By  on April 27, 2007

Grabbing another high-profile location, Madewell will open in Las Vegas on May 15, inside the Fashion Show Mall on the Strip.

Madewell was launched last fall by the J. Crew Group, and currently operates three stores, in NorthPark Center in Dallas, Century City mall in Los Angeles and The Domain in Austin, Tex. Madewell is seeking a site in Manhattan and will launch e-commerce in spring 2008.

The 2,872-square-foot Las Vegas shop will provide significant visibility for the brand. The opening is a week before the International Council of Shopping Centers spring convention in Vegas, which draws hundreds of developers and real estate brokers and consultants, many of whom will be invited to the store for their first look at the concept. It's situated on the mall's upper level west next to Saks Fifth Avenue.

The brand offers an edgier take on casual clothes and is inspired by the former New Bedford, Mass., workwear company that bore the Madewell name. "Madewell started as a fun idea that has grown into an assortment of great clothes that look good now, and will continue to look good five years from now," Millard "Mickey" Drexler, chairman and chief executive officer of J. Crew, said in a statement. "At the end of the day, it's about great style, design and attitude."

"We have been thinking long and hard about the perfect location for a new Madewell store and felt that Las Vegas was the ideal place. Las Vegas has an energy and style where everyone would love Madewell," added Kin Lee, head designer.

Bestsellers include garment-dyed and white denim, sexy T-shirts, the vintage "stripes" collection, washed "boyfriend" shirts and "wear-around-town" dresses. "These are not looks for teenagers," said Drexler. "I think there's been a real void at retail for subtly timeless clothing with a bit of an edge while still retaining a classic sensibility and integrity."

For additional exclusive products, Madewell also has formed partnerships with a handful of designers and brands, including Hunter Wellington Boots, Philip Crangi, a New York jewelry designer, and Havaianas, the famous Brazilian flip-flop created in 1962.

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