In a sign that millennials are officially in nesting mode, Madewell–J.Crew’s sister brand–just incorporated home goods on its website. And it’s telling that it is partnering with a hip, direct-to-consumer home brand called Snowe.
This makes sense: Madewell’s core audience of twenty- and thirtysomethings now have more disposable income than ever, and many are buying homes and starting families. Having beautiful home wares matters to them, particularly since the home has now replaced the restaurant or nightclub as the backdrop for Instagram pictures. And thanks to this partnership with Snowe, Madewell website now features sheets, towels, cheese boards, and carafes.
Over the last few years, Madewell has been thriving while J.Crew has faltered. Madewell was originally founded in 2004 by J.Crew’s former CEO, Mickey Drexler, to tap into a younger market. Madewell’s always had a good handle on what its customers are looking for. The brand’s relaxed aesthetic has been more popular than J.Crew’s preppy look as Americans have become increasingly more casual in the way they dress. And Madewell’s prices–which have historically been lower than J.Crew’s–have been more palatable to millennials as well.
This expansion into home goods is another sign that Madewell is still very much tuned into millennials’ lifestyles. Snowe is also a good fit because it’s a direct-to-consumer brand that touts high quality and reasonable prices. It’s part of a wave of many home brands–like Casper, Brooklinen, and Made In Cookware–that are making once-expensive luxury products more affordable. And for a heritage brand like Madewell, it makes sense to be associated with brands like Snowe that directly respond to how consumers want to shop today.