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March 18, 2024

MadonnaLand at Macy’s, 1985

Long before there was the Truth or Dare or the Material Girl line at Macy’s there was MadonnaLand back in 1985. Andy Warhol was there at the opening as well as Maripol, MTV and, of course, Madonna lookalike JeanAnne DiFranco.

The Virgin Tour was responsible for generating a new brand of female fan called a Madonna Wannabe. Madonna’s trademark lace attire, rubber bangles, and crucifix earrings became a fashion trademark for Madonna Wannabe’s all over the world. 

Macy’s department store in New York stocked an array of Madonna-inspired lacy garments, together with rubber bangles and large crucifix earrings. There was a somewhat frenzied copying of Madonna’s style during this period, among young women. Women were dressing like Madonna to attend The Virgin Tour. It seems that the whole world wanted a piece of Madonna.

Debbi Voller, in her book Madonna – The Style Book, says “Hundreds of thousands of young girls came to the concert dressed like her, with bleached and tousled hair, see-through tops, bras, fingerless gloves and crucifixes. Magazines and TV shows ran lookalike competitions.”

Madonna herself has said, “I never set out to be a role model. I am a strong woman, a successful woman and I don't conform to a stereotype. For so long, women have been told that there are certain ways they mustn't look if they want to get ahead in life. And there I was, dressing in a forbidden way and yet obviously in charge of my life. It was then I realized why were all of them out there in their seats, dressing like me.”

Sam Gower, writing in Rolling Stone, said “In the sixties, women burned their bras, now they wear five at a time and bare their belly buttons. Madonna has done for the corset and crucifix what punk did for the safety pin. Macy’s New York department store was flooded with buyers who bought the tour merchandise like the crucifix earrings and fingerless gloves.”


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