The Internet is a scary place. It can also be very dark, which is something designer Maisie Schloss faced while working on her fall line. “One of the main throughlines of this brand has been the study of digital culture and observing and analyzing how we live online,” said Schloss, calling from Los Angeles. “But with the difficult times we're in right now, being online seems particularly bleak,” she added. “I just needed the collection to be upbeat.”
So what happens when a native URL brand turns off its Wi-Fi and goes offline? “I touched grass,” Schloss said, mostly metaphorically. The exercise led to a carefully edited collection that revealed a wiser, more mature side of Maisie Willen. “I was thinking about how my client was progressing and where she is,” Schloss said. “I want to appeal to the person growing up alongside the brand and stick to my philosophy of creating basics for maximalists.” The latter thought held true in Schloss' printed lightweight jersey dresses and boat-neck tops with gathered side seams at the waist. A sheer blouse with diagonal velvet detailing and a pair of tailored shorts made Schloss look like it was breaking new ground: it was an idea worth building on.
Young brands and their designers are currently faced with the multi-brand retailer landscape. For Schloss, that meant looking to diversify its channels and not putting all its eggs in one basket. This was a more commercial and simple collection for the designer. Although he missed his more artful and playful materializations, which often added context and visual depth to his collections, this was a range that would give his customers good mileage. Confirmation that, every once in a while, it's worth getting out and touching some grass.