“Maybe I’m overly optimistic all the time, but [this time] has really driven home what fashion is to me, it’s the connection with people,” Brandon Maxwell expressed over Zoom. “The shows and everything I do is really about the food and the drinks and the music and getting together.…It’s been wonderful to pivot and see that that human connection can happen in any sort of way.”
In the early months of lockdown, Maxwell’s brand was able to launch its own full-fledged e-commerce, which he added found success quickly (especially in denim and knits). While spending three months straight in his Brooklyn home quarantining, the designer took the time to build out not only multiple capsules of one-of-a-kind garments, exclusive to the site, but also a weekly newsletter for his loyal customers and private clients. The newsletter features recipes and playlists (among other things) that the designer and his team were enjoying and trying at home. Having this time to connect brought forth a renewed perspective and enabled the designer to move his brand in a direction that he felt was more what his woman was yearning for, and also of who he is as a person. “I think I’m a very sportswear, colorful, optimistic person, so I wanted it [the resort collection] to feel joy and happiness, and convey the message that the sun will shine again, because I believe that it will.”
Additionally, while very aware and sensitive to the hardships of the industry and the world in the midst of a pandemic, Maxwell looked optimistically at the advantage of time. “I thought maybe never again in my life I’d be able to say, ‘When I feel like it, I’m going to do it,’” Maxwell quipped, referring to designing his tight, 15-look resort collection.
After three months of quarantining from home, the designer woke up one morning, loaded a bag of fabrics from prior collections together, threw down a blanket at a park and started playing with colors. Over the years, he has realized the personal joy that colors bring, which he brought into resort through vibrant greens, pink and reds. For silhouettes, Maxwell — who firmly believes in repetition — focused on translating evening offerings into modern sportswear. He reinterpreted pieces that had been down the runway before, in one way or another, adding that while he certainly loves runway shows, the fashion calendar’s tight schedule (especially for fall) permits certain ideas or garments from “fully cooking.” For instance, a men’s blazer with double lapels from fall (that was never produced) came in burgundy-toned wool and was paired with cutoff denim shorts. Denim and knitwear were abundant but so were transitional, dressier offerings, like a pink cotton top with a little bolero or a sleek red jumpsuit. From sarong cut skirts to polished dresses, the collection offered a colorful, upbeat spin on modern sportswear.