The Sincerest Form of Flattery: Madewell et Sézane


As those of you follow my blog probably already know, Madewell is one of my favorite stores. So when I heard about their collaboration with Parisian designer Morgane Sézalory, I was naturally all kinds of excited. The collection debuted on Tuesday, October 21, and it was certainly worth the wait. (Okay, I wanted exactly one week. But hey, that’s a long time in fashion years!)

To curb my style cravings in the seven days leading up to the collab’s debut, I spent some time familiarizing myself with Morgane Sézalory, the brain behind the brand Sézane and the designer who partnered with Madewell’s Somsack Sikhounmuong to create the 16-piece line up. A native Parisian, Sézalory got her start revamping vintage clothes and selling them on eBay before launching Sézane. The brand, which emphasizes the idea of laid-back, look-great-feel-great, trend-less clothes, has since become a cult favorite among Paris’s most fashionable. Her swingy dresses, leather ankle boots, and silk collared blouses are perfect for all ages, lifestyles, and even budgets. In fact, her iconic La Superbe sweatshirt has been spotted on veteran fashion editors and starlets alike. After reading all about Sézalory and Sézane, I was intrigued to see what she a Sikhounmuong were going to dream up for Madewell.

Well, they didn’t exactly dream anything. In fact, almost every single one of the pieces from the collab is an almost-identical reinterpretation of pieces from Sézane’s Fall collections. At first, I was a little disappointed. Okay, a lot disappointed. But then I realized something. Sézane, while it has a loyal  European fan base, is not yet available stateside. In fact, it won’t launch across the Atlantic until sometime in the coming months. By collaborating with Madwell, Sézalory can foresee how the American shopper reacts to her work. How well it sells, which pieces sell the most, and what people have to say…all these are very important components to keeping a fashion brand successful, and Sézalory will have access to this information before she even officially launches her brand in the U.S. What does Madewell have to glean from this? Well, a high-profile collaboration, for one. They also get to do a bit of a customer trade-off with Sézalory. In exchange for exposing her and her brand to American consumers, Madewell has a chance to attract Sézane’s European shoppers.

And what about us? Well, as the shoppers in this situation, we probably get the best deal. We get a taste of Sézane’s covetable clothes for ourselves (fine by me), and, well, we also get that yes feeling that comes with shopping a limited-time brand collab. Come on, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I know you do.

Below, some Madewell et Sézane pieces versus Sézane’s own…see how they match up for yourselves!

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Madewell x Sézane’s own La Superbe sweatshirt,which is practically the same as the original Sézane version
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The lace dress at right (Madewell et Sézane) bares a striking resemblance to the Sézane version, right, from the brand’s Fall collection

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At left, a tee from Madewell et Sézane done in the same bow print as the blouse at right from Sézane’s Fall 2014 collection

Any thoughts on Madewell et Sézane? Are you disappointed by the collaboration, or are you applauding their business sense…or both? Be sure to comment below!


2 thoughts on “The Sincerest Form of Flattery: Madewell et Sézane

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