“The Bigger You Get, the Smaller You Act”: How a Downtown Liquor Store Supercharged J.Crew’s Menswear Boom

Mickey Drexler was a born shopkeeper. The C.E.O of J.Crew from 2003 to 2017, he ran a massive American retailer like a merchant behind the counter of his own mom-n-pop, quizzing his customers face-to-face, forever juiced by the energy of the sales floor. To him, stores were the whole point. So around 2007, he was irked. At his bidding, J.Crew had executed a complete 180 on its peppy, preppy navy-blue-blazer menswear look. Mickey was betting big on the “lumbersexual” look of the day—dark, cuffed denim; “heritage” Red Wings. Yet he did not have a shop in which to feature it.  Sure, most J.Crew stores carried men’s clothes, but womenswear—the cash cow that accounted for some 80 percent of their sales—got pride of place. The men’s department got the dregs, hidden away downstairs or tucked in the back. Read more at GQ