Designers To Watch: MAXFOWLES

- By Teresa Greenfeld -

When you discover something on the brink of greatness, you know it.   Like finding the perfect wedding dress, or the perfect man, it’s something you can’t quite put into words.  You can try to attach certain criteria to it, but you quantify it in any real way. You just know.

One look at MAXFOWLES‘ debut collection for fall 2012, and you know you must be feeling the same thing as whomever first saw Alexander Wang’s debut collection.  There is a definite sharp intake of breath, a fluttering of the stomach, and a sudden urgency in the air.  The collection is very much representative of its husband and wife design team, Max and Parisa Fowles (seen above): cool and sleek, with an international polish.  The undeniable sexiness of the collection lies not in a brazen showing of skin, but in its combination of textures and tailoring; in its use of leathers, silks and fur details.  It lies in the story it tells, of the jet-set woman with an elegance, an edge and a secret.  There is not a piece out of place;  perhaps reflective again of its designers, who seem so in tune with one another, they often finish each other sentences.

MAXFOWLES is a classic in the making; not only one to watch, but to get your hands on, to own, and to wear, as soon a possible.

I sat down with Max and Parisa to talk style, inspiration and all things MAXFOWLES:

Parisa Fowles

Teresa Greenfeld: Fall 2012 is your debut collection; what was your inspiration?  How did you decide on the statement you wanted to make?

MAXFOWLES:  Both Paris and New York inspired our debut collection. The French are slightly more feminine in their way of dressing, while New Yorkers are very sharp in their fashion sense. The combination of the two set the foundation of our Fall 2012 collection.  For our first collection we wanted to truly showcase the quality behind our designs. We incorporated a lot of leather detailing, which is inherent in most pieces this collection. We feel that nice leather can really enhance a product.

TG:  In what ways are you translating the brand for Spring?

MAXFOWLES:  For Spring 2013 we are staying very true to our background. The collection is inspired by Capri, Italy. We have always been in love with Capri and the many colors it epitomizes.

TG:  What matters to you most as designers?

MAXFOWLES:  Creating beautiful pieces that have longevity in a woman’s wardrobe.

TG:  How would you define the style MAXFOWLES exemplifies?  Who is the MAXFOWLES woman?

MAXFOWLES:  She is a modern woman who loves the beauty and structure of clothing and exudes the elegance of an international well-traveled woman.

TG:  What do you wish to achieve with MAXFOWLES?

MAXFOWLES:  We would like it to be the next lifestyle empire, similar to Ralph Lauren.

TG:  Where do you draw your inspiration from?

MAXFOWLES:  Our travels and the women we see on the street.

TG:  What are some of your favorite fashion websites? magazines? books?

MAXFOWLES:  Citizen Couture, Moda Operandi, The Coveteur, Vogue, The Rake, WWD, L’Uomo Vogue. Harper’s BAZAAR, W Magazine.. and of course OliviaPalermo.com

TG:   The way the public shops for fashion, and accesses the fashion industry, is changing so much right now – with social media integration, content being incorporated into e-commerce sites, and blogs being read over magazines.  How does this affect you as designers, if at all?
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MAXFOWLES:  From our perspective,  this only creates a benefit to the fashion industry. It allows you to draw in a truly global consumer and to have a platform which can be accessed anywhere in the world.
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TG:  How would you define your personal style?
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MAXFOWLES:  We both dress in a chic way. Max’s style feels more tailored than the norm – he is always in a crisp white shirt, clean stonewash jeans, and no socks. Parisa’s style varies with the occasion, but she always manages to incorporate very clean lines, which comes from the Swedish influence in her life.
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TG:  If you could dress on woman – living or dead – who would it be and why?
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MAXFOWLES:  Bianca Brandolini combines true elegance with a very simple aesthetic. She would be a perfect ambassador for the brand, as this is exactly what MAXFOWLES stands for.
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TG:  What is exciting you right now in fashion?
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MAXFOWLES:  MAXFOWLES!
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TG:  Both of you have citied your mothers as enormous influences; What is your most vivid fashion memory of your mothers?
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MAXFOWLES:  Parisa’s mum was always dressed in Chanel. Max’s mum is very creative and was always creating bespoke pieces of clothing,  largely on her own.
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TG:  What are the biggest benefits of working with each other as husband and wife?
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MAXFOWLES:  We have the same dream, the same vision. This makes our partnership enjoyable and never tiresome.
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TG:  It is said that life is a series of meaningful coincidences;  to change one is to change the rest. Was creating MAXFOWLES always the plan? Or is there a moment either of you can pinpoint, that changed where you thought you were headed, and thus set MAXFOWLES in motion?
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MAXFOWLES:  There has always been a plan. It just became a reality when we moved to New York. The fashion influence of New York is incredibly strong and encourages you to take follow your dreams.
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MAXFOWLES Fall 2012 collection, shown below, will be available in July at Ron Herman and Elyse Walker in Los Angeles, and at A Man and a Woman in New York.
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