No. 1: Older Models!

Photo: madewell.com

While the rest of the world complacently accepts youthful beauty as the market-standard representing fashion, Madewell (my favorite brand ever) continues to push past ordinary by featuring this beautiful, not-twenty-something model all over the place.

This says to me:

Their brand of fashion is eternal, it is sophisticated, it is substantial, and it is timeless. The image the Madewell brand has created is strong enough to persist across varying age groups. I'm not going to look silly tomorrow wearing something from last season or several years ago. I can wear a "look" now that suits me at 50 and 60. There is a much more powerful message here than in the look-hot-now-while-you're-young lines that don't provide me with continuity between who I am at a business lunch and when I'm out at night seeing a comedy show. Sophistication is really the ultimate sexy.

I think if you're a blogger or illustrator or anyone in the space, you can benefit from the diversity of this campaign. Sure, advertising with 20-somethings is an easy grab, but the world needs sustainable fashion, and there are far more people in the 30+ age groups who can pay for quality garments. Distinction of who you are and how you relate to others is key. Fashion branding is not a popularity contest--branding is a relatability contest. The prize is community and loyal consumers.

What is your brand's target audience? Could it be bigger or stronger with a few tweaks? Could it be smarter by appealing to strength and quality of content or diversity? Can you summarize it in a one-line sentence? It's something to think about.

No. 2: New Men's Line!

It's pretty exciting to see Madewell finally expanding into menswear. Not sure how the distinct, women's "French Tomboy" style branding will translate, but I suppose "classic, handsome essentials" suits it perfectly.

There are millions of men in the fashion space on the internet right now. I'm seeing more and more women's wear lines expanding to serve a male clientele, and new subscription services like Bespoke, a service tailored toward a very masculine customer base buying hand-crafted hatchets and down vests. There are stylish 40-something dads out there I could see being strong enough in their fashion sense and identity to start fashion blogs. I'm excited to start seeing fashion bloggers filling the hole of this soon-to-be populated niche.

Thanks for reading :)

Rachael