I woke up to a missive in my inbox this morning from Madewell, that beloved purveyor of unflattering denim and smock shirts with daisy prints, advertising “Cool cords, punchy plaids, big bags…” Upon opening the email, I was confronted with the image of a faceless blonde in power-clashing tartans leaning on an emergency call box in New York City.
I was instantly transported to 7th Avenue and 26th Street, that gritty, paradigmatic NYC intersection that acts as a stand-in for the failing cool girl brand herself: it’s got an FIT building, a Quest Diagnostics, a Buy Buy Baby, and a Chipotle. Just like every other Manhattan corner.
But wait. Something’s different here. Where’s the Chipotle?
The Madewell Conglomerate fuzzed out the Chipotle logo. On what is arguably the most emblematic corner with a Chipotle on it in all of greater Chelsea!
Is Madewell worried that their high-rise silhouettes are the fast casual burrito bowls of fast-ish mall fashion? Too much cactus iconography in common between the two brands for comfort? Not authentic enough of a storefront for the NYC look?
I think I get what they’re going for – after all, I moved to New York City in my early 20s, hoping to be a writer. I put on my Curvy High Rise Skinny Jeans in Wendover Wash: TENCEL ™ Edition one leg at a time, just like you. I will wear them to Chipotle. I will be getting guac.