Brandon Maxwell RESORT 2021
Not too long after the New York City lockdown began, Brandon Maxwell launched his e-commerce site and a newsletter, which he writes himself. The newsletter is designed to move merchandise, of course, but Maxwell uses a personal touch. One week, he’s sharing a story about his first bike ride—and his first time in jeans—in months: “Both of these things made a huge difference in lifting my spirits, and I suggest trying them if you can!” Another week, he’s sharing links to at-home tutorials from Deborah Lippmann, his backstage manicurist, and Michael and Darroch Putnam, the floral designers at his shows. He’s not averse to promoting his friend’s merchandise either; Gigi Burris, the maker of his pre-fall 2020 moiré silk hair accessories, has been the beneficiary of such largesse.
The challenges of operating a luxury clothing business amidst the pandemic and the recession it has caused are many, the collapsing department-store model not least among them. But Maxwell was sanguine on a resort collection Zoom call. The launch of that e-comm site means he’s far less reliant on his wholesalers than he was previously. It’s now a 50/50 split between wholesale and direct-to-consumer, as opposed to 90/10—and he’s far better connected to his clients. Camaraderie and community are two hallmarks of Maxwell’s feel-good fashion shows; the online connections he’s making now are a smart, necessary extension of that.
What those online connections are telling him is that his women want fantasy and comfort these days. So, the 15 resort looks he put together bridge that gap. Skirts are cut with the ease of sarongs, and there’s an emphasis on denim, which does well for him, as well as roomy knit separates and clingy knit dresses. Any flourishes are above the waist; capelet shoulders, décolleté-revealing cutouts, and the giant duchesse bow of the single evening dress seem tailor-made for Zoom. Color is the story here, from a vivid green suit to a baby pink shirtdress to chartreuse trousers. “I wanted joy, optimism, excitement,” he said. If you sign up for his newsletter, he’ll throw in a weekend playlist too.
See every single look from Brandon Maxwell RESORT 2021 Collection in the gallery, below :