While the denim at J.Crew offshoot brand Madewell has always been better-priced than most other stores (compare their "rail straight" $78 jean to, say, Earnest Sewn's $195 "Decca" straight-leg), chairman and CEO Mickey Drexlertells WWD that he knew the brand could bolster its denim even further. "There's a new world today. The denim customer is no longer trading up to higher price points. With customers giving us feedback and the marketplace changing, it was pretty clear there was a need to come out with a collection of jeans a bit more price friendly." Of course, it doesn't hurt that, according to WWD, denim represents about 20 percent of Madewell's core business.
So today, Madewell is launching a kind of capsule collection within its already well-stocked range of jeans called '37s, a spin-off on the founding date of the Madewell label (formerly focused on workwear) in 1937. The '37s are all one style: the "skinny skinny," an unfussy-yet-ultra-slim style that Madewell designers and execs believe remains the most popular, over trendy boyfriend cuts and bootcut fits.
The jeans be available in five different washes -- black, plume, dark ash, avalanche, and chimney -- all of which emphasize hipster neutrals like black, gray, and acid wash over the colorful, saturated hues that Madewell has focused on in the past. But the best part, of course, is the price: $59.50, which falls well below the brand's other lowest-priced $78 pair. (Or even J.Crew's most affordable pair, for that matter, which comes in at $88.)