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Jenna Lyons: Remember your manners

Jenna Lyons: Remember your manners

Jenna Lyons prefers old-school job applications to emails.

The US designer has helmed J. Crew since 2008, becoming president of the brand in 2010. Last year she starred as Lena Dunham's boss in show Girls, and when it comes to impressing her in the workplace, Jenna says traditional ways are best.

"Send me some of your work or a nice letter, and tell me why you're interested in working here. Don't send me an email... You have to be old-school. Be professional," Jenna told

"The person who makes herself indispensable, that's the person you want to promote. But when someone comes in and starts asking - it's such a disease. You're not going to get there just because you think you're ready or because someone else got promoted. We don't sit here and create a scale where we carefully ratchet everyone up evenly. Because if that were the case, we'd all be drones. No one is a drone... You are you."

Jenna's J. Crew career began when she was 21, landing a job at the brand straight out of prestigious design school Parsons.

She started as an assistant designer in menswear, and Jenna learnt valuable lessons from that time.

"The thing I think is most important for young people to know is that today there's this idea of having everything quickly, that you're going to walk in the door, be a designer, and not have to do any of the grunt work. It's just not realistic. The things you don't learn in school are the skills you probably need more: what it's like to work with other people, how you build a team and collaborate," she said.

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