I first learned of Olympia Gayot, J.Crew’s head of women’s design, through TikTok. No, not her own account, but a viral video by Caitlin Murphy, who said she hasn’t “felt this passionate about J.Crew since the Jenna Lyons days” and described Gayot as the “new fashion icon we all need to know.” Hundreds of TikTokers agreed and geeked out on Gayot’s personal style in the comments section. “Same I haven’t gone in 5 years and now I’m checking their website every week,” one comment read. Now if that isn’t proof that Gayot is doing something right at J.Crew, I don’t know what is.
Naturally, I jumped at the chance to interview Gayot herself and get her expert insight on the best summer 2022 trends to try right now. Scroll down to see how she personally styles the trends on Instagram and shop the J.Crew pieces she’s loving.
“Denim on denim is always a staple for me, all seasons,” Gayot told Who What Wear. “Slight proportion shifts and interesting accessories can really pop on a denim-on-denim look. I love our denim chore jacket and the ’90s classic straight jeans in white. (Insider tip: I buy the jeans in ‘tall’ to get the extra few inches to wear with little heels. They also make your legs look long that way!) Pairing white with black or colored accessories adds a sharpness to the look. Plus, denim and gold look great together, so I’m always layering up my gold jewelry like cuffs and rings to add some dimension to the look.”
“One of my go-to summer outfits is a striped shirt, linen shorts, and gladiator sandals, paired with a straw bag and gold jewelry,” Gayot told me. “This outfit exudes effortless style, but is also classic and is so easy to style.”
“One of my favorite pieces right now is the Cadiz hand-knotted rope tote in Tea Rose that I use quite frequently and can pair with so many outfits. Honestly, I have this bag in multiple colors. It looks good with everything.”
“The whole point of classics is that they will never go out of style, and J.Crew is synonymous with pieces that you will wear season after season, every year. The design team is constantly refining the classics to make sure the proportions feel modern. Clothes do have personality if you can believe it, and these small tweaks can make a big difference.”
“For example,” she continued, “giving the relaxed-fit shirt just the amount of oversized shape that it reads cool but still flattering for example is something we work on constantly, and makes all of the difference in your experience of wearing it. Also taking a classic fabric like linen and putting it in a bloomer shape gives new life to a very iconic Coastal Grandmother fabric.”
“Overall, I’m loving denim for the summer,” Gayot told Who What Wear. “Mid-length denim shorts are such a versatile item in my summer wardrobe and feel fresh again even though they’ve actually been around for decades. They give that effortless sensibility that is both comfortable and cool. I pair them with little strappy heels and a summer blouse for that ’70s casual femme chic look.”
“Summer is the perfect time of year to go for a pop of color if you’re not otherwise inclined, and our summer collection has some very special bold hues. Incorporating bright colors into your outfits is one of the easiest ways to bring in a fresh perspective and create that wow factor. I particularly like to play with simple shapes in bright colors. The impact is strong. I also love to layer shades of the same color family together.
“I wear our cupro tea rose slip constantly. I have different sweaters and cardigans I wear with it—thrown over my shoulders, around my waist, and even with my favorite trench coat in the rain. The simplicity of the shape and the impact of the color gives an effortless yet emotional feeling. I also love our cupro suit in chartreuse which just launched. The silhouette is so effortless but strong, and the color is extremely unique. I wore it to an event last week and I felt great in it.”