NEW YORK, Feb 21, 2008 / FW/ — How can anyone be 71 years old and still be cool and hip? If you’re Madewell, then you have timeless cool style. And Madewell just became uber cool with the opening of its first flagship boutique 486 Broadway in New York City yesterday.
Once an authentic work-wear company from New Bedford, Massachusetts, founded in 1937, Madewell is now part of the J.Crew Group Inc. And yesterday, the 71-year old moved in to the Romanesque Revival landmark building built in 1882 that has been retrofitted into a 3,000 square-foot two-story Madewell flagship store.
J. Crew Group Chairman and CEO Millard Drexler, who owned the Madewell name just before investing in and joining J.Crew in 2003, says, “We are literally and figuratively now on Broadway. At the end of the day, it’s about great style, design and attitude — New Yorkers just get it.”
The Romanesque Revival landmark building was originally The Mechanics and Traders’ Bank of Manhattan (whose vault still remains in the basement). Wanting to preserve the integrity, original charm and details of the building, the architect’s mission was not to over-design the space.
The original shell and soaring windows remain, but the century-old molding and flooring will be complemented with modern silver and Lucite fixtures. The challenge was to see through the layers of wear and tear, knowing that the store would look just as great 100 years from now as it does today. It’s a perfect fit for Madewell.
486 Broadway at Broome Street
New York, New York 10012
Ph. 212. 226. 6954
Since the first Madewell store opened 18 months ago, the brand has quickly gained a following among stylists, artists and celebrities for its tightly-edited assortment of downtown-chic essentials, including garment-dyed denim, washed Italian leather jackets, bright printed scarves, hand-designed graphic tees and Italian suede boots.