The South Congress retail boom is getting another resident. Later this summer, cool-girl casual mainstay Madewell is expanding its Austin footprint, opening a new 3,150-square-foot location at 1327 South Congress Ave. The brand, which is owned by J. Crew, will join nearby Warby Parker, Amy's Ice Creams, and Botticelli's on the trendy strip.
Madewell's head of design, Joyce Lee, says the spot was a natural fit for the cult denim company. "We’re thrilled to be opening on South Congress, in the heart of the city," Lee tells CultureMap. "The team and I have always been drawn to Austin, visiting time and again for inspiration — we especially love the tacos, live music, and all the cacti!"
In true South Congress fashion, Madewell is tauting its upcoming shop with a temporary mural by local artist Emily Eisenhart. Eisenhart’s style piqued the interest of the retail brand, which sought her out to create an installation as part of its Hometown Heroes initiative, which seeks to highlight makers and creatives nationwide.
"To announce the new location, we wanted to tap into Austin’s creative community and do something we’ve never done before," says Lee. "We were immediately drawn to Emily's dreamy aesthetic and bright color palette. She so perfectly captures the Madewell spirit."
For her part, Eisenhart tapped into the city’s cultural draw for inspiration. “The wall draws in passersby with its lively shapes and patterns that reflect Austin’s native plants, sunny disposition and weather, and the movement in this outdoors-loving city,” she says.
And because no mural would be complete without an Instagram-able touch, Eisenhart assures that the photo ops are aplenty. “The mural’s most photo-worthy portion reads ‘You look so good’ and has inspired many — who are here to see this city’s colorful murals — to stop and strike a pose,” she adds.
The South Congress locale will be the brand’s second outpost in Austin; the first opened in The Domain in 2007. Currently, that location offers live monogramming, one-on-one styling, denim recycling, and more. Madewell wares can also be found at both of Austin’s Nordstrom locations.
While no official opening date has been announced, Madewell’s SoCo store is expected to open later this summer.