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How to Succeed in Fashion – An Inside Look at Madewell

By: MacKinley Lutes-Adlhoch

Durable denim, great sweaters, fine leather and to-die-for flannel are the trademarks of Madewell.  This Massachusetts daughter company of J. Crew set out in 1937 to create denim workwear and has evolved into a growing empire of easy chic pieces for women of all kinds.  The Madewell girl is a cool downtown woman who knows she can rock any outfit.  Recently, the ASU Fashion Journalism club got the opportunity to visit the Scottsdale Fashion Square Madewell location and speak personally with its assistant manager and event coordinator Erin Janiszewski.


ASU FJC Shopping at Madewell

In simple words, Erin explained the ultimate truth of Madewell clothes: “The pieces you want with a special edge.”  While their signature remains classic, this winter line has been inspired by unexpected colors that can easily be paired with basics.  The brand aims to represent various perspectives and loves partnering with local businesses and ASU to foster a community of people who are passionate about style.


FJC President Madison Rowbotham wearing Madewell

In addition to exploring the Madewell company, Erin shared her wisdom on working in the fashion industry.  From a young age, she knew she loved fashion, and attending Teen Vogue Fashion University set this in stone as a career path she wished to pursue.  “I fell in love with the industry,” she shares, “It’s so accepting.”  After working in public relations for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and volunteering at Phoenix Fashion Weeks, she landed the job of working at Madewell in New York City before moving to Arizona.

Climbing the totem pole of a company is a task every college student is not looking forward to.  The fashion industry has a cut-throat reputation, but Erin’s advice may be the push some need to pursue their dreams.

Firstly, it is vital to do every single little job the best you can.  As Erin so eloquently puts it, “Even if it’s taking out the trash, make it look amazing and be the best trash taker-outer.”  No matter the task, whether it be menial like taking out the trash or challenging like competing for a promotion, give everything you have to do the best you can.  Every job is important and every job is an opportunity to grow.  Although it can get frustrating at times, sometimes it takes a while to get where you would like to go.  But what Erin and Madewell want you to remember is – “don’t ever give up.”


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