E!: Which challenge would you have considered the hardest if you were an associate?
JL: I think shopping in the vintage store. Not having seen the space would have been the hardest. You don’t have a sense of scale. You can see pictures of a room but you have no idea how big it is, where the light is oriented, what the other things are around it. That was by far the hardest and it was also the most telling.
E!: Were you nervous for what your fashion industry peers would say about the show?
JL: Yes, for sure. I really remember a distinct moment where one of the first people who called me after I decided to leave J. Crew was Anna Wintour and she said, “Come have lunch with me” and we sat across and I was like, “What am I going to do?” I was scared. I had made the decision and I felt it was the right decision but I also had no clue what was next. And she’s like, “I think you should do TV” and I was like, “What!?” She obviously saw something in there. I feel less guarded now than I did before. I’ve seen a lot of people take risks and do things that maybe I would have been scared to do. I’m no longer connected to a big brand, it’s just me, and I don’t feel as guarded about making mistakes.
E!: Kyle and Sarah are so much fun to watch. Why did you choose them for your team?
JL: There are professional reasons and there are personal reasons. Sarah, when I was gone from J. Crew, she was one of the nicest, kindest, most gentle supporters. She reached out all the time. There’s something about that connectivity, that tender heart that felt really important to me. And on top of that she’s literally a wizard. I’ve never seen a woman shop like she can, especially in the pandemic. She’ll go onto a website and she’ll pull something off that I’m like, “That looks so ugly.” And then it’ll arrive and like, the girl is a magician. She puts the most bizarre combinations together that look brilliant that I wouldn’t do.
And then Kyle, same thing. When I worked with him at J. Crew, he was one of the most bright, shining stars. I always remember those people who make you smile when you see them in the hallway, your heart gets bigger. He’s that person and he was just so warm. I felt like if I was going to have someone be the nexus of all my different projects, I knew he would be such a good partner in that way. And on top of that he’s whip smart and he’s funny as s–t. He has really good instincts and he’s warm.