It all starts with the fit. Such is Brandon Maxwell’s modus operandi when it comes to his impeccably tailored, monochromatic collection of sculptural crepe and silk separates paired with elegant dresses. The stylist-cum-designer, whose biggest client and supporter is none other than Lady Gaga, first turned to creating a collection last year in an effort to make women “feel beautiful, sophisticated and powerful.” From the get-go, his humble beginnings in Texas connected him to the world of fashion, albeit it wouldn’t be how one might first expect. “I have been dressing women my entire life,” explains the designer when recalling his first foray into fashion. “I spent my childhood in a clothing store that was run by my grandmother, watching her dress customers while I practiced draping clothes on my sister and girlfriends. Creating my own brand was always my dream, even as I dressed women as a stylist.”
Although he never formally studied design, assisting a who’s who of notable stylists in the business provided him an incomparable training – Deborah Afshani, Edward Enninful, and finally, Nicola Formichetti, gave him the insight of proportions and the art of a woman’s form. “Styling has always been a master class for me, and it offers me a chance to really work on women, tailor the clothing to their bodies, and gain insight to what is flattering, which then helps me as I begin a new collection.” Indeed his industry connections through styling provided a glamorous showing for his first collection last year as Alexander Wang, Inez & Vinoodh, Edward Enninful, and yes, Gaga herself, cheered him on from the sidelines. Designed and produced in New York City, Maxwell looks heavily towards the city for the classic and timeless inspiration in his design process. With this year’s nomination for the LVMH Prize, the young designer’s status is certainly cemented as one to watch and if won, expanding the brand’s production and operations would be the first priority.
Presenting Models.com’s exclusive spotlight on each of the 8 finalists of the LVMH 2016 Young Fashion Designer Prize in anticipation of their final presentation at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
On June 16th, LVMH will announce the winner of their 2016 Young Fashion Designer Prize from a pool of 8 finalists – Aalto, Alyx, Brandon Maxwell, Facetasm, Koché, Vejas, Wales Bonner, and Y/Project. Started in November 2013, the prize was launched to champion standout talent and foster their labels. Winning means getting a seal of approval from a jury of fashion’s foremost designers and industry professionals like Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Riccardo Tisci, J.W. Anderson, Phoebe Philo, Karl Lagerfeld, and LVMH’s own Delphine Arnault. Aside from being recognized by the industry, the winner receives a 300,000 euro grant and a year’s worth of expert technical and financial support from the foundation. Of course, success in the industry for these designers isn’t dependent on winning, but it certainly sets the stage.
Stylist William Graper
Hair Joey George (The Wall Group)
Makeup Cyndle Komarovski (Honey Artists)
Manicurist Yukie Miyakawa
Producer Jazmin Alvarez
Art Direction Stephan Moskovic
Editors Irene Ojo-Felix & Steven Yatsko
Text by Irene Ojo-Felix