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In his first collection as the head of design for Madewell, Somsack Sikhounmuong thought about “traveling and what your suitcase looks like before you get on the plane and what it looks like after.” That was a way of fleshing out the brand’s denim- and T-shirt-driven core with a multitude of multicultural references. Among the army jackets, moto vests, denim in faded washes and souvenir T-shirts were loose Indian block-printed dresses, Japanese shibori tie-dye pieces and embroidered Mexican-style blouses. Styled with a casual, throw-it-on vibe — there were baseball caps and plaid shirts tied around the waists of certain looks — the collection had a vintage grunge attitude.

This story first appeared in the October 24, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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