Called Mayde Worldwide, the unisex range is comprised of elevated essentials in silhouettes honed by May. The first drop includes a cropped hoodie, an oversize hoodie with dropped shoulders, slouchy sweatpants, bike shorts, a bra top and a ribbed tank, all in cobalt blue.
“I’m from South Central Los Angeles, the Dodgers, the water here, it’s definitely a Los Angeles color,” she said during a celebratory dinner at Horses in Hollywood on Thursday night. “A lot of people go with neutrals, but I wanted to start with something bold,” she added of the collection, which is designed to fit people with different bust sizes and suit “both the fitted and the baggy girl, and I’m both of those depending on the day,” she said.
Prices are $50 to $185, and the collection is sold at MaydeWorldwide.net. There will be new drops every one to two months and collaborations starting in 2023. May is open to retail partners as the business grows.
“There’s not a lot of people who can carry a brand. I produce Stüssy, I produce Undefeated, I produce Chrome Hearts. There are so many people in L.A. who are looked at as a spectacle versus people who are looked at for influence, to dress like and be like. Aleali is one of those people,” said Jakob Deitell, who partnered with her on the brand. “I think this is going to be what Yeezy could have been — high-end, oversize specific basics we all want to wear. Things that can be worn every day that aren’t heavily branded.”
May attended college in Chicago and worked at Louis Vuitton and Virgil Abloh’s RSVP Gallery, which became fodder for her popular Tumblr account and set her on the path to influencer status. She moved back to L.A. in 2014 and quickly picked up modeling gigs with Stüssy and Vans and styled Kendrick Lamar and Tinashe. Her clients have also included Jaden Smith, Lil Yachty and Kali Uchis. A lifelong sneakerhead, with an interest in bringing more female representation to streetwear, she started collaborating with Nike Jordan on footwear and apparel in 2017 and is one of only two female designers to design for the brand.
She has influenced a generation of creatives in L.A. and beyond, as evidenced by the dinner crowd assembled to cheer her on Thursday, including photographer Sarah Khalid, who shot May for the recent Mugler campaign, and also took the first Mayde campaign images. “She inspired me to get into fashion,” said Khalid, who grew up in Lebanon following May’s adventures online.
Designer, stylist and DJ Monte Christo, who arrived late from a shoot with Foot Locker, pointed to May’s trailblazing legacy in the sneaker space, which resulted in Ehsani being appointed as the athletic brand’s first women’s creative director.
May launched Mayde to fill wardrobe gaps she’d noticed while styling, she said. All of the pieces are manufactured in L.A., at her studio in Vernon. “To be from L.A. and be a fashion girl at this time, there’s more opportunity than ever,” she said, rocking her cobalt tank top with vintage Dior leather pants and Balenciaga bubble sunglasses.
“It’s a destination, we get good weather, there’s great places to have shows,” May added, nodding to the Celine runway show coming to L.A. on Dec. 8 and the Versace show landing on March 10. “Rick Owens should do one here, too,” she suggested. “People underestimate the style of Angelenos,” she said with a laugh. “We’re here, we’re just spread out.”