Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Everyone Loves Mickey Drexler!

A new article from CNN (click here or here to read in its entirety) about J.Crew's top talent, CEO Mickey Drexler:
CEO brings new life to J. Crew
September 14, 2011

With bright colored clothing options and attention to quality, J.Crew has seen a revival in the last decade as an affordable luxury brand under the guidance of CEO Mickey Drexler.

"Do it, do it right, pay close attention to the product and over time, you will win," Drexler said, repeating the philosophy he runs the company by.

Once a catalog company for college kids, the all-American brand was recently named by First Lady Michelle Obama on The Tonight Show as a contributor to her fashion-forward wardrobe. This year also marked the first time the company showed its collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York.

With a mantra of "no profit, no fun," Drexler came to J.Crew nine years ago after an abrupt split with the Gap.

"He wanted to talk about Italian cashmere, he wanted to talk about our Italian shoes, he wanted to talk about quality," Jenna Lyons, president of J.Crew, said. "We hadn't been having those conversations."

Since his arrival, Drexler has also created kids, bridal and jewelry lines for the stores. He is also credited with inventing "casual Fridays," as his brand has changed the way Americans dress.

"J.Crew has made itself into something magical," said Cindi Leive, editor in chief of Glamour Magazine. "I know women who could afford anything in the world, and they will literally go through the J.Crew catalog and just order those outfits right off the page."

Since the company picked up Drexler, it's seen its sales triple to $1.8 billion, a fact the CEO attributes to their bold use of color.

"When you buy something like this, you're competing with 50 other retailers and half of them have it on sale," he said as he looked over pairs of cargo shorts in colors ranging from the standard khaki to lime green and purple. "Color is a competitive advantage for us."

With 233 stores nationwide and more in Canada, the company has its sights set on expanding worldwide.
So I am on board the "Mickey Drexler is Great" train. Really, I am. He does a fantastic job of replying back to customers personally, or getting one of his team members to respond quickly to customers' issues.

With all that said, the thing that struck me about this article was on quality. There is no denying that J.Crew's quality has taken a dive in the past few years alone. I checked out the Hacking Jacket in Herringbone (Item 48263; $198.00) and I could immediately tell it was thinner than years' before. The buttons felt "light" too. (This is not to say that I don't think the jacket is darling. Chances are, I will be owning one by the end of the year.) I also developed holes under my Vintage Bateau Top (Item 24484; $42.50). (I should add, that I haven't worn it that much and wash with great care.) Then there is the crooked side seams I found on both of my Drapey RĂªve Tees (Item 33579; $55.00). Where was quality control? (By the time I noticed the flaw on both tees, it was too late to return. I had already worn them, so I just kept as is. I want to add that I get a lot of compliments on them because they really are pretty.) Mini rant is over. My point is that I hope quality is still an important factor in J.Crew's merchandise. :)

The other thing I want to comment is about color. J.Crew is known for rich colors. So my message to them is to stick with it! Heather Dark Grapes and Decadent Reds are the way to go. Maybe that is why I am crushing hard on the Fall Collection. There are just to many beautiful colors to choose from. Just don't go crazy with the neons, J.Crew. ;)

What are your thoughts on the article? Any points that you found particularly interesting? If so, please share!


  1. I was just thinking yesterday that the reason I love J. Crew so much is the bright colors. I'm hoping for more chartreuse, lime green and neon brights.

  2. They forgot to mention that Mickey invented water. True story.

  3. "He wanted to talk about Italian cashmere, he wanted to talk about our Italian shoes, he wanted to talk about quality," Jenna Lyons, president of J.Crew, said. "We hadn't been having those conversations."

    The reason you weren't having those conversations dear Jenna, is because quality of the cashmere, shoes, etc. was not an issue until recently.

  4. Wow! Was the writer drinking the crewlade or what?

    I hope DL hears his own PR and bring back the quality and keep the rich colours coming ;)

    phhhhht at MH inventing Casual Friday. Puhleeese. That came about near the end of his tenure at the Gap, when the dot-com bubble burst, during the last 90s. The cool kids in California's tech industry gets the credit for that one.

  5. wow! Interesting. From a friend of mine who worked at Jcrew MD doesn't like color. true story! xoxo- lol about the invention of water!

  6. Inspired by xoxo, we reviewed some other scenes from the life of Dear Leader:
    Dear Leader invents the stripe: Look, there's a mark across that shirt. Hey, what if we put another one under it? And then another one under that? And another. And another.

    Dear Leader invents the folkloric look:
    --Sir, General Petraeus is on the phone. He has those native Afghan embroidery samples for you, and he's taught an elite unit of Rangers to embellish.
    --Tell him to hold, I'm inventing the stripe.

    Dear Leader invents the shoe:
    These socks are filthy. Why do the bottoms of the socks get so dirty? Attention. Sock bottoms are dirty! Wait, what if we put something over the part that touches the floor. Great! Order 40,000 gross, broken sizes, standard colors, all plastic. Can anyone say plastic in Italian?

    Dear Leader invents the inventory system:
    OK, all together, a-one, a-two, a-three, a-four....

  7. LOL, xoxo & WFF!

    You would think that some CNN intern could at least google 'casual Fridays' to verify the authenticity of the claim.

  8. WFF - "Can anyone say plastic in Italian?"


  9. xoxo and WFF: you're too funny! Thanks for a great laugh. "Can anyone say plastic in Italian?" - I'm going to have to quote this.

    Fun article but seriously this writer must have been drinking the crewlade.

    I must say, I do buy multiples from JC because of various colors they offer unlike other retailers. Just keep the quality up. I just won't buy high contents of synthetic blends.

  10. xoxo and WFF: Thank you both for the laugh this morning! :)

  11. xoxo & wellfedfred: Brilliant!!! Seriously, you both made me smile with your comments. ;)

  12. Too funny, you guys are killing me!


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