Kind of funny how until recently I only knew of Madewell as the workwear manufacturer and had no idea that they were the name behind the vintage inspired J Crew sister store. I am also sure that most customers of the current incarnation have no idea of the authentic American Made work clothes from Madewell’s past.
Madewell Manufacturing Company was founded in 1937 and based in New Bedford, Massachusetts. They were a family-owned workwear company known for its popular farmer bib overalls and painters pants. In February 1989 Madewell dismissed its last remaining 70 employees, announcing it would close. At one time they employed 350 people. J. Crew's CEO Mickey Drexler purchased the Madewell brand and typography which was resurrected as a new retail concept Madewell 1937 by the J. Crew Group in 2006.
A Madewell flasher from a pair of 1950’s deadstock dungarees sold by Little Reata; more photos and info here.