A rare example of stylist-turned-designer who wins at both games, Brandon Maxwell has helped make Lady Gaga a sensation, and is busy amp’ing up the formal sex appeal paradigm for spring
by Tiffany Press
The stylist-turned-designer journey has not always worked in the past.
The two roles have such similar principles and skills required that the transition should be seamless. However, past examples have shown that the two worlds often cancel each other out, with stylists typically having a difficult time defining an identity of their own after years of interpreting other designers for celebrities.
In, then, comes the idea of the “creative director,” a stylist whose job does not begin and end with pulling the most popular looks from the runways and placing them on their A-listers. Instead, and in addition, a creative director builds, styles, and packages clients’ aesthetics with a fine-tooth comb, and it takes a unique talent to do this. Brandon Maxwell is the ultimate example of such a visionary. The longtime Lady Gaga stylist /creative director took off years ago by running with his namesake label and hasn’t looked back since.
In just a few short years, Maxwell has parlayed his styling career into one of the most discussed and awarded new designer brands in the world. This year, he received the CFDA Swarovski award, a nod previously given to Creatures of the Wind and Rosie Assoulin.
Maxwell hails from Texas, and has a long history of connecting one-on-one with women. His roots in fashion began with work in his grandmother’s clothing store, but, unlike most designers with a traditional education in design, he continued his career and learning process through styling; working with each client directly. When he and Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga, first met in 2010, the magic was palpable and instantaneous, and over time, he helped bend her toward a slightly gentler, old-Hollywood-influenced sensibility. That Maxwell aesthetic is now shared among a large, diverse group of influential women across Hollywood, fashion and music
When he and Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga, first met in 2010, the magic was instantaneous.
platforms. Fans include Karlie Kloss, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Michelle Obama. The sheer variety in his customer base confirms an ability to direct personal style into often surprising representations.
Maxwell’s aesthetic is also fearless. There is an ever-present mood of throwback sophistication in his designs—Joan Crawford in spirit but Halston in attitude. Everything he creates is handmade and produced in New York, too, a home which also has a distinct effect on the personality of his work—strong and subtle at once. His first show was held at the legendary Mr. Chow on East 57 Street and featured only black-, ivory-, and rose-hued pieces, further resonating with customers hungry for an urban glamour state of mind. Maxwell has continued that habit of debuting designs in legendary Big Apple establishments, such as the Spring 2017 line, which was shown at The Russian Tea Room. He lives in Greenwich Village with his French bulldog, Stella.
In Maxwell’s clothes, women find a simple architecture and storytelling. Resting on talent as opposed to gimmicks, the 32-year-old has made a major name for himself…a true small town boy made, very, very good.
Brandon Maxwell Studio
147 West 35th Street, #1804, Manhattan / 212.706.7296