really paying attention to and really letting the customer give us feedback in the world of Instagram and TikTok where people contact you directly. I’ve never had that as an option,” she added.
Part of raising her brand’s awareness, though, was going into brick-and-mortar. “You never really know what you’re looking at online and what a product really is, especially if you’re a new brand,” Lyons said. “The landscape of the way people are shopping is different, and I do think there’s value in looking at something and holding it in your hand. Being in-person was a huge thing for us.”
Lyons expects her lashes to appeal universally and are marketed to men and women, for example. “It’s amazing to me how many people tell themselves that they can’t do something before they’ve tried it,” she said. “I probably sat on the same side of that coin prior, but partially because I hadn’t found anything in the market that really worked for me.”