Tag Archives: Mickey Drexler

The JCR Girls featured in Fast Company!

LOOK! There we are right alongside our girl Jenna.
Now we can die happy.

Jenna Lyons | The JCR Girls | J. Crew Blog

Here it is:

HOW JENNA LYONS TRANSFORMED J.CREW INTO A CULT BRAND

See how Jenna Lyons has take J. Crew from ugly duckling to fashion arbiter

BY DANIELLE SACKS

It’s truly an enriching read (and not just because we made a minor cameo)! For any die hard J. Crew fan, the backstory of how the brand rose to cult-stardom (Hint: Mickey + Jenna), never gets old. This article is unique because it provides a fresh, up-to-date perspective on how Jenna and the J. Crew Inc. team collaborates to bring us the pieces we lust after season after season. Below you’ll find excerpts containing our favorite quotes from the article, but be sure to read it in its entirety here.


Quotables:

“The industrial windows stretch up and up, like Lyons’s legs, which are punctuated by a pair of metallic, sparkled 3-inch stilettos.”

 

 

“Since her coronation as creative head of J.Crew in 2008, the company once known for its preppy Nantucket ancestry has become a force in fashion, with Lyons at the center of its evolution.”

 

 

“She has created a high-low look that reflects her own boy-girl style–androgyny with some sequins and a dash of nerdy glasses.”

 

 

“…the cult of J.Crew has blossomed like a CMO’s fantasy, with fashion blogs wholly devoted to the brand (fromJCrewIsMyFavStore to TheJCRGirls) and a fan base that includes Michelle Obama and Anna Wintour.”

 

 

“He pulled me into a room and said, ‘So, just want to let you know you’re the president.’ I was like, uh, okay. Alrighty then.”

 

 

“Not since Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive at Apple has a creative pairing been as intriguing and fruitful as that of Drexler and Lyons.”

 

“In Lyons, Drexler has found a partner to create both an ethos of mutual support for creative risk-taking and a unified aesthetic that suffuses the company and is spreading through the culture at large.”

 

“J. Crew employees reveal themselves by the nakedness of their ankles. It’s as if the company’s uniform, ambiently dictated by Lyons, is enforced only from the knees down.”

“At this stage, I’m like a glorified crossing guard,” says Lyons. “It’s like, try to keep people motivated, keep the traffic moving, keep people from getting stumped or stopped by a problem.”

 

“I searched for ways to make things more beautiful and surrounded myself with beautiful things because I didn’t feel that in myself”

 

“Feeling like I never wanted to rely on a man, I was like, I gotta work my ass off.”

 

“Lyons said she hated it, but it was a million-dollar seller. Drexler told her to drop it on the floor.”

 

“Honestly, I think it was because I didn’t bullshit him,” says Lyons. “His bullshit-dar is insane.”

 

“The reimagined catalog supports the idea of J.Crew as tastemaker, with multipage stories packaged around trends, such as “The Italian Shoe Collection: Designed in New York. Made in Italy” for some fancy leather flats.”

 

“The design team saw no point in trying to re-create, say, a beautiful handcrafted leather boot, when a Minnesota company called Red Wing had been doing it for more than 100 years.”

 

“Drexler’s mouth is an engine that never stops, and his irrepressible effusiveness defeats any attempts at self-censorship.”

 

“If Jenna wasn’t there,” says a former employee, “J.Crew would be really good, but it would not be great.”

 

“Mickey has given her enough runway so she can really make of it what she wants,” he says. “They should just call it Jenna Crew.”

That’s not all!
Here’s a unique opportunity to take a 360° Virtual tour of Jenna Lyons’ office!

Mickey Drexler

I still have a copy of the August 2008 FORTUNE magazine featuring Mr. Mickey Drexler front and slightly off-center. They called him the King of Cool. He graced the cover sporting a more-than-slightly disheveled button down and thick, clear plastic glasses. But I didn’t save this one for fashion inspiration. Instead, I devoured his retailing strategy and advice provided in the middle of the magazine and clung to this issue for business inspiration. At the time I was an aspiring entrepreneur wanting to give the retail world a go. That scary place Mickey appropriately criticized, saying:

“I have a few issues about where our business is going. American fashion is not doing what we need to do. Our industry doesn’t inspire customers today.”

This article, however, inspired me. As a loyal J. Crew shopper and businesswoman wanna-be, I knew Mickey’s vision was something to keep in sight.

Mickey Drexler | J. Crew King of Cool

Time went by and my fascination with the J. Crew brand and the man behind it didn’t diminish. I learned more about the lad, including the vitals: Millard (Mickey) Drexler. Born in the Bronx, MBA from Boston U, with senior leadership retail roles at Gap, Apple, Ann Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s. Oh, and this other one called J. Crew.

So, when CNBC’s Mickey Drexler Documentary debuted last May, we were on it like a Black Friday Factory Sale. Come tune-in time, the JCR Girls were poised and ready—not just planted on the couch with undivided attention to the screen; but camped out, eyes glued, fingers ready to live-tweet the shit outta this thing. And that we did. We (Martha & Jocelyn) watched the J. Crew documentary not once, but twice during the week it debuted. Designating the hashtag #JCrewDocu, we literally squealed over lessons learned from Mr. Drexler himself. And we took to twitter to share this joy with ravenous J. Crew fiends all over the world.

In cased you missed it, we can tease you with this trailer:

Fave Tweets from the #JCrewDocu:


So what do we have to look forward to now?

J. Crew + Warby Parker, that’s what. “Now the three-year-old start-up can count Millard S. Drexler, the chief executive of J. Crew, and American Express as participants in its latest round of financing, which closed last month at $41.5 million” according to MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED in Dealbook, “The company has drawn the attention of investors who hope it is less an e-commerce platform and more a brand poised to become the next Tory Burch.” Merced adds, “…Mr. Drexler, whose successes at Gap and then J. Crew have elevated him to a wise man of retail. He began having regular lunches with Warby Parker’s founders to chat about their retail ideas.”

…What’s a girl gotta do to land a lunch with you, Mickey? How about Pulino’s pizzeria New York, noon on Sept. 23, 2013? What do ya say?
 

We’ve also received word that Mickey has been in contact via email with some other J. Crew lovers out there. So we ask you, JCR Girls, if we were to draft a crowd-sourced email (hint: you’re our crowd) what should we ask him? Besides thanking him for dressing America {for which we’re eternally grateful} my suggestions would be along the lines of “Jenna, Bring These Back!” Since we’re still waiting to hear back from our gal Jenna…what type of feedback should we provide? Let us know in the comments below, or email us directly,  JCrewReview {at} g mail.

 

-MM

Appendix A: Recommended Reading
This is a good one; Oh, and this too.

 

J.Crew and the Man Who Dressed America

Words cannot express how wonderful this documentary is. So instead of writing a recap, reaction or really long analysis of everything this documentary meant to J. Crew lovers around the world, I will demonstrate through our favorite tweets:

 

What did you think of “J. Crew and the Man Who Dressed America?” Leave your comment below of tweet us @JCrewReview #JCrewDocu!