Handbag designer Joanna Maxham — whose namesake brand has grown nearly 300 percent in the last two years — appears to have successfully charted a trajectory from the corporate world to the creative one.The Connecticut-based designer’s collection of streamlined leather bags is presently sold in over 50 stores in the U.S., with additional distribution arms in Asia and Europe.An alumni of IBM’s marketing department, Maxham decided a career change was in order “three to four years into my career, when I realized I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do. My creative interests came back — I took drawing classes and found more of my calling,” she told WWD.When her husband was assigned a job posting in various countries in Europe, eventually including Maxham's native Poland, she used her family’s relocation as an opportunity to train under an Italian leather-goods manufacturer.It was then that she “noticed a space in the market for handbags that were more minimalist and really good quality, but at a price that is still affordable."“I realized that anything I liked was in the range of $2,000 to $3,000, and what my friends could afford in terms of the quality and styling was not what I was comfortable with.”She launched an initial run of handbags in 2011, but in 2014 ramped up the business with outside investment from a private investor and a sales director. Retailers now include Anthropologie’s Web site, United Arrows and Takashimaya. Bags are priced from $265 to $850.The line is manufactured in Maxham’s native Poland, fabricated from leathers sourced in Italy, France and Spain. Accent hardware is sourced in Italy, Spain, France and Japan.
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.
@beyonce chose a custom gown by @falgunishanepeacockindia for mother @mstinalawson 's second annual Wearable Art Gala last night. The gown, which took 10 days to make, was inspired by Nubian warrior queen Amanishakheto. Reporting by @hernameislex . #wwdeye 👑 🐝#beyonce
After dressing @justintimberlake for his Super Bowl halftime performance last month, @stellamccartney has designed the star’s "Man of the Woods" tour wardrobe. Timberlake will be wearing a mix of pieces from McCartney’s fall men's collection as well as custom designs and items from his own closet. #wwdfashion