Madewell was founded in 1937 by Russian immigrant Julius Kivowitz. The company originally made workwear for men, such as overall, jeans, and pants for fishermen. Today, the company is owned by J. Crew and makes fashionable clothing for women.
The company continued to make workwear items for decades until the last American factory closed in 1989. Mickey Drexler, the former CEO of J. Crew, purchased the rights to the name and sold it to J. Crew in 2006. The company moved the brand away from work clothing to fashion clothing. Currently, J. Crew is a struggling brand, while Madewell is quite popular.
Madewell offers denim jeans, jackets and other denim items, dresses, shirts and tops, chambray, sweaters, tees, pants and shorts, jackets and outerwear, skirts, sleepwear, swimming wear, shoes and boots, bags, and jewelry.
ThredUp and Madewell have partnered to open stores that offer second-hand, quality clothing items in September 2021.
Headquarters are now located in Lynchburg, Virginia.