Mickey Drexler, back in the public eye to plug his son Alex Drexler’s brand, Alex Mill, where he recently took the reins as CEO, believes the Grammy-winning rapper’s 10-year Yeezy deal to produce apparel, accessories and more with the San Francisco apparel giant “doesn’t make any sense.”
“I probably shouldn’t say this, but I told [West] he shouldn’t do the deal,” the former Gap and J.Crew chief told Yahoo Live correspondents Wednesday. The arrangement “doesn’t work for someone like Kanye,” Drexler added, describing the one-time presidential hopeful as “not a corporate person.”
Despite the first Yeezy Gap item—a cerulean, zipper-less puffer jacket—selling out overnight with $7 million in sales, what West and Gap brand global head Mark Breitbard are trying to do is “very, very hard—culturally,” Drexler said. Still, estimates valued the Yeezy Gap deal at $970 million—even before a single item dropped.
In the wide-reaching interview, Drexler also prognosticated on fashion’s near-term future as consumers ready themselves to resume life’s regular rhythms, though the Delta variant is postponing the Covid-10 pandemic’s hotly anticipated end. He believes consumers will have less of a need for sweats and loungewear now that the “wear anything because you’re at home” mentality is supposedly on its way out. Instead, the fashion veteran anticipates the return of a “more uniform kind of dressing,” with khakis, jeans and “very, very casual suits” dominating white-collar work wardrobes.
“Clearly, there won’t be as much dress-up” fashion arriving in retail assortments, he predicted.
Drexler also took a shot at Walmart, concurring with Yahoo Live anchor and editor-at-large Brian Sozzi’s assertion that the nation’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer hasn’t “cracked the code” on apparel, which is “just not cutting it” and “probably never will.”
The criticism isn’t without merit. The Bentonville, Ark. company has attempted on several fronts to elevate its fashion offerings, building new private labels, tapping designer and “Project Runway” judge Brandon Maxwell as a creative director, and promoting former Saks and Ralph Lauren exec Denise Incandela earlier this year to oversee all of its clothing labels under the title of EVP of apparel and private brands.
If Walmart’s investments on the fashion front eventually do pan out, “they’ll be dangerous,” Drexler said.