Maisie Wilen RTW Fall 2021

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As the CFDA reminded us earlier this month by renaming its fashion week calendar the “American Collections,” the industry is hardly confined to New York City.

Exhibit A, Maisie Wilen, the up-and-coming L.A. brand from former Yeezy designer Maisie Schloss, who counts Kanye West as an investor, and Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and more as fans of her Instagrammable, acid-bright, geometric-printed body-con styles that sit somewhere between ’60s psychedelia and ’90s rave.

“When I moved here from Chicago in 2015, one of the things that drew me to L.A. was all the creative energy and exploration here. I wanted to be a part of it,” she said, mentioning the local suppliers and manufacturing resources as a bonus.

Maisie Wilen RTW Fall 2021

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Despite losing some wholesale orders during the pandemic, Schloss has maintained her business momentum by partnering with The Webster on its Art Basel-themed virtual reality Art House activation, opening a pop-up shop at Selfridges in London, and launching swimwear. For 2021, she’s expecting to unveil a few collaborations, too.

For her fourth season, she also wanted to push herself creatively.

“I’ve become really known for going out and specialty pieces, but I’m reluctantly answering the industry’s call for comfort clothing,” Schloss said during a set visit to her look book shoot. “It was what could I make that feels just as special but isn’t literal sweatpants.”

She was in the right place for it; Schloss was shooting at the new Light Space studio in Gardena, Calif., just south of L.A., a stone’s throw from Kate Hudson’s Fabletics fashion fitness wear headquarters.

Indeed, Schloss’ collection had plenty of featherweight jersey turtlenecks, leggings, tube tops, skirts and dresses in Spirograph-like wave and curve prints that are already her brand go-tos, some with circular cutouts or quirky daisy and poodle icons.

But she broadened her reach into more softly structured pieces, like trippy print duster coats and hip-huggers, crushed velvet jeans and wrap tops that would work easily into everyday wardrobes. Windbreaker nylon suits comprised of candy color-blocked blazers with elastic cinched waists and miniskirts with cargo pockets were sporty-chic, and would transition well from indoors to out, particularly for Angelenos who will hike in all manner of get-ups.

While the lineup lacked some of the flash of last season’s, it felt more versatile and accessible to the non-Instagram famous, an important step for any up-and-coming designer looking for brand longevity, no matter where they’re from.

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