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Alexander Drexler is getting into the family business with the launch of his men’s and boys’ label Alex Mill.
This story first appeared in the March 14, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Drexler is the son of J. Crew Group Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Millard “Mickey” Drexler, which makes for some big shoes to fill. The younger Drexler is starting small, with a focused assortment of casual woven shirts, T-shirts and denim for his first fall line. He is working full-time on the project from an office and showroom at 368 Broadway in Manhattan.
Drexler has worked under the radar in the fashion industry for the past decade, holding production positions at Gryphon and Steven Alan. He’s stepping into the spotlight somewhat reluctantly with the launch of Alex Mill and he declined to be interviewed about the business, demurring publicity until the company is better established. He was persuaded to share a look book, with the stipulation that no photos be published. Fittingly, one page of the look book with a matching men’s and boy’s look bears the tag line “Like father, like son.”
The fall lineup encompasses casual shirts in plaid, striped, solid and chambray fabrics. Jeans come in a range of classic vintage-wash styles, from dark indigo to a pale, faded sky blue. Garment-dyed T-shirts, striped crewnecks and a sweatshirt round out the offerings. Priced to retail from $55 to $195, the low-key designs have been picked up for fall by a handful of stores in the U.S. and Japan, including Barneys New York, Odin, Unionmade and United Arrows.
The look book images portray the product styled in an artfully disheveled manner, with knit beanies coordinated with some looks. The overall effect is of laid-back staples for the guy who appreciates subtle design details — like a carefully frayed shirt hem — but isn’t overly concerned with fashion trends. The boys’ Alex Mill designs look similar to the men’s line, with plaid and gingham shirts, T-shirts and jeans shrunk down to smaller sizes.
“We liked the line. It has some really interesting fabrics and nice details like different buttons and triple-stitch details on some of the shirts. It’s very affordable and approachable for most guys,” said Eddy Chai, cofounder of Odin, which operates three New York stores and an e-commerce site. “Obviously, he’s Mickey Drexler’s son but as much as I respect what his father’s done, that wouldn’t make any difference to me on whether I picked up the line or not. It has to have merit on its own.”