On Joyce’s Desk: 5 Things Our Designer’s Into Right Now


This may be the first time googly eyes, a mythical costume book and velvet boots have all been on the same desk in the history of the world. Or at least in the history of Madewell.

Madewell just moved into a new office with windows everywhere, and aside from basking in all the natural light that floods in, we’ve loved another unexpected perk: getting to peek at the random, beautiful and sometimes bizarre things that appear on our designer Joyce’s desk. (Hey, we’re a curious bunch!) When a bowl of googly eyes showed up, we asked for a little background. Here’s what Joyce is loving right now.

1. Maske and Yokainoshima, two photo books

“I am, no exaggeration, obsessed with these books. I’ve always found so much inspiration in tribal dress and costumes, and these portraits are incredible. It’s not about looking the best or wildest—it’s about each person creating something really genuine that captures the local spirit and tradition. I have images from these photographers on inspiration boards, but I’d never seen the actual books until someone recommended them!”


2. The Nealy Boot in Print Velvet

“Whoever invented velvet, I owe them. It’s my go-to for getting dressed during the holidays, since everything feels festive in that fabric. Our Nealy Boot’s cut at the right spot on the ankle so it’ll look great with cropped jeans or even wide-leg trousers.”


3. Googly eyes (!)

“It’s impossible to not laugh when you put googly eyes on things. I’ve always loved them. Now that I have my daughter, Poppy, it’s even more fun because she finds them to be hysterical. I keep a little bowl of them on my desk, so it’s all too convenient to stick them everywhere. We may have a habit of adding them to shoe samples…DIY, anyone?”


4. @canalstreetmarket

“I can’t wait for Canal Street Market to open next month in NYC’s Chinatown. It’s going to be a massive food hall, art space and shop. You can’t find out much about it just yet, but the vibe comes across through its Instagram account, where they post tons of inspirational images and art across many eras. It’s such an unexpected type of feed for a ‘food hall.’”


5. Atelier DALO’s ceramics

“These expressions! The two artists, Daniel Derock and Loïc de Bailliencourt, make each one by hand in Paris.

I love anything with a face—it always brings an element of playfulness to an object, and I think about that a lot as we design clothes. I want Madewell to feel inviting and warm, like a wardrobe full of familiar friends.”

Future familiar friends right this way, in the form of our newest arrivals.
Shop now.

Photography courtesy of Judy Finch and @canalstreetmarket and by Jennifer Trahan.