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See the Future of Madewell in 30+ Pictures

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Photo by <a href="http://peladopelado.com/">Driely S.</a>
Photo by Driely S.

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Madewell is growing up and the man who's shepherding it into adulthood is head designer Somsack Sikhounmuong.

Somsack is a J.Crew vet of 12 years, where he worked under Jenna Lyons starting in accessories and moving up to apparel. Such tutelage clearly served the designer well, but his designs are less little-J.Crew and more mature Madewell. Twee prints are replaced by clean tees with simple text, woven accessories and eyelet fabrics. There's greater emphasis on texture and elevated materials. See a preview of Somsack's first collection, Spring 2014, below. Also find some words from the designer, including his best career advice, his current inspirations, and his favorite pieces you can buy right now at Madewell.

Photo by Driely S.

What are three words that describe the Madewell woman?
"Authentic, confident and curious."

How are you most inspired?
"I love big cities and have been fortunate to have visited some of the greatest (not to mention living in the best, I'm biased I know). Tokyo and Paris are unbelievably inspiring. Both have a love for formality and tradition but each city's take is uniquely it's own."

Photo by Driely S.

What styles are you most excited about for fall?
"I love the leather pieces—the quilted jacket, jeans and bags are some of my favorites. They all lend a nice edge to any outfit."

What's the most useful thing you've learned in your career so far?
"Humility can take you pretty far in this industry."

Photo by Driely S.

Denim is totally acceptable for most events these days, but what's the one place it's still not okay to wear jeans?
"Since I live and work in my jeans its hard for me to think of a place that I wouldn't wear them. I've been very lucky!"

You're doing a massive closet purge. What stays and what goes?
"I really have a hard time letting go of things so I put most things into storage ratter than letting go. Things that are in rotation year round are vintage jeans and sneakers. Going into storage? Slim fit anything and dress shoes."

· Madewell Steps out of J.Crew's Shadow With Affordable Denim [Racked]
· Madewell Serves Up Another Lookbook Chock-Full of Style Ideas [Racked]