While J. Crew limps along with declining sales, Madewell has become the company's shining star. So much a star that privately held J. Crew filed an IPO for Madewell to go public, which could happen early next year.
Now the brand that represents "real, honest" women's and men's casual clothing plans to open a Denim Edit boutique in the spring in the North Loop.
Located between Lululemon and Fairgrounds Craft Coffee and Tea, the boutique will be only the third location for Madewell denim. The other denim specialty shops are in Nashville and Charlotte, N.C. The Twin Cities has Madewell locations in Southdale and Mall of America, and the brand can also be found in Nordstrom.
Denim accounted for nearly 30% of Madewell's sales in 2018. J. Crew's former CEO Mickey Drexler once said he wanted to make Madewell jeans — which sell for $100 to $150 — the Levi's of its generation.
One of the characteristics of the brand is sustainability. Customers can get 20% off a pair of jeans if they trade in a pair at purchase. The denim can also be personalized, including stamping and leather monogramming.
The store will be at 124 N. 3rd Av. in Minneapolis. Also debuting next year in the neighborhood will be West Elm home furnishings, AxeBridge Wine Co., Billy Sushi restaurant and Fillmore Minneapolis concert hall.
One of the Twin Cities' hottest, hippest neighborhoods, the North Loop saw plenty of openings this year: Lululemon and Requisite women's clothing; restaurants Demi and Graze and North Loop Galley food hall; Floyd's 99 Barbershop, Frgmnt coffee and One Fermentary & Taproom.
J. Crew still has full-price stores in St. Paul and in Rosedale and Southdale malls. Outlet stores are in the Shoppes at Knollwood in St. Louis Park and Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan.