"Thanks!" to Cory (Co-Founder & Editor at Valet), as well as Raina, who shared the following great interview with J.Crew's CEO, Mickey Drexler, over at Valet (click here to read it in its entirety).
Shop Talk with J.Crew's Mickey DrexlerThis interview asked some fun questions. It's not everyday you see your boss riding around on a bike (& ringing the bell!) or even holding office hours for that matter. Sounds fun! :)
By Cator Sparks
March 29, 2010
I recently had the pleasure of meeting J.Crew CEO and man of the moment, Mickey Drexler in Aspen during the city's second annual fashion week. The company hosted several intimate events and the mogul was always right in the middle of the madness—meeting people, asking questions and cracking jokes. The man himself is a humble boy from the Bronx who, since his days at The Gap in the '90s, has aimed to revolutionize the way many dress. Us boys owe him a lot these days. Along with designer Frank Muytjens, he's tapped into men's love of lore, offering clothes that won't break the bank yet still hold their own against a Bastian design. I pulled him aside for a quick chat after getting the inside scoop on the guy from his co-workers, err, employees, well, let him explain... ...
I hear some people call you "the Wizard of Oz" because of your love of the intercom.
It's this paging system throughout the building and what I like about it is it makes the organization feel spontaneous and emotional. It actually started on the first day I came on board. It's just so easy if you are looking for someone. When something has to get done, it gets done quickly!
I also use it as a survey technique. Who has heard of this brand? Who is from this city where we are thinking of opening a store?
When traveling, I become the 'Roving Reporter' and get on the intercom via phone and tell everyone where I am and what I've seen. It keeps it real and breaks down barriers. That's a positive. It's part of my DNA.
Speaking of which, explain the importance of open office hours everyone talks about. Anyone can come into your office and challenge the status quo?
How many people know what can be done better in their job position? Everyone. I just got a box from UPS the other day and didn't open as easy as FedEx. So I sent a note to the CEO of UPS and said they need to improve their boxes. We should all be open to hearing what can make things better. It's what I wish my bosses would of done in the past. But sometimes I announce open hours and nobody comes in. I guess they're afraid of angering me. So I have to send out another call explaining 'I am sure someone has something to say.' Then I get the traffic flowing!
J.Crew's creative director Jenna Lyons told me that you peddle a bike around the office.
That's just fun. And seriously, it's efficient. I just do it when I get the whim. It's a Madewell bike that they showed us in a meeting and I asked to keep it. I want people to always know that I'm approachable and it makes the office much less imperial. I hate the idea of an imperial office. And I can ring my bell so people know I'm on the way to their office. ...
What are your thoughts on the article? Were there any points made that you found particularly insightful?