Step Inside Madewell's Jeans Shop in a Custom Airstream

The brand is taking its signature jeans on the coast-to-coast trip inside a tricked-out custom Airstream.

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Madewell is kicking off a coast-to-coast denim roadtrip today in Astor Place (open from 12 - 7 p.m.), opening the doors to a custom silver Airstream which comes packed with the label's signature jeans.
The tour will take the Airstream to 14 cities -- including a stop in Palm Springs for Coachella -- ending in Seattle on May 19. Shoppers who buy anything in the Airstream get a nifty discount (15 percent off), and can also participate in denim scavenger hunts for prizes by using the hashtag #MWDenimRoadtrip on Twitter.
We met Madewell's lead designer Kin Ying Lee for a tour of the Airstream, which features a reclaimed wood floor, iPads for shopping, and, of course, a denim bar.
The Madewell team pulled the whole concept together in just two months. "When I first walked in, I gasped," said Lee. "I'd seen the outside, but the inside was something of a secret. And when I finally walked in, I was like, 'Oh my god, it's gorgeous.'"
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The Airstream really does feel like a Madewell shop in miniature, complete with wood detailing and vintage-inspired accents like old cameras lining the walls.
A view of the wood floor inside the Airstream.
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While the centerpiece of the store is the denim collection, the store also features accessories like scarves, shirts, and shoes -- the kind of pieces you can wear with your new jeans, naturally.
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So why jeans? "Jeans is really the piece that, for women, you have to try it on to be able to fall in love with a pair, or find the right pair of jeans for yourself," says Lee. "We really wanted to make sure that you could see the jeans on your own body."
Lee already has her favorites picked out: "The skinny skinny ankle is definitely one of them … You can wear heels, you can wear boots, you can wear sandals with it, and it looks really great on all body types. The other one is the boy jean -- just for that easier, effortless vibe."
Colored jeans, too, are still in for the season, though Lee notes "it's all about getting the right shade and color for you. Some people don't want very light colors on their bottoms because it feels less flattering, while other folks can rock really light shades really well. It's just a matter of finding the right shade, and we have a lot of colors."
When it comes to picking the right pair of jeans, Lee advises: "Get to you know your body and your body type. I think that's a huge key to the success of looking good. Knowing what are your assets, and making sure you find jeans that can hide things, too."
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"It's all about proportions," says Lee. "I like to have that juxtaposition ... If you're doing a skinny bottom, have something a bit looser on top."
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In addition to the discounts, styling stations, and whatnot, Madewell's also bringing along a braiding bar, featuring braided looks to match the denim styles. We can attest to the bar's popularity: There was already a line early this morning.
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The mobile denim store also features a variety of jean shorts.
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Tees and accessories in the Madewell Airstream.
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