celebrity shopping

What Mickey Drexler Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked businessman and investor Mickey Drexler — who led J. Crew and the Gap before co-founding Alex Mill — about the eyeglasses, luggage, and ice cream he can’t live without.

After reading too many articles about soda, I have started substituting my old Diet Coke habit with Mighty Leaf’s Organic African Nectar Iced Tea. And it’s delicious. It’s brewed in my refrigerator, then I bring it to the office and add ice there. The honey flavor really comes through, even though there’s no artificial sweetener. It’s just really tasteful. I’m on my third glass today.

I lived in San Francisco until 2002, when I left Gap. George is a local store there, and I really liked its assortment. The founder, Bobby, has a very good taste level. The leather leads make a huge difference compared to the nylon; They’re more comfortable, and you don’t ever have to replace them. Plus my two yellow labs, Hank and Freddie, insist upon the best style.

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Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

I am proudly the godfather of Soul, appointed by the two founders, Elizabeth and Julie, though they left a few years ago. I go every morning at 7:15. It’s a great way for me to exercise and get it over with early, although I’m a great critic of the music. I like sing-along songs, and none of us get them. I’ve always complained about it. I also wear Nike Dri-FIT joggers every time — I just don’t like shorts.

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

As with the leashes, I like local-ish places. Häagen-Dazs is great, but it’s a big, national company. I figure little companies that are good are a lot better than big companies that are good. Morgenstern’s is like that: I like all of its flavors, but I love cookies and cream. I get pints sent to the house, so there’s always one in the freezer. Sometimes I have it for dinner. It kind of balances off my SoulCycle.

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

I bought Alden’s suede wingtips for the first time in Paris at a great now-closed store, and I’ve been wearing them ever since. I like uniform dressing, and I try to invest mostly in things that will not go out of style. I just like clothes that you put away, and even if it comes time to give them away, they’ll never not look good. An Alden shoe is in that category. I wear them every day, except during SoulCycle.

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

I’ve been buying these clear frame glasses from Selima for maybe 20 years. I actually gave it a lot of thought, because it’s like plastic surgery — your glasses are a part of your face. You put on a pair of glasses, and, you know, that’s who you are. They’re expensive, but with things like this, you amortize it over the life of these products. Because they do last forever, unless, my dog gets a hold of them. These ones that I’m wearing now have some teeth marks.

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I just love this show, for the same reason I loved Seinfeld — it’s real, and looks at things we’re all thinking about. I used to know Larry quite well from Martha’s Vineyard, and that’s him in real life. And all of us! You know, you’re upset, you’re angry, you don’t like this, you spill something on the couch, so on and so forth. To me, it’s laugh out loud. Even when the episodes are not always 100 percent, there are always one or two lines that are memorable.

Years ago, I was shopping at the Burlington Arcade in London, and walked into this luggage store. There was something about the assortment of colors and the texture — the outside felt like this paperish fabric. I fell in love for me, and I fell in love for J.Crew. We bought it for the stores, and frankly, we didn’t sell much. But I now have multiples in different colors from 15 years ago, and to this day, when I check into a hotel, the bellmen always say, “I love your luggage.” They get beat up like every other piece of luggage gets beat up, but they’re cool and beautiful even then.

I love denim. To me, it’s the base fabric of the world, and America’s uniform in a way. And I love the shape and the wash of our denim jackets, so I have one in every color we make. It’s part of my own uniform: I’m wearing it today with a pair of jeans. The women on our staff also wear them. It just goes with everything in the world, and it’s 100 percent cotton — we have denim that is non-stretch, and we’re going to say it loud and clear! We want the real deal.

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What Businessman Mickey Drexler Can’t Live Without