Merchant prince, Clothes without frivolity, Spartoo’s growth, Coco’s story, Quiet entrepreneurship

Mickey Drexler | Source: Bu

Lunch with the FT: Mickey Drexler (FT)
“My lunch with Millard S. Drexler, the 67-year-old chief executive of J. Crew, the American clothing brand made world famous by its First Client Michelle Obama, turns out not to be a lunch. Or to be more specific: not just a lunch. It’s lunch, followed by a short walk, a couple of emails and two phone conversations… Typically I find that chief executives of $1.7bn companies such as J. Crew… Are happy to give you the allotted hour and a half or so, then cross you off their to-do list. But Drexler, it turns out, is very consciously not that sort of chief executive.”

Readjusting Our Eye, Again (On the Runway)
“We have at the moment a strong crowd of designers not merely believing in clothes with a modern attitude but also showing us what they mean — and without turning craft into some fetishistic pile of stuff that no intelligent person would consider wanting for a second.”

Online shoe store Spartoo.com projects €100 million turnover this year (TechCrunch)
“This ‘Zappos of Europe’ was founded in France by three young entrepreneurs in 2006, and is now active in 20 countries, including United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. Today, the company revealed that its internationalization efforts have led to significant growth. In fact, Spartoo.com says it sold more than one million pairs of shoes in Europe in the first months of 2011 (the company offers about 15,000 models and 400 brands).”

Why are we so cuckoo about Coco? (FT)
“There is, it appears, an endless appetite for Chanel (and I am not talking about the quilted bags or the tweed jackets, though those are very covetable) – one that is exponentially greater than for any other fashion designer… What Chanel has that other fashion designers don’t is as basic as the little black dress: a really fantastic narrative. And if history teaches us anything, it’s that narratives – stories that can be passed on through generations – are what lasts.”

A Golden Touch Without the Glitter (NY Times)
“Rather, the shy woman with enviable rocker-messy hair who was sitting, largely unnoticed, in the NoHo restaurant the Smile on a recent sunny Friday morning is Charlotte Ronson, the clothing designer, who in the last few years has quietly and somewhat surprisingly evolved into one of the most successful retail entrepreneurs of her generation.”