Mickey Drexler Says Relax About Those J.Crew Mercantile Rumors

Millard "Mickey" S. Drexler, chief executive officer of J.Crew Group Inc., poses for a photograph in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. J. Crew, the apparel retailer whose customers include U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, is planning its first Asian store in Hong Kong targeting tourists from mainland China that totaled 28 million last year. Photographer: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg via Getty Images Photo: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg via Getty Images

J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler dampened our hopes just a little today when he told WWD that his company bought the license to the name J.Crew Mercantile simply because he liked the name — not necessarily because, as previously reported, J.Crew is planning to launch a cheaper line.

“Mercantile is a name we own. There’s not much beyond that. It’s a name that was available and we liked. The way we run the company, we are always thinking creatively, innovating, and managing our assets. We have secured names and trademarks with either loose ideas or intentions, or with our imaginations. Sometimes things come of it, or they don’t," said Drexler, adding that the company has registered several other names over the years, though he declined to specify them.

As for media reports that the company might be using the name to launch a lower-priced offshoot, Drexler said: “It’s kind of been distorted beyond the reality of what it is." Maybe the positive response to these reports ought to change his mind? After all, J.Crew is known for listening to the vox populi.