Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Alexa Chung Debuts for Madewell

As mentioned in the January 19th "Madewell News: Alexa Chung Collaboration" post, Madewell announced it would team up with Alexa Chung (model and former MTV show host) on a new line of clothes.

The following is an article from Wall Street Journal (click here) on the debut of this collaboration.
TV’s Alexa Chung Debuts for Madewell
By Elizabeth Holmes
February 15, 2010

Madewell, the little known sibling to J.Crew, has had somewhat of a rocky start. Since Mickey Drexler launched the brand more than three years ago, sales at its handful of stores have been slow. The denim-based concept is aimed at college-age shoppers, but the brand still doesn’t offer e-commerce on its Web site. The opening price point of its jeans, once starting around $98, had to be brought down to $59.

But the fledgling brand’s buzz factor rose considerably Monday evening with the debut of Madewell’s partnership with Alexa Chung, the model turned television personality who is a fixture on the social scene’s best dressed list.

“What a great way for Madewell to revamp their look and image. How fabulous,” said Christian Siriano, the Project Runway alum who had his own show in Bryant Park this week.

Ms. Chung, a 26-year-old Brit, was most recently the host of MTV’s “It’s On with Alexa Chung,” which was cancelled late last year. The last episode aired in December and, in January, her partnership with Madewell was announced. A friend of Ms. Chung’s who works at the brand helped pair the two up, Ms. Chung said.

Madewell’s “vision is kind of the same as mine. They like laid back styles, they like kind of relaxed clothes — classic, timeless things. So when they asked to collaborate, it was a perfect fit,” she said.

Madewell staged a presentation of the collection at the Bowery Hotel on Manhattan’s Lower East side Monday night. In between photographs and interviews, Ms. Chung snuck in conversations with the models, asking if they were comfortable and giving them sips of her drink.

The clothes were inspired by the 1960s, Ms. Chung said, which was evident in the short shorts and tea dresses. The colors were fairly soft, in tans and blues and grays, with the occasional pop of bright red or black velvet. The models slouched on vintage suitcases and posed near a retro bicycle as oldies including “My Boyfriend’s Back” blared overhead—the soundtrack was courtesy of Chung’s DJ friend Tennessee.

One prevalent style in the Chung-Madewell partnership: socks with sandals, a trend that is cropping up all over fashion week. “Sorry about that,” Ms. Chung said with a laugh, attributing the look to the woman who styled the show. The gray socks worn by many of the models were from the “school boy department” at English retailer John Lewis, Ms. Chung said.

What remains to be seen is if this partnership is a permanent one. “We haven’t really discussed another [collection] yet but it would be amazing to do,” Chung said. “We’ll see how this goes.”
It would be nice to see some additional shots from the event... and here they are:
  • "Thanks!" to the style crusader (in this post), who let us know there are several images & mini-interview with Alexa Chung over at FabSugar (click here to view).
  • "Thanks!" to jcbellemarie (in this post), who let us know there are additional images over at Coutorture (click here to view).
From the image above, the clothes look okay. From left to right, outfit 1 & 3 look cute. I can see myself wearing either one. :) Outfit 2 is confusing since I can't tell if she is wearing a dress or a sweater jacket with no pants. Outfit 4 is a mess with that high waisted skirt. As for the socks with sandals look... no more, please no more! ;)

What are your thoughts on the article? Do you think it is a good marketing move to have a celebrity collaboration for Madewell? Do you think Alexa Chung's collection is a good fit with Madewell? :)


  1. I agree with you Alexis. Looks 1 and 3 are darling and wearable.

    I wore the full skirt and workshirt before and am not going there again. I had an outfit from Banana Republic my freshman year of college that looked just like that one.

  2. I really like Alexa's style so I'm excited for this collection. The
    3rd outfit is cute! Refinery 29's twitter had some pictures of other outfits, I put a link on my blog (sorry I don't know how to link here!) I think Madewell's facebook page is supposed to be posting some photos today as well.

  3. I like 2 and 3, the last look is horrendous. Too Little House on the Prairie for me.

  4. kitsmommy: You are so right! The last outfit looks like it could have come out of a Banana Republic store back when they had the whole Safari and Travel theme going on. I don't think I'll be wearing that look again, either.

