In the kitchen, Gigi wears a Madewell striped shirt, Madewell sweatshirt shorts, a vintage polka-dot bomber, and shoes from Sigerson Morrison. She got the old department store sign in the background at a flea market in Montreal. The lamp is vintage Jielde. Enlarge Image
Chances are, you're probably just as big a fan of Madewell's quirky-chic style staples as we are. Smart-fitting jeans, great I-can't-believe-it's-not-Margiela knit jackets, and way too many dangerously good pairs of shoes to count. Surprise! One of the brilliant minds behind this label we wanna live in, marketing director, Gigi Guerra, just happens to be a former editor at Lucky and one of our longtime gurus of personal style and a certain sort of off-beat chic…times a hundred. Naturally, we were super psyched when she invited us to her home on the Lower East Side, which is pretty much like one big, carnival of sartorial surprises. Vintage, designer, random ephemera from Guerra's travels all over the world…it's all here, but it's how she makes it work so effortlessly and with such a wink of fun that really enchants us. Read on for more peeks into this collector's fashionable life.
The living room is full of artifacts from Gigi's travels. Enlarge Image
Describe your personal style in three words:
"Spontaneous, affordable, mash-up."
Left: Greenery in Gigi's apartment. Right: On Rivington street, Gigi wears a vintage dress over a Madewell tank top. Enlarge Image
What's your secret weapon, the thing you turn to in a pinch to bring a look together?
"In winter it's black tights. In summer, Madewell jean shorts. Year-round, it's a cluster of mismatched vintage brooches and stick-pins."
Out on the Lower East Side, Gigi wears a vintage lace gown from Shareen Vintage, a Madewell striped tank, and a pouch she made from a kit from Tandy Leather. Enlarge Image
What are the five key pieces you find yourself wearing constantly?
1. "A tiny, worn-out drawstring suede pouch around my neck with bits of my mom's jewelry tucked inside."
2. "Dark Madewell Legging Jeans...I wear them 50% of my waking hours."
3. "A threadbare Mickey Mouse T-shirt and a sweatshirt with a screen-printed ribcage on it. Some guy passed me on the street last time I was wearing it and exclaimed 'nice ribs!'"
4. "3.1 Phillip Lim underpinnings."
5. "Shoes by LD Tuttle and Rachel Comey."
Gigi's shoes have taken over her living room. Her favorites are vintage pairs by Maud Frizon and Margaret Jerrold and the pretzel-print sneakers by Keep, a line out of California run by an old friend. Enlarge Image
Tell us about working with Alexa Chung on her forthcoming Alexa Chung for Madewell line. How did you two collaborate and how did you decide to bring her on board?
"All of us at Madewell are huge fans of Alexa's. Her personal style is just so intuitive and individual and inspiring—she really does her own thing. I feel her brain is always exploding with ideas: When she was on vacation she faxed us some sketches of T-shirt illustrations, and those exact ones ended up going into production, literally straight from the fax."
Gigi with her dachshund, Lou, in her living room wearing a highly-flammable acrylic cardigan from a thrift store in suburban Miami, a vintage Stephen Sprouse sequined strapless dress, and a necklace from an antique store in Copenhagen. The coffeetable is a vintage metal stool that she put an Ikea tray on top. Note the shoes shoved under her couch—valuable storage space! "My shoes are like roaches—lurking in every dark nook of my apartment." Enlarge Image
Any exciting new Madewell products or news in the works?
"The biggest news is that you'll be able to shop Madewell online early next month at www.madewell.com. I can't wait! Absolutely everything in the line will be there, and if you want to find out exactly when it's all happening, sign up for emails now at the site. The Alexa Chung for Madewell collection will be there, too, when it launches this fall. I'm going to live in it all. Also, we're launching a partnership with Shareen Vintage, an amazing (and wallet-friendly) vintage dealer out of L.A., in mid-June. The L.A. Madewell will stock the collection, which was handpicked with Shareen and our design team, as will the NYC Madewell. Most of my vintage comes from her, so I'm super excited."
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