What Drove Mickey Drexler Out? Retail Experts Weigh In

Mickey Drexler is considered one of the best fashion retail executives of all time due to his significant impact on the industry. In the 1990s he helped GAP rise to the top. Then, in 2003, he took over at J. Crew and the brand blew up through his strategic repositioning. Yet over the last couple of years Drexler has lost his luster and J. Crew has fallen on hard times under his leadership. Drexler struggled to adjust his business and branding model to meet the needs and desires of contemporary consumers. As a result, he was pushed into resigning and J. Crew has moved into a new era without him.

In order to establish a unique perspective on these developments, Retail TouchPoints interviewed branding, marketing and strategy experts to get their takes on the transition and their advice for Drexler’s successor, James Brett. Vivaldi CEO and Founder Erich Joachimsthaler offered his input: “In the business of fashion and apparel, CEOs make or break a brand…Mickey Drexler had the Midas touch but lost it. J. Crew has a great catalog, but high prices and disappointing quality in stores. These are points of parity in today’s ultra-high speed world of fashion retailing. You miss out on them and you are done.”

Engagement Manager Gesina Gudehus Wittern added her insight: “Drexler has always been hailed as the merchant’s son with his innate intuition for understanding what customers want and predicting best-sellers. That model worked for J. Crew for a long time. But in today’s world, where data and influencers rieng supreme, trends without context are obsolete and the whole system of how creatives and merchants work together has been turned on its head.”

Type: News