MENSWEAR’S BEST DRESSED: ALEX DREXLER OF ALEX MILL
Having never intending to fall into the same line of work as his father Mickey Drexler, (the current chairman and CEO of J.Crew Group), Alex Drexler is making his own mark in the fashion industry. When he left law school – and his then aspirations of becoming an FBI agent – behind in his early twenties, Drexler landed in the field of clothing production where he worked for fashion mogul Andrew Rosen at his women’s brand Gryphon New York. He soon took the experience and knowledge he gained from working with Rosen and launched his own clothing line, Alex Mill, in 2013. Here we talk with Drexler on his personal style and how it influences his own collection.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would describe my style as not trying too hard. I generally try to go towards a uniform. The same jeans, the same blazer, the same shirt – I don’t want to have to think about it. I have a few go-to pieces that I just naturally gravitate to in the morning, which makes it easier.
Q: Is there a specific person or thing that inspires your style?
A: I was always inspired by this idea of the uniform and guys who dress in them. The idea of wearing similar types of pieces every single day is really interesting. I like the idea of continuity and simplistic ways of living.
Q: What would you say is your uniform?
A: My uniform is usually jeans, a white t-shirt, a white shirt, and white sneakers. I like going simple.
Q: How does your personal style influence your collections for Alex Mill?
A: Well, simply put, Alex Mill is built on the idea of providing men what they need – going back to the idea of a “men’s uniform.” The same pieces that guys wear from season-to-season – like T-shirts and wovens – that aren’t necessarily following the trends of the moment is what my collection offers. My guys always want to go towards the same classic pieces that every guy has in their wardrobe. Which, like I said, is how I like to dress. Alex Mill was built off of great fabrics and patterns that make a typical woven shirt special. For me, I don’t want to make just another white woven. I have to have the best poplin with the right wash and hand feel for it to be produced. These are all important aspects of a garment that matter when you go to put on a shirt in the morning. I love spending time working on the small details for every piece to make sure that it’s just right.
Q: What are some key items from the spring ’17 collection?
A: Our garment dyed T-shirts are one of our key items for next season. There are a lot of tees out there for guys, but to find the perfect tee that fits right is really hard. It has to be the right length, super soft and offer great color options. These are all garment dyed in Los Angeles which makes them special for me this season. Another thing we’re doing is made in the USA indigo. It’s quite hard to find American-made indigo and we found this great supplier in Los Angeles that is doing great indigo tees and sweatshirts. We’re really excited to start working with them.
Q: What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A: I would say it was something Andrew Rosen said to me. He said, “Don’t forget that you will always catch more bees with honey.” It’s the idea that you can get more accomplished if you are more approachable. Being unapproachable or intimidating won’t get you as far in business.
Q: Has your father guided you at all with your business?
A: He hasn’t been that involved in my company. He comes by once in a while and I show him the line. He gives me advice as needed, but we’re doing this mostly on our own. You know, he’s got his own job.
Q; So you didn’t get the love of fashion through him?
A: I’m not really sure where I got it from actually. When I was going to law school, and throughout my life, I always loved clothing. So I guess I just naturally gravitated towards it.