The Mazeaus, Park Slope
Fri Oct 24 2008
Photograph: Sophia Wallace
One month before their son was born, Jenna Lyons and artist Vincent Mazeau moved from Manhattan to—wait for it—Park Slope. The creative director of clothing brand J.Crew, Lyons was a pivotal force in the development of Crewcuts, its line of children's wear.
How does having both parents in creative fields affect Becket?
JL Right now, he's obsessed with drawing little dots that look like flies. He holds the pen like an adult, which looks hilarious, and his drawings are a little Cy Twombly--ish. But I have no desire for him to go into the arts.
VM Are you kidding? I want him to be my studio assistant. [Laughs] We painted one wall in his room with chalkboard paint; we let him draw whatever he wants on it. And we bought him a pad of newsprint paper that you would use in life-drawing. It's as big as he is, so that he isn't restricted. We want him to be able to get down on the floor and appreciate larger gestures.
What changes have you made to accommodate parenthood?
JL I've made my day much tighter. I don't eat lunch anymore, so I can get out and get home. And we knew we needed help, so we have a nanny.
VM I moved my studio out of Manhattan to within a five-minute bicycle ride along the Gowanus. And I was able to take time off when Becket was born, so that Jenna and I had maternity leave together. If I could tell prospective fathers one thing, it's that if at all possible, take that time—at least the first month.
What do you like about your neighborhood?
JL I love that we can just hop over the bridge and we're downtown. We have access to everything that I dreamed of as a little kid living in the California suburbs.
On weekends, Becket's totally engaged with the hustle and bustle in Manhattan. And when we're home, there's a giant park two blocks away, and he has his own room and a backyard. Plus, we bump into friends on the street and spontaneously go to brunch.
Jenna, Crewcuts was relaunched when you were pregnant with Becket. Coincidence?
JL You see kids' clothes through totally different eyes when you're about to have a child. I felt like there was a lot of great high-end clothing for kids out there, but there really wasn't much that was well designed, well priced and not completely bubble-gummy. Most companies were looking at kids as kids, not as little adults. And I think there's a way to make kids' clothes that feel a bit more sophisticated.
What's in Becket's closet?
JL I pretty much have one of everything from Crewcuts at this point. If I find something I like for him, I buy it in multiple sizes so he can wear it in the future. I've bought things for him that he won't be able to wear until he's ten. When he was an infant, I got him a lot of Nature Baby, Trico Field, and Flora and Henri.
VM I bought him a T-shirt from the surf shop I used to live above in Babylon. We have matching pairs of black-and-white Converse. But it's totally Jenna's department. She dresses me, too....Kidding!"