Women of all sizes need party dresses and a new brand is out to fill that niche.
Donna Kang, one of the three partners in Timo Weiland, has teamed with Megan Wall, a former design director at Michael Kors, to create Maer, a direct-to-consumer brand of event-driven clothes for women. The name is derived from the Old Welsh word for “mayor” and includes dresses as well pants and tops, many of which are metallic or sequined.
Maer — whose tag line is “The Future of Fashion Is Inclusive” — is being marketed as a size-inclusive brand with its collection available in sizes 2 to 20. It launches on Thursday.
“I remember my mother admiring outfits but then saying things, like, ‘I could never find that in my size,’” said Wall, who said her mother was a size 14. “I never understood it growing up, but working in fashion, I realized that there really is no consideration for people like her.”
Kang said it was when Timo Weiland created uniforms for Crowne Plaza hotels a couple of years ago that she realized the need for sizing to be more expansive. “I learned the women were taking slacks home to wear out because nothing else looked as good.”
Maer is designed and produced in Portugal where Wall now lives. The New York-based designer, who also worked for Donna Karan, relocated there after meeting her husband in Lisbon on vacation.
The first collection is called Night Lights and is inspired by the nightlife in New York and Lisbon. Initial styles include an off-the-shoulder ruched top with a gold pencil skirt; metallic mini dresses; long-sleeve bodysuits, and metallic evening sarongs.
The collection is designed with linings that offer extra support and breathability while creating a smoothing silhouette. Wrap ties are adjustable and closures are intended to allow for comfort and motion. “The collection lends itself to the cocktail end of the spectrum,” Wall said, but can be worn for other occasions as well.
Maer uses fit models that are a size 14, the average size of the American woman, as well as a size 6. It is manufactured in women-run factories with expertise in producing garments for curvy silhouettes.
Kang and Wall have been friends for more than a decade and decided to work together when Timo Weiland went on hiatus and Wall decided she wanted to “find a way back into fashion. It was pulsing through me, it’s what I love and what I do best,” she said. They brainstormed on the concept and decided to produce a line that would “dress as many women as we could.”
Maer, which launches with 16 buy-now-wear-now styles, will retail for $175 to $595. New pieces will be offered each month.