The Internet is a scary place. It can also be a very bleak one, which is something that designer Maisie Schloss was confronted by as she worked on her fall lineup. “A huge through line of this brand has been studying digital culture and observing and analyzing the way we live online,” said Schloss, calling in from Los Angeles. “But with how heavy times are right now, being online seems particularly bleak,” she added. “I just needed the collection to feel optimistic.”
So what happens when a URL-native brand cuts off its WiFi and goes offline? “I touched some grass,” Schloss said, mostly metaphorically. The exercise led to a tightly edited lineup that unveiled a more demure and mature side of Maisie Willen. “I was thinking of my customer’s evolution and where she’s at,” said Schloss, “I want to cater to the person that’s growing alongside the brand and stick to my ethos of making basics for the maximalist.” This last thought rang true in Schloss’s printed featherweight jersey dresses and boat neck tops with shirred side seams at the waist. A sheer blouse with diagonal velvet details and a pair of cut off tailored shorts felt like Schloss was breaking new ground: it was an idea worth building on top of.
Young brands and their designers are currently dealing with the multi-brand retailer landscape. For Schloss, this has meant looking to diversify her channels and not put all her eggs in one basket. This was a more commercial and straightforward collection for the designer. While one missed her more crafty and playful materializations, which often added context and visual depth to her collections, this was a lineup that will offer her customer some worthwhile mileage. Confirmation that, every once in a while, it’s worth it to go outside and touch some grass.