Madewell has signed Alexa Chung to create a fall collection, in the brand’s first celebrity collaboration.
Madewell, which is part of the J. Crew Group, and Chung both exude downtown casual cool, with Chung bringing a “sexy tomboy, Sixties girls’ band” and Victorian aesthetic to the brand, or as she also put it, “things you wouldn’t mind getting dirty in and things that I actually wear.… I love how their vibe is a mix of vintage and new — it completely clicked with me.”
“There is no grand scheme to this, and we still don’t want to hire a celebrity spokesperson,” explained Millard “Mickey” Drexler, chairman and chief executive officer of J. Crew Group. “It’s just that Alexa is totally cool. It’s not the way she looks or dresses. It’s the way she is.”
The collection, to be called Alexa Chung for Madewell, will include polkadot tea dresses, dungaree dresses, high-waisted skinny jeans, oversize wool jackets with velvet and lace accents, and T-shirts with Chung’s photographs and illustrations, about 20 styles in all, much of it meant to mix with Madewell’s other products.
“This will complement Madewell and it’s quite in keeping with my style,” said Chung. There will also be little packages containing Chung’s drawings, writings, photos and doodles, “like a look book,” she said. “We’ll be giving them away.” Prices haven’t been set, but will be consistent with Madewell’s, which start at $14 for illustrated T-shirts, and peak at $500 for motorcycle jackets, with the core of the jeans presentation under $100.
Chung is partial to shopping at Topshop, Gap, Opening Ceremony, Chanel, Charles Anastase, Louella and Christopher Kane, and dates Alex Turner, the lead singer and guitarist from the Arctic Monkeys, an English alternative rock band.
“I was being offered so many collaborations for a long time, but I held off. I thought it would be quite a ‘sellout’ thing to do,” Chung told WWD. “But Madewell had a more organic approach. They seemed really interested in my ideas and it’s a brand that I really admire. Hopefully, the authenticity of this collaboration will be obvious.”
Chung isn’t a fashion designer, but she’s studied graphic design and art. Little did she know that Madewell had noticed her style. Drexler one day got on his loudspeaker to solicit the staff’s input on defining Madewell’s target customer. Chung’s name came up from personnel at Madewell stores where she shopped and that led to Madewell executives dining with her to consider a linkup.
“Alexa’s style is inspiring and inventive, yet unbelievably approachable and down-to-earth,” added Madewell design director Kin Ying Lee. “She has such a clear point of view.” The retailer will launch Alexa Chung for Madewell in its stores and online at madewell1937.com in late August. Madewell launches e-commerce this spring. Chung will also be the face of the collection for the fall campaign. It is to be determined if the company will do a second Alexa Chung collection.
There are 17 Madewell stores, but it’s possible a few more are added this year.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty