Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Interview with Madewell's Head Stylist

There is an interesting entry over at the Guest of a Guest blog about Madewell and one of their Head (or "Hed" as they spelled it) Stylists, Lisa Schulner. The following is the entry in its entirety (click here to see original entry):

Lately, it seems like everyone is catching the “fashion can mean average prices” bug. Vera Wang has a line at Kohl’s, Italian superstar Roberto Cavalli and rocker Madonna have lines at H&M, Sarah Jessica Parker makes clothing for Steve & Barry’s, and don’t even get us started with Tar-geh. And why not mix and match? Fashion should always be about confidence and individualism. This fall, even preppy refined J.Crew caught on. Madewell was launched as a hipper, little sister of the popular brand. Their pop-up store in Soho this Christmas is making way for the real thing coming this Spring on Broadway and Broome. Awhile ago, we got the scoop on the likes and dislikes of Lisa Schulner, the hed stylist over at Madewell. Here is what the artistic-skateboarding-Audrey Hepburn had to share:

Who came up with the idea of Madewell and what does it stand for?
Madewell was a real workwear brand from the 1930’s. Our CEO Mickey Drexler, fell in love with the heritage of the brand and new that girls today would love a cool, casual, affordable denim brand with a real design sense.

What’s the best part about your job?
Being pushed creatively every day of the week!

Does “cheaper” mean less quality?
Not at all. Cheaper means not taking advantage of the market today. We know girls would pay more for our clothes but why should we make them?

My personal style can be best described as…
A skateboarding Audrey Hepburn in art school

All I want this New Year’s is….
The beach in my backyard. Is that possible?

From what I have seen, I personally still prefer J.Crew clothes over Madewell clothes. I feel like I would save more by buying J.Crew on sale (while getting better quality goods) over Madewell's regular priced items. Not to say that I won't visit the Madewell store that is expected to open in Greenwich, CT later this year. ;)

What do you prefer: J.Crew or Madewell? Would you shop at Madewell when it comes online later this year (or if there was a store near you)?


  1. Alexis: I agree with you in that I would rather buy J.Crew on sale than shop at Madewell. From the Madewell prices I have seen online, they really don't appear to be that much less expensive than J.Crew, anyways...I would rather wear J.Crew. I'm not sure that Madewell will have alot that is "age appropriate" for me, seems to be really geared for a younger market. All in all, I won't say that I wouldn't ever wear Madewell...I will need to see the clothing firsthand before making a decision...I hope they have some really great pieces that will work for me. :)

  2. I was in a J Crew last week and saw a college girl in with her mom. They were both trying but looked a little lost and confused. I think the brand has changed without them knowing and is a bit too upscale for both. It's clear that they are overhauling the brand to attract the Saks set. And I think the Madewell brand is for the younger kids that remember the old catalogues with the same recycled basics. I haven't seen any Madewell items in person or online but I have a feeling I will prefer J Crew.

  3. I love JCrew but I've recently become a fan of Madewell. Not for the price (since items are not significantly below JCrew's), but for the uniqueness of the items. My beef with JCrew is that if you live & work in Manhattan, you will see people wearing your JCrew clothes every 2 blocks. All the Madewell clothes I bought always elicited favorable comments & where did you buy that? The quality is similar to JCrew including the fabrics & the details (blouses & jackets). Their 100% leather goods are good buys too, about 60% the price of JCrew. In their recent sale, I ordered several items I saw on the website by phone on a Friday & I got the packages by Wednesday morning. I can't wait for their ecommerce site. I will definitely buy lots more.

  4. I wish there was one I could go to in the Bay Area to check it out! I am very curious about it but there isn't any close by or in any city I will be visiting soon. I think until I can see it in person, I will still prefer J.Crew.

  5. Sorry, but I'm not after "a skateboarding Audrey Hepburn in art school"

    At 30, I realize I'm not the target demographic for Madewell, but ick!

  6. I have been to the Madewell in Annapolis and I liked a majority of the clothing available. They were having a most excellent sale also. The t-shirts were some of the softest jersey fabrics ever. I did not try the jeans as j. crew jeans do not usually fit me correctly and I didn't want my feelings hurt that night.

    If you want a light weight neck scarf thingy so you can pretend you are a cast member of "Rent", Madewell is the place to go.

  7. JAX - "If you want a light weight neck scarf thingy so you can pretend you are a cast member of "Rent"..."

    That was funny! Thanks for the laugh.


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