Madison Blank has had an unconscious relationship with menswear since getting into clothing. “I’ve always had a kind of tomboy style, it’s worked out for me,” she tells HYPEBEAST. This effortless appreciation for menswear guided her into a career at Saks Fifth Avenue, where her mother has worked for nearly three decades, where Blank worked her way up the mantle of men’s market manager after stints at Barneys and KITH. “I always loved fashion but I never really knew where my passion lay until I got into men’s fashion,” she explains. “Knowing that helped me a lot… It’s really important to find your niche.”
Mixing high-low styling is a cornerstone of Blank’s wardrobe, manifested by the contrast of a nipped Jacquemus blazer and her mom’s old Dior saddle bag with vintage Levi’s jeans and a classic Hanes T-shirt. “I used to just wear logo, logo, logo,” Blank enthuses. “Now, other than Nike there’s really nothing I wanna wear that has a logo on it.”
Though Blank is modest in describing her personal look, she’s keen to praise her personal style icons. “My mom totally inspires me,” she begins. “She’s been in fashion since I was a little kid. Other than her, Aleali May is a force to be reckoned with. And everything from The Row with the Olsen Twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, since the beginning. Just all-black everything.” Underscoring Blank’s Olsen appreciation is her pair of The Row x Oliver Peoples glasses.
“I think that people overstate [the importance] of brands,” Blank muses. “People go after key brands and think they’re [the factor] that determines whether you have good style. I don’t find that to be true. You have to pick what you love and wear it — regardless of whether it’s in fashion or not — wear it with confidence.” This personality-driven mindset informs Blank’s twin loves of couture-level quality and comfortable sportswear; the latter style represented by her timeless Jordan 1 sneakers and custom Jumpman earrings.
Retail is Blank’s business; for some, the industry is fickle and frightening, but Blank’s not merely optimistic — she’s eagerly awaiting the future. “There’s a lot of things I’m excited about, aside from the new collections,” she outlines. “At Saks’ flagship, we just opened the largest men’s shoe floor in America. Plus, we’re redoing our men’s ready-to-wear floor for 2020.”
Blank’s street-meets-sport taste is a timely take on today’s fashion culture, developed through years of measured industry analysis. This consciousness informs both her career and her wardrobe, an awareness of self and of the business that’s important to cultivate when seeking to enter the world of fashion. “A lot of people ask me about getting into fashion but they can’t tell me what exactly they actually want to do,” says Blank. “Figure that out first and follow your path, you’ll be on the right track.”