Style Thoughts: The Man Who Dressed America

Mickey Drexler is a name that many people may not know, but should; there is a good chance he helped you get dressed today.

Mickey Drexler is often called the the king of retail. After getting his start at Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Ann Taylor he moved to the Gap for 18 years.

 

 Millard Drexler, was responsible for Gap Inc.'s phenomenal growth in the 1990s. He transformed "the humble discount-jeans emporium with the groovy seventies vibe and goofy jingle into an international arbiter of style and a global megabrand. He had tossed out the Gap’s product line and reinvented it from scratch, redesigned the company’s stores from floor to ceiling, and ushered in breakthrough ad campaigns, from “Individuals of Style” (Whoopi Goldberg, Spike Lee, Lorraine Bracco) to “Who Wore Khakis?” (Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Picasso). By introducing consumers to stylish-but-affordable basics—khakis, pocket tees, prewashed jeans—Drexler exploded the myth that good taste has to be expensive. He allowed the masses to look good without going broke, and in the process, he not only changed the way the world dressed and built the Gap into a $14.5 billion behemoth. It could be argued that he invented casual chic."
— Meryl Gordon, Mickey Drexler’s Redemption, New York Magazine

After leaving the Gap in 2002 Mr. Drexler was quickly hired to run J.Crew. His focus on quality details and stylish garments brought almost instant success to a flailing company.

I recently watched a captivating 2008 interview with Mr. Drexler on Charlie Rose. For me the big take away was his views on hiring and working with creative people.

Jump ahead 4 years, both Mr. Drexler and J.Crew are still leading the way. In early June CNBC profiled Mickey Drexler the man and what many would call the most hands on CEO in America.

The profile offers incredible insight on business management, creative growth, fashion, style and production. Nearly everyone I know will find something to attach to in this perfectly done piece.