Nearly one year ago, we announced a first-of-its-kind apparel collaboration with American fashion designer Brandon Maxwell, who is serving as Creative Director for two of our exclusive, elevated brands, Free Assembly and Scoop. Today, we are excited to unveil both spring 2022 collections, the first under Brandon’s influence in his new role.
As an extension of the Walmart fashion team, I speak with Brandon often about our collaboration, his opinions and his inspiration for the Free Assembly and Scoop brands. Recently, we sat down together to celebrate the launch milestone that was a year in the making. Here’s what he had to say about his vision to make beautiful clothing accessible for all, and how it has influenced his creative process at Walmart.
Brandon, we’re almost one year into your role as Creative Director for Free Assembly and Scoop fashion brands. Has it been what you imagined?
Working with Walmart has long been a dream of mine. As a kid, growing up in a small town in Texas, Walmart was the destination for everything, including clothing. And, as you know, Denise, we have a shared vision to make beautiful clothing accessible to all.
I’ve so enjoyed working closely with Walmart’s design team and partners over the past year to bring this vision to life. There’s nothing more rewarding than clothing that helps people look and feel their best no matter where they come from, who they are or what their budget may be.
I couldn’t agree more, and I’m thrilled to share your incredible talent and passion with our Walmart customers. Tell me about your process and how you brought your vision to life for the Free Assembly and Scoop spring collections