With The Paris Review sharing in the hosting duties, Madewell’s head of design Joyce Lee and Sézane’s founder Morgane Sezalory welcomed about 150 guests to their French cinemalike event at Metrograph on the Lower East Side.
Going for timeless and quintessential Parisienne wardrobe staples, this third incarnation of Madewell x Sézane consists of 23 styles including striped T-shirts, a cape with a shearling sherpa collar, a shaggy faux-fur bomber jacket and a sweater with a braided neckline. The collection officially launches Oct. 4. A limited run of the T-shirts were presold online earlier this week and have nearly sold out, Lee said. To play up the French nautical theme, there are sailor pants and a cable-knit sweater with gold buttons.
Fifteen of Madewell’s 100-plus stores will have cobranded collection and six will have the Sézane-inspired outposts this fall. The J. Crew-owned chain opened a Tulsa, Okla., store Tuesday and will unveil a Fresno, Calif., unit on Oct. 11. Madewell will have 110 stores by the end of October. Retail prices range from $52 to $278. The two striped T-shirt styles — a short-sleeve one is imprinted with “Moi Avec Toi” and the other with long sleeves reads “Toi Avec Moi” — will be sold in all Madewell stores.
Before launching Sézane, Sezalory started the web site Les Composantes in 2008 to present her vintage selections by appointment each month. Fueled by her friends’ encouragement, she developed her own label with a design team and introduced Sézane. The company has an e-commerce business and a freestanding store in Paris called The Apartment on Rue Saint-Fiacre. At this point Madewell and Sézane do not plan to collaborate on freestanding stores.
Lee said, “The two brands complement each other so well. Our customer is really excited about the whole idea of French style and dressing. Madewell is a little more about staples and grounded in denim and Sézane is really well-known for their French, more feminine dressing, prints, coloring and tailoring.”
Sezalory wasn’t the only French transplant at Wednesday’s party — DJs The Dove & The Wolf also performed. And illustrator Joana Avillez kept a watchful eye, sketching the scene. Madewell plans to incorporate some of those sketches for next week’s launch. Some of those whimsical images will be displayed in the visual history section of The Paris Review’s web site, when it is redesigned later this year.