6 months ago
J. Crew is losing the leader of its crew.
Mickey Drexler, the long-time CEO of J. Crew, announced Monday that he will be stepping down. The latest of several iconic leaders from the company to leave, the preppy fashion label is sure to change in Drexler’s absence.
J. Crew has reported a drop in sales for the last two years and announced last month that it was getting rid of 150 full-time and 100 open positions.
During his 14-year run of leadership, Drexler (with the help of Frank Muytjens) reshaped menswear, bridging the divide between snobby sartorialists and less-fashion conscious young professionals. Baggy and rugged was traded in for a sharp, tailored look even in the most casual settings.
“In the mid-aughts, J. Crew cracked the code of all-day dressing for the ‘creative class’ by combining the formal with the informal,” Joshua Rothman recently wrote in the New Yorker.
Yet, even Drexler (known for his prior turnarounds at Gap and Ann Taylor) couldn’t help J. Crew pivot with the shift from prep to athleisure. Opting for higher-priced fashion instead, Business of Fashion reports the brand accrued $2.1 billion in debt as of 2017.
Jim Brett, the former president of West Elm, is set to be Drexler’s replacement.