Mickey Drexler

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Millard S. Drexler
Born (1944-08-17) August 17, 1944 (age 74)
Alma materUniversity at Buffalo
Boston University
OccupationBusiness executive

Millard "Mickey" S. Drexler (born August 17, 1944) is the former CEO and current Chairman of J.Crew Group and formerly the CEO of Gap Inc.[1] He was a director at Apple Inc. from 1999 to 2015.[2] He is currently Chairman of NYC based Outdoor Voices.

Early life and education[edit]

Drexler was born to Jewish parents in the Bronx, his mother died when he was 16.[3] He studied at the Bronx High School of Science, City College of New York, and University at Buffalo. He later received an M.B.A. from Boston University.[4]


In the mid-1970s, Drexler was a merchandising vice-president at Abraham & Straus in Brooklyn, New York. He has also worked at Ann Taylor, Bloomingdale's, and Macy's.[5]

Mickey Drexler was on Apple Inc’s board from 1999 until 2015.[6]

Gap Inc.[edit]

Drexler is often credited with Gap's meteoric rise during the 1990s. Until then Gap had been a relatively small chain selling private and public brands. Under Drexler the company made a dramatic shift to private label brand merchandise and expanded rapidly to become an iconic part of 1990s pop culture. Television advertisements featuring songs such as "Mellow Yellow" and "Dress You Up in My Love" showcased the relaxed American casual look that defined the Gap brand.[7][8] On May 22, 2002, however due to a sales slump and ballooning debt, plus his management style which clashed with the Fisher family, Drexler was abruptly forced to announce his retirement by Gap founder Donald Fisher. Drexler stayed on as CEO until September 26, 2002 when Paul Pressler was named as his successor. Drexler was bitter about his ouster and he was vindicated when sales rebounded one month after his departure.[9]

J.Crew Group[edit]

The J.Crew Group, an American clothing and accessories retailer based in New York City, was founded in 1983 with the launch of its catalog and expanded into brick-and-mortar retailing in 1989 with its first store at the South Street Seaport in New York City. J. Crew hired Drexler in 2003 after his abrupt departure from Gap. Drexler has sought in his role of CEO to reposition the J. Crew brand as a truly upscale boutique. What was once a low-priced, American, dressy-casual brand became more an upscale, dressy-vintage American brand with "frills included".[citation needed] On June 5, 2017, it was announced that Drexler would step aside as chief executive. He had been unable to stop a several year slide as consumer tastes changed.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

Drexler has made a guest appearance in an episode of the AMC drama Breaking Bad called Confessions, in which he plays a car wash customer. Drexler said his scene took nine takes to film.[11]


  1. ^ Edelson, Sharon (29 January 2014). "Millard 'Mickey' Drexler Talks Price, Creativity, Career". WWD. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  2. ^ Wakabayashi Daisuke (22 January 2015). "Jobs Confidant Drexler to Leave Apple's Board". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  3. ^ Laura M. Holson (Feb 4, 2015). "At Madewell, Mickey Drexler's Third Act". New York Times.
  4. ^ "Mickey Drexler". businessoffashion.com. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  5. ^ Nick Paumgarten (September 20, 2010). "The Merchant". The New Yorker.
  6. ^ "The Apple board member who helped design its retail stores is retiring". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Gap, Inc. - Falling into the Gap, New Stores, New Leader". www.referenceforbusiness.com. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  8. ^ "VIDEO: Mickey Drexler, Chairman and CEO of J.Crew, on Leading the Clothing Retail Giant - Ladybrille® Magazine". Ladybrille® Magazine. 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  9. ^ "Mickey Drexler's Redemption". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2002-11-22.
  10. ^ Drexler out as chief exectutive NYTimes, June 5, 2017
  11. ^ Moin, David (August 28, 2013). "Mickey Drexler Makes Cameo on 'Breaking Bad'". wwd.com. Retrieved August 28, 2013.

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