J. Crew Group’s Madewell retail concept is sticking with its conservative growth plan.
Madewell openings are set for 256 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, Conn., on March 3; the Americana at Brand lifestyle center in Glendale, Calif., on March 10, and 20 Newtown Lane in East Hampton, N.Y., in June.
An exclusive limited edition premium denim collection debuts on Shopbop.com, in select Madewell stores and on madewell1937.com today.
Last Wednesday, the brand’s first Boston unit opened in a former horse stable dating back to the 1880s at 329 Newbury Street. It’s the 11th unit in the chain and the kind of site that the Madewell team craves — one that captures the historic aura of the label. The 4,000-square-foot store has exposed brick that’s painted white, hardwood floors and a checkered history. The building burned down in the Twenties and Forties, and was twice restored.
“It’s got wonderful old details and enormous character,” said Millard “Mickey” Drexler, chairman and chief executive officer of J. Crew Group, owner of the three-year-old Madewell brand, during a tour of the site on opening day. “It feels like Madewell.”
Drexler revived the brand, inspired by a former New Bedford, Mass. workwear label dating back to 1937. He said the store is reminiscent of the Madewell flagship in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, opened a year ago at 486 Broadway in an 1883 Romanesque Revival brick building.
“The Boston store just reinforces the personality of Madewell,” Drexler said. The collection embodies layering, mix and matching and an easy, laid-back downtown look. There are also strong denim and accessories components.
“Today, no one is really in a growth business, but there is always a market for cool fashion. Boston is a tremendous market,” Drexler said.
He noted that Madewell works best in 3,500- to 4,000-square-foot settings, though the East Hampton unit will be 1,100 square feet. It’s moving into a space that housed J. Crew, which is relocating nearby to 14 Main Street in the former Rum Runners home furnishings store.
Drexler said a total of 10 Madewell units are opening this year. “That’s our original plan. We have not cut back anything. We are still continuing to expand. We are very pleased with the business, and its place in the market. It’s a small business” with room to grow. The J. Crew brand, he acknowledged, has cut back on growth because of the worsening economy.
Although Madewell comparisons to J. Crew are inevitable, Drexler insisted, “This is not about a better company starting a lesser division. It’s about fair value, style, fashion and quality.”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye