Confession. We have a crush. Not on George Clooney or Angelina Jolie or even Justin Bieber for that matter. Our crush is on J.Crew’s sister brand, Madewell. When we heard they had plans to open their first Midwest location in our very own backyard, Easton Town Center, our hearts skipped a beat! A Madewell? Here in COLUMBUS (And before a store in Chicago)?? Color us excited!
We first met Madewell in June of 2009. Though a few of us Chuties have been to other locations, or have at least browsed the website, it wasn’t until over a year ago that we had our first face-to-face with their Soho flagship. Every corner delivered a new discovery—archways with quotes up above, clever props and merchandising techniques, unique communication vehicles, fun ways of integrating local flavor, our list of favorites just goes on and on.
“Entirely modern, but appreciative of the past…” Madewell was inspired by the New Bedford, Massachusetts workwear company founded in 1937. The Soho store environment evokes a fresh take on a factory vibe—crisp, clean, and bright, but still authentic to the brand.
How would this two-story flagship of utter coolness translate to a small-format mall store in the ‘burbs? Luckily, our Columbus store was hosting an Opening Party, complete with swag and an appearance by Lucky Magazine Style Editor, Elise Loehnen. Sign us up!
To quote Madewell, their look is “effortlessly cool, totally original, and full of downtown-chic essentials.” As expected, the mannequins were flawlessly styled and accented by vintage-inspired props. Jewelry was given special attention, prominently displayed in industrial vitrines, with the occasional smattering of accessories merchandised with the clothing.
The store’s creative use of found objects, such as using clipboards as sign holders, was clever as always. The simple-but-smart system was implemented to tell colorful merchandise stories, along with the more personal, handcrafted Staff Favorites tags to select special garments.
Saving the best for last, the logo painted on the rustic wood floor was one of our favorite elements. The aged, distressed texture is a nice touch!
The grand opening event seemed to be a huge success. The store was bustling—surely a sign of more good things to come for the brand. Of course, the DJ or the cupcakes and champagne they were giving out might’ve had something to do with that, too. Overall we were pleased with the store, but missed a few elements from larger city locations. Details like white brick, large open windows allowing natural light to flood the space, and local flavor were a few touches we grew to know and love from Madewell—touches we’re sad to say are not at Easton. We’ll get over it though, we promise. Welcome to the neighborhood, Madewell! We’re glad you’re here!
Featured Images property of Chute Gerdeman