A Love Affair with the Lone Star State

Last Friday, designer Brandon Maxwell gave New York Fashion Week a little slice of the South. The native Texan based his Spring 2019 collection on the vibrant and upscale culture of East Texas’s old oil money. He even relocated to Marfa, Texas with his team to put together this line. The bright pinks and reds as well as the structured pieces gave off a first lady-esque vibe while simultaneously paying homage to the long-standing pageant culture of the Lone Star state. While we’ve seen many other designers take on the American Southwest this season including Isabel Marant and David Koma, Maxwell’s newest collection was a refreshing take on the region that didn’t include fringe or bolo ties.

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The question that has left everyone guessing: why did Maxwell base a collection off of a place in which he felt so afraid as a child? In an article for the Dallas News, Maxwell told the reporter, “I was scared to go out as a kid, afraid that somebody might beat me up… I just knew I was going to get out of town and do something with my life. I knew I was going to create something big for myself.” For anyone at the runway show, this would seem like a tall tale. The show was a beautiful representation of his home state that included pink Yeti coolers as the front row seats, trucks on display, string lights lovingly hung from the ceiling and, most importantly, a brilliant collection that reflected arguably the most beautiful parts of Texas history.

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GIVING BACK IS THE MOST FASHIONABLE THING WE CAN DO! This is me dancing with excitement hours before my SS19 show. This was such a major collection for me and my team; together we designed something that we felt was beautiful and represented where I came from and that also allowed us to give back in a big way to Marfa, Texas, the place where I designed this collection, through our partnership with @kiamotorsusa . While I was in Marfa I learned that the their education system is in dire need of funding that is necessary to achieve educational standards. I am honored to partner with Kia as they make a substantial donation to the Marfa Schools and launch their new line, the #KiaTelluride, that was at my show on Saturday evening. A #KiaTelluride will be gifted to the teachers, enabling them to commute to Austin and Dallas for continual professional training. Additionally, Kia will be providing funding for technological advancements and educational programming necessary to give children of Marfa the quality education they deserve. I would never be where I am without the support of others and my own education. Together with Kia, we hope to afford others the opportunity to realize their full potential and chase their dreams. Thank you @kiamotorsusa — this means so much <3

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Maxwell, however, regained a love for his East Texas roots as he finished his bachelor’s degree at Austin’s St. Edward’s University after spending the first two years studying at Marymount Manhattan College in NYC. In the same article he told the reporter that he “found every bit of who he was” while finishing up his degree closer to home. Clearly his relationship with his home state has evolved from an appreciation to a total love affair. His presentation of this relationship was a beautiful gift to the fashion world packaged with authenticity and tied together with undeniable elegance.

Meredith Welborn

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