Brandon Maxwell is a fashion outsider. Kind of. Beyond an A-list clientele that boasts every style star from Michelle Obama to Sarah Paulson, the self-proclaimed homebody grew up working in his grandmother’s clothing shop and dutifully watching his mother put on lipstick while he “sat in awe as a young gay kid from Texas who loved pageants.” He’s likable to a tee, which makes him a delight as a judge on Project Runway and beloved by aspiring students on his growing YouTube channel. His clothes speak volumes, literally—queue up Lady Gaga’s Matryoshka doll moment at the 2019 Met Gala—but also, often, in whispers.
The quiet power of his brand is bold, never gimmicky. Yes, his clothes are glamorous, but they lack the arrogance typically associated with the industry, even if his gowns explode in fuchsia satin and Bella Hadid closes the show. With a penchant for shape, form,