By Margarita Nahapetyan
Madewell, the American high-street giant and fashion brand, owned by J. Crew, has announced recently that it had employed the British TV presenter and model Alexa Chung as its latest consultant designer.
Chung, 26, will be working with the chain retailers to create her own fashion range, which will be inspired by her personal style. It was reported that when J. Crew chairman and CEO Millard Drexler asked his staff at Madewell who they thought was the store's ideal customer, they all named Alexa Chung, partly because Madewell's vintage-inspired designs are already a favourite with the model. And now they want Chung to do some designing for the brand as well.
Alexa said that she was being offered so many collaborations for a long time, but was held off because, in her opinion, it was quite a 'sellout' thing to do.' The collection will be called Alexa Chung for Madewell and will have a Victorian-era feel, featuring polka dot tea dresses, dungaree dresses, high-waisted skinny jeans, oversize wool jackets with velvet and lace accents, biker jackets, and T-shirts with the model's photos and illustrations, around 20 styles in total that mimick Chung's own wardrobe. Alexa describes her range as "things you wouldn't mind getting dirty in and things that I actually wear." Emphasis on things she actually wears. Alexa will also star in the ad's campaign, but there is no word yet on whether there is going to be a follow-up collection.
According to Mr. Drexler, Alexa would be more than just a spokesperson for their company. He said in an interview that there is no grand scheme to this, and that the company still does not want to hire a celebrity spokesperson. 'It is just that Alexa is totally cool. It's not the way she looks or dresses. It's the way she is,' he said.
The former host of It's On with Alexa Chung is no stranger to the fashion industry, having previously collaborated with the designer Vivienne Westwood and modeled for DKNY and British chain New Look. Last year, Alexa was named as the most stylish woman of the year by Vogue, beating French actress Audrey Tautou and 'Sex and the City' star Sarah Jessica Parker to the top spot.
The new range Alexa Chung for Madewell is set to launch via Madewell stores and its website www.madewell1937.com in late August, 2010. Prices are expected to range from around $14 for illustrated T-shirts to around $500 for a jacket.