Brandon Maxwell: 'Launching own label was a challenge'
Brandon Maxwell didn't think his life could get any more difficult until he founded his own fashion label.
The American designer launched his eponymous brand in 2015 and presented his first ever line as part of New York Fashion Week that September. He already made a name for himself in the industry thanks to his work styling Lady Gaga, but eventually realised he wanted the challenge of helming his own company.
"I don't think you ever are ready creatively, I think you just have to jump in," he told Fashionista. "I will say that starting the collection came out of a bit of a dark time in my life, and personally it was a very trying physical time for me, probably up until I started a business and realised that that would be the most difficult thing I ever did.
"For me, my biggest form of therapy has always been creating something and going into a room alone. I'm very much a loner and listening to music and just getting it out - that's really where the collection came from. Making a dress on a body form feels like exercise to me, which gives me endorphins and makes me happy."
Before going it alone, Brandon was hired as designer Nicola Formichetti's assistant after sending out around "10,000 resumes" while job hunting. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Brandon as he feels the fashion icon gave him "wings", and Nicola is still present in his life now.
"I think I really learned from (Nicola) back when I started to realise, 'Oh I could go from styling to create my own collection, that's a possibility for me,'" Brandon recalled. "Because I was on set with him, shooting covers and then the next day we'd be in Paris and he was (the creative director) at Mugler and he handled both equally and well and they fed him in different ways."
Brandon solidified his place in the fashion industry on Monday night (06Jun16), when he was honoured with the Swarovski Award for Womenswear at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awards gala in New York.