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Madewell Takes a Painterly Approach to Workwear

Madewell’s latest collection puts its signature spin on a painter’s wardrobe.

The J. Crew Group-owned denim brand tapped paint company Backdrop to debut Studio Hours, a range of painters’ essentials inspired by “the endless hours artists spend in the studio” wearing their overalls and chore jackets.

The collection features a garment-dyed denim chore jacket and overalls, an artist smock top, and T-shirts and hoodies made with cotton and recycled cotton blends. The collection also offers ribbed socks, a canvas supplies bag and sneakers made with recycled canvas, recycled rubber and rice-husk outsoles.

A special taupe paint color—a neutral hue that’s carried throughout the range—is also part of the lineup. The paint is available in Backdrop’s standard, semi-gloss and cabinet and door paint in full and half-gallon sizes.

Madewell collaborated with paint company Backdrop on a neutral-toned capsule collection consisting of painters’ essentials.
Madewell Studio Hours collection Courtesy

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Backdrop to bring to life a workwear collection and exclusive paint color inspired by the endless possibilities of a blank canvas,” said Joyce Lee, senior vice president of design at Madewell. “Studio Hours is our modern twist on a classic neutral. Together, we were able to bridge our joint passion for self-expression and great design into a collection and color palette that celebrates all of the creativity and style of the artist community.”

This is not Madewell’s first venture into the booming home category. The brand currently offers an array of products by other brands that span kitchen and bed and bath supplies as well as candles and other home décor. Conversely, Backdrop has dipped its toes in the apparel space, with “painters’ shirts” included in its core offering. The unisex shirt is available in a white long sleeve design, with a T-shirt style soon available in a range of colors that match select paint products.

The home category has recently seen the addition of denim heavyweights like Levi’s and Wrangler, who stepped into the space just last year. The pandemic fueled the category’s popularity, as people around the world were forced to spend more time indoors and isolated from others. Still, fashion’s interest in the space pre-dates the pandemic, with a wave of brands entering the home category years before.

The Studio Hours capsule collection is available now on the Madewell and Backdrop websites, with prices ranging from $14.50-$148. It’s offered in women’s sizes XXS-XXL and men’s sizes XS-XXL.