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.
"Jumpsuits R Us, that's what I want to become one day," Madewell head of design Somsack Sikhounmuong laughed as he walked us through the brand's spring collection. "There's a dressy, palm tree-printed one, a great karate/judo one, and one pieced together from vintage Army stuff by our friend George McCracken."
These are full-blown jumpsuits—not rompers, mind you—playful but grown up, echoing a graduation from the college girl rep once associated with the brand. "We had a loyal fanbase, and it's about maintaining that, and not having them outgrow us," Somsack explained when asked about the adult-ification of Madewell. "We're making things less trendy, more classics-based. The kinds of things you'd save and wear as you got older—less fussy. That's naturally an older sensibility."
"Evolution rather than revolution," is the motto this spring, which means familiar styles with seasonal updates, like the iconic leather Transport tote in punched leather, or a denim shirt embroidered by artisans in Mexico. Somsack tells us Madewell is looking to grow its outerwear offerings, or "third pieces." For spring that means kimono-inspired toppers, leather jackets, and blazers. Also expect to see a push in swimwear from the brand, including coverups. "There so much potential here, and I don't think we've even scratched the surface."