City Pulse

By Alison Leiby

There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to go buy new clothes and after hours of scouring department stores and boutiques you come to the conclusion that you’d rather just start your own line than spend money on something you know you’re not going to wear. As the Creative Director of her new line MadeMe, Erin Magee never has to settle for less than stellar items anymore. And thankfully, neither does anyone else. Taking her experiences as designer for Supreme, her collection melds together the seemingly impossible: sexy streetwear with luxurious comfort.

America’s fascination with celebrity inspires MadeMe’s launch line, “First to Fall.” Imbuing the cool of Marilyn and Madonna into chic streetwear, Magee aims for this line to break away from the less-than-exciting looks on the market. The degree of celebrity inspiration varies across items, from just hinting at the essence of fame and luxury with a buttery, leather bomber jacket ($700) to the lyrics from “Like a Virgin” emblazoned on a t-shirt ($45).

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Pieces from the collection all attempt to redirect casual streetwear, including leggings, tees and hoodies. In an updated 80s color palette – think black, grey, pink and purple – the knit pieces distinguish themselves from others while perfectly complementing the more structured jeans ($150). Instead of presenting head to toe, super stylized looks, Magee has designed great pieces to mix in and out of other things. She also gives her customer the option to wear all pieces at once without being mistaken for the collection’s marketing tool or one of the sartorially challenged.

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The celebrity cool factor even weaves its way into the denim in the collection. In a market inundated with skinny jeans and run of the mill styles, Magee has created two new silhouettes rivaling the premium lines in sophistication. The first, Down Lo, embraces the undeniable sex appeal of men’s Levi’s 501s and adds a dose of femininity. The low yoke and straight leg separate this style from any other pair of jeans. Paired with anything from platform peep-toes to sporty sneakers, these jeans look fresh. For customers seeking a more trend-driven cut, MadeMe offers Up Hi, a lighter weight, darker jean with a high waist and wider leg. Both cuts translate flawlessly from day well into night.

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Making chic but still fresh streetwear has its difficulties, and Magee has mastered them all. Her line is wearable and versatile in a market where few interesting things are. The pieces from this launch collection look great ensemble or mixed with other looks. Judging from this premiere, MadeMe will be making women go shopping for many seasons to come.

Get your MadeMe at Valley (48 Orchard St., 212.274.8985) and various other retailers. Check out the collection at MadeMeClothing.com. And for the girls who think ahead, here is a taste of what MadeMe’s got coming out in the Spring.

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Originally published November 2007
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