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CNBC Goes Inside J.Crew, Chats Up Mickey Drexler

“Why do we need three shawl cardigans?” J. Crew president Mickey Drexler asks a stylish gaggle of his buyers. He doesn’t pause for a response. “We don’t!” Put on your colorblock stripe scoopneck tee and old faithful-wash jeans, UnBeige readers, because America’s favorite hands-on merchant and his latest success story are the subject of a documentary that premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on CNBC. Reported by David Faber (get that man a Ludlow suit!), J.Crew and the Man Who Dressed America unbuttons the piped wool hacking jacket to peek inside the retailer, which has seen revenues rocket by 170%—to $1.9 billion last year—since Drexler took the helm in 2003. Even longtime Drexler followers and die-hard J. Crew fans are likely to learn something in segments that follow the months-long process of conceiving, creating, and marketing a new line of clothing. Did you know, for example, that the production of the J. Crew catalog requires 120 shooting days a year? Or that the Garden City, New York store is something of a laboratory, where window displays and merchandising are perfected—and where new stuff hits racks first? And we like any CNBC program in which a Gerhard Richter book makes a cameo among the cashmere (look sharp toward the end of the first clip below). Meanwhile, we’d love to see Drexler’s motivational mantra on a tissue tee: “Cut back, sell out, and be very happy!”

Inside the J. Crew catalog:

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