After a pop-up this summer featuring prominent Chicago designer JoeFreshGoods and a multitude of his brands, it was definitely great foreshadowing of what was to come with the new space at Madison-USA located in the Short North.
Friday, September 29th was the grand opening with many city-goers anticipating entering the space, some for the first time and some revisiting since the teaser this summer. The store has completely been transformed into an open, clean, and minimalistic space; an aesthetic that fits that of the Short North, but is also something fresh for the area and city.
The owner Evan Turner, a Chicago native, Alumni of The Ohio State University and professional basketball player for the Portland Trailblazers, along with founders Jarrel Tolbert and Jelani Floyd, together bring a taste of Chicago right to the heart of Ohio. With Madison paying homage to the street they grew up on in Chicago.
The trio, a power house with an umbrella company housing artist management, hosting camps for unsigned basketball players who didn’t receive scholarships to college, and yearly coat drives, decided about 4 years ago that they wanted to bring Chicago vibes to Columbus, while shining the light on Columbus’ culture. “You can walk outside in Chicago and there’s an abundance of artists, designers, musicians, etc. and we wanted to showcase that same thing here”, says Tolbert. For them that means getting heavily involved with the Columbus community through gallery hops, musical events, collaborations with other businesses and even educating people about the brands in the store through workshops.
Madison will feature menswear, streetwear, sneakers, publications and other goods. The store currently houses brands such as Work in Progress, Joe Garvey, Robert Geller, Bootleg is Better, Death to Tennis, Head of State, Carthart and Levi Vintage – all brands with a story according to Tolbert. The team didn’t want to choose the most popular brands to feature in their store, but wanted to focus on and highlight those who are up and coming, which seems to tie into their overall goal for Madison. Accompanying these brands will also be an in-house brand that features Champion apparel with striking red Madison logos down the sides of sweatpants and long-sleeved shirts. This in-house brand can currently be found in store and on the store website.
While highlighting the goldmine that is Columbus, Madison-USA brings a host of symbolisms of Chicago culture. Upon entering the store right at the focal point is a large statue known as “Fly Boy”, a work of Chicago artist Hebru Brantley. Brantley’s work is also featured in Chance The Rapper’s video “Angels”. The store also features a small art gallery of black and white images courtesy of Chicago’s own Mr. Patton, Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins an Editorial Producer at Complex Media and Randall “Sickamore” Medford the Senior Vice President of A&R and creative director for Interscope Records. The store looks forward to including Columbus artists’ works in their gallery in the future. With the creation of Madison as a storefront and a brand, the trio is looking to inspire and empower the people around them and the Columbus community.
Madison is located in the Short North at 1219 N. High St, Columbus, Ohio 43201. More information on the brand itself and in-store brands can be found here. Be sure to follow their social media pages to stay up on current products and events.