Colour clashing and silhouette slashing are hallmarks of the eccentric designs of Maisie Wilen, but that’s all we can guarantee. The only predictable element of these exuberant clothes is their sheer unpredictability.
Maisie Schloss’s semi-eponymous label is new to Harrolds, fusing a love of “unusual textiles” with unconventional accessorisation to provoke otherworldly dressing for the everyday.
After working under Kanye West (Ye) and honing a skill for experimental design, Maisie founded her own brand in 2019. The intrepid designer was then nominated for the American Emerging Designer of the Year award at the 2021 CFDA Fashion Awards, and continues to spark excitement in the broader fashion landscape with her irreplicable style.
The Maisie Wilen wearer is creative and confident with unconventional taste
Here, we steal a moment from Maisie’s frantic schedule of Fall 2022 planning to rehash Spring-Summer 2022 construction, why she’ll never wear an all-black outfit, and the vitality of representation on the runway. Unsurprisingly, the joy of Maisie’s creativity transcends fashion and oozes out of her words, too.
Maisie, what a pleasure to have you here. Whereabouts in the world are you currently, and what has your last month entailed?
It’s great to speak with you! I’m currently in my home in Los Angeles. Work-wise my last month has been focused on launching production for our Fall 2022 collection while beginning development of Spring 2023. I was also lucky enough to have a vacation to Dubai where I visited the World Expo.
Work-wise, what is your biggest preoccupation or project right now?
Developing new product for next season. I’m dabbling in some new categories I hope to be able to launch soon including accessories and mens.
When and how did Maisie Wilen begin, and did you ever anticipate to create something so vast, bold and far-reaching?
I launched Maisie Wilen in spring 2019 after receiving seed funding from my former boss Ye. I dreamed of launching a unique yet far-reaching brand and am continuously working to secure Maisie Wilen’s status.
We’ve noticed how important diversity is in your recent runways, featuring people with disability. Why are you ensuring a broad spectrum of bodies, ethnicities and abilities are shown wearing Maisie Wilen’s designs?
Representation is crucial. Also, there are so many incredible models with all types of backgrounds and bodies, it would be a disservice to not work with them.
Your clothes are really idiosyncratic, with a clear standout style of quirky, lurid, experimental design. Where did this narrative begin? Why is Maisie Wilen so underpinned by colour and chaos?
It’s just very truly my aesthetic. Everything I have is colorful and pattern-filled; I’m a true maximalist. I design what I personally love.
Would you ever wear an all-black outfit? Why/why not?
Haha! Maybe to a funeral. I own very few solid garments.
What role does texture play in your SS22 collection? We can see so lots of lace and ruching and silky gloves and brashly draped silhouettes in a sort of ‘done but undone’ aesthetic.
I’m always very drawn to unusual textiles. I love anything that gives an unexpected tactile experience or taking technical materials away from their traditional uses. It literally and figuratively brings another dimension to the collection when mixed with the prints.
Culture-wise, what are you reading, watching or listening to right now that might feel a little underrated or unknown?
Hear me out, I’ve recently become obsessed with The Vengaboys. They’re always a hit when played at a party and they also create an incredible trance to churn work out to. Up and Down is their best song.
Who would you say you dress for, if you had to describe the persona and feelings of the intended Maisie Wilen wearer?
The Maisie Wilen wearer is creative and confident with unconventional taste. She loves and keeps up with fashion without being tethered to it.
If we told you to get ready in 10 minutes for a night on the town (perhaps a show, some food and wine, dancing), what would you put on your body and face, head-to-toe?
I’ve recently been living in the Muscle Beach Dress, so I’d probably wear that with little heels, a jacket, and a bunch of mascara.
Lastly, any advice for a younger self before reaching international fashion designer status?
Be deliberate and precise with all work. Consider the bigger picture before releasing anything.