Madelynn Furlong is in the midst of a style epiphany.
“The other day, someone said to me, ‘I love your color,’” she recalls, jokingly adding, “And I was like, ‘Thanks, it’s called pink. I just discovered it.’”
Heretofore, the woman behind one of the most popular style blogs in Minnesota was best known for her minimal black-and-white color scheme. Now, a traipse through Furlong’s Instagram feed displays an increased used of color—albeit the palest shades of pink and blue.
Furlong’s slow embrace of color has been a long time coming. At 25, her celebrated minimalist style is imbued with a sense of restraint, thoughtfulness, and sophistication beyond her years. Her style journey began in 2010, when she set about building a simpler and more thoughtful wardrobe, home, and lifestyle. She founded her blog, Wide Eyed Legless—named to reflect a sense of wide-eyed naiveté to the world and being swept off one’s feet—to document the adventure. Just more than four years later, the blog boasts 150,000 visitors a month.
“It’s been a process of elimination, of stripping everything out and starting fresh,” she says of her style trajectory. “I feel like I had to switch to black and white to rediscover how I wanted to use and incorporate color, because it’s so powerful and beautiful, and I want to make sure I use it in the right way.”
Her minimalist aesthetic is apparent when stepping foot into her Lowertown St. Paul home, a lofted apartment in a historic, converted warehouse she shares with her husband, Caylon, and their Bernese mountain dog, Benzel. High archways and expansive windows flood the space with light, while exposed brick walls and wooden beams lend a warmth to the space—which Furlong has countered with modern décor, such as an industrial Workstead chandelier and a Blu Dot leather-sling lounge chair.
By day, Furlong lends her design sensibilities to Target, where she works as the social-media art director for the company’s fashion and beauty products. But it’s her blog that truly reflects her style—and has led to work with iconic brands such as J.Crew, Loeffler Randall, Banana Republic, and Rachel Comey. In fact, it’s her blog that led to her current position at Target—“I was doing art directing without knowing what art directing was,” she says of her blog. She’s also lent her artistic eye to her sister-in-law Lisa Hackwith’s Minneapolis-based clothing brand, Hackwith Design House.
Recently, Wide Eyed Legless expanded beyond the blogosphere to incorporate a retail arm. The newly launched WEL shop features a small, rotating collection of exclusive products created in collaboration with some of Furlong’s favorite designers. Products have included a Kuu Collections black leather bucket bag with brass hardware, minimalist bronze arc-shaped studs by Neal Jewelry, and color-blocked ceramic tumblers by Dust & Form.
The initial range of products came in a neutral palette of black, white, gold, and bronze, but spring’s collection includes a broader range of hues.
“Pink is the ‘it’ color of my life and everyone else’s,” she says in a winking tone. “They just don’t know it yet.”
Furlong at home
Madelynn Furlong’s Style Crib Sheet
On her beauty routine:
“I use Japanese skin-care line Tatcha, which is based on ancient Geisha rituals, which is cool enough, plus it works for me and I have pretty sensitive skin. Lately I’ve been using Glossier skin tint—it doesn’t have a lot of coverage, but it fine tunes and looks really natural.”
On the joys of eyelash extensions:
“I just had them done at Brow Chic. It makes me feel pretty, and I don’t have to wear mascara. And I don’t wake up with raccoon eyes anymore!”
On marching to the beat of her own style drum:
“A lot of people in Minnesota are doing that rugged, I’m-from-the-north style well, but I don’t want to do something just because it’s trendy. I want to do what feels good to me.”