It’s been a year of big changes for Jenna Lyons.
After ending a 26-year run at the helm of J. Crew in April, the designer is stepping away from another relationship. Lyons, 49, and her longtime partner Courtney Crangi, 44, have split.
Lyons began dating Crangi, who is the sister and business partner of jeweler Philip Crangi, in 2011, after ending her nine-year marriage to husband, artist Vincent Mazeau. At the time, a source told PEOPLE that the designer’s budding relationship with Crangi “absolutely” did not break up the Lyons-Mazeau marriage. Mazeau and Lyons share custody of son Beckett, and Crangi has three children from a previous relationship.
Lyons and Crangi did not go public with their relationship until November 2012, when the former J.Crew president and executive director thanked her girlfriend on stage at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards. While accepting the the Fashion Original honor, she her speech by thanking “Courtney, who has shown me new love.” She also thanked her son “for reminding me that the world revolves around him every day.”
In a 2013 interview with theNew York Times, Lyons opened up about struggling with who she was as younger child and finding acceptance and love in her relationship with Crangi.
“When I was young and people judged me for things I had no control over, that was really hard, so I’m incredibly open to people doing whatever works for them,” she said. “It’s just as surprising to me as it probably is to everyone else. It certainly is strange to wake up, at 44, and look at the person next to you and think: ‘Oh! This wasn’t what I expected.’ But I don’t think love works that way, and I am O.K. with that.”
In April, Lyons, who led the creative vision at J.Crew for the past 26 years, stepped down from her position as president and executive creative director.
“It has been beyond my wildest dreams to work with such an amazing team of people at such an incredible brand and alongside Mickey—one of retail’s most talented visionaries,” Lyons said in a statement. “I am excited about the next chapter for J.Crew as well as the opportunity for other creative leaders within the organization to step up and take on new responsibilities. Having spent the better part of my life with J.Crew, I feel an immense pride and love for everyone at the company.”