Since launching in 2004, Madewell, the sister brand of J. Crew, has been a women’s only store.
Last week, after 12 years, Madewell launched a men’s line.
Madewell never announced the launch of their new line, they pulled a Beyoncé and dropped it into consumers’ laps without warning.
I think this was an extremely smart business decision for Madewell. They have been slowly creeping into the spotlight over the years, and now, they are considered even more successful than J. Crew. With their rise in popularity there has also been an increasing demand for a men’s line.
As a brand loyal Madewell consumer, I can’t tell you how many times I wished they would launch a men’s line because I felt like there was so much potential there.
Not only do I think they are meeting new demand, but I also think the way that Madewell launched this line was risky but worth it.
The first news they posted about the line was on their Instagram story. On their story they posted screen grabs of people commenting/tweeting/tagging them requesting that Madewell come out with a men’s line of clothing. These posts led up to a post revealing that Madewell was launching their men’s line that day.
Personally, I was shocked when they announced their brand extension and immediately sent it to other people I know who shop at Madewell. I probably did exactly what they wanted me to, I did their advertising for them. Just because my friends also liked the brand didn’t mean that they followed them on social media, or therefore heard about their new line. By posting something without any warning or announcement and shocking all of their consumers, they did a great job of making sure the news spread like wildfire.
Comments on Madewell Men’s Instagram page from excited consumers.
Madewell even made its own instagram page called “Madewell Men’s” where they are choosing to advertise and post about the new line. I think this is incredibly smart because both audiences can follow both or just one of their pages so that they can get tailored information. Madewell’s instagram already has an established audience that are used to certain content such as “hometown small business shout outs” and featuring artist highlights. By creating a separate page I think they leave room to establish an instagram aesthetic for a different type of consumer. As of today, the new page has around 11.4 k followers compared to Madewell’s main page following of 1.1 M. Considering they launched last week, that is not a bad turn around.
As for now, Madewell’s men’s line is only available online or in pop-up shops in certain major cities. Although I think it would be better to go for a full launch and bring their new line to stores, I think that they are being cautious. This gives them a chance to ease into the market. It also gives them exclusive content for their social media pages highlighting pop-up shop information.
Madewell Men’s Instagram page offers exclusive information about pop-up shops creating high incentive to follow them.
Every major online business news source is talking about Madewell and their rise to stardom, surpassing J. Crew. Every online fashion news source is talking about Madewell’s focus on a denim comeback, giving men a higher end denim option while providing exceptional fit. The buzz is there, and I think Madewell is going to see a great deal of success come from this decision.