  5. there are more photos here: http://www.fabsugar.com/FabSugar-Interview-Alexa-Chung-Her-Madewell-Collection-7421117#read-more

    i think it all looks great. i love alexa and i love madewell... i can't think of a better combination. xx

  6. i love the navy hat and am intrigued by the polka dot silk prints. more photos are


  7. isn't alexa chung soo 2007? i guess she hasn't reached her over saturation point yet. ;)

    ehh, these items are nothing new. williamsburg/art gallery/university/middle-class urban hobo redux. that being said, the velvet hotpants are kinda cool... :)

  8. Pretty sad when she's apologizing for the socks with sandals within her OWN show.

    If you go on to FABSUGAR and look at the rest of these creations..it is not far off the J Crew whack-a-doo Spring show. Denim shorts with a rise that reaches under ones breasts, giant chinos borrowed from your dad, velvet dresses with puffy arms held up with elastic and railroad stripe & denim overall skirts. YIKES! If I try hard..I can vet out an unstructured blazer, cardigan, a blouse..a few pieces that have some redeeming qualities. Why do they try so hard to have an edge..it always comes up looking strange.

  9. jcbellemarie: Thanks for the link.

    After spying just SIX of the images, I had to turn back. Wow.

    That first look from your link, the one with the two models and the SUPER high-waisted (yet super-short inseamed) denim shorts? Scary. If that GORGEOUS and svelte model looks a bit pudgy in those shorts, how the heck are the rest of us going to look wearing them? (Not that I would even ever try them on, even me, Miss "I'll try anything on once," won't go there with a ten foot pole.)

    Also, the whole collection (or what I saw before I started mentally screaming and running out of the room) reminds me SO much of my early college years (mid 90s). Yep...really don't think I want to go back to that look.

    However, I will agree that the photo at the top of this post has looks that have potential.

  10. I'm not impressed with these styles, but I might be willing to give their jeans a try. Does anyone own a pair of Madewell jeans? What do you think of them?

  11. I don't find ANY of these clothes unique or interesting in any way.

  12. I second that Heidi. Nothing that would entice me to buy from Madewell, it looks like the same stuff you can get anywhere else. Boring. I have a Madewell silk pocket tee that is cute but it's nothing distinctive and rather boxy in fit. I probably wouldn't have bought it but I was so desperate for some color last fall and it was a vibrant fuschia so I picked it up.

    Overall Madewell is a big pass for me but I'm not their target market of college age shoppers.

  13. These items look like you could find them at Sears. Really, what is special about any of the pieces? Some of them are really unflattering, even on the models. Maybe model Alexa Chung can pull off the look but for the rest of the population it would be a challenge.

    The velour dress with a peter-pan collar made me LOL.

  14. Wtf? Outfit 4's skirt is like the skirts my elementary school teachers wore in the early 90s.

  15. I'm just going to have to say it: Barf!

    Whew! Now that I got that out of my system, after looking at the 20 some pictures I can maybe salvage 2 things: The girl in shot 15 with the red polo has on a really cute Anchor belt. I'd take that. And shot 4, the girl with the overhauls dress....that's what they're called, right? Its been so long....anyway the dress thing might have been cute if it were about 5 inches longer (I'm not so fond of my cheeks showing in public, you know?). If it were longer, I might have worn that. It'd be cute with a little red tank underit. But other than that, I'll pass.

  16. I'm trying to stay positive today so my comments will be limited...

    I had a Netflix orgy of the first three season of Party of Five the last couple of weeks, and this Madewell business gave me flashbacks to that!

    I had a happy seeing the pair of fringey leather clogs on the one model. I scored a pair similar to that from JC circa '01, maybe? They were wooden heel, suede upper "kiltie" clogs in a great mustardy brown. I unfortunately had to hammer them back together every two wears, but I snagged them for like five bucks. Ah, the good old days.

  17. I LOVE it!! Sure there are some things I wouldn't wear, but I like the collection's vintage, quirky feel. And the 3rd outfit is cute! Though outfit four would be better if the skirt was shorter. The socks in sandals look, LOVING it. I could totally wear (nearly) all the collection.


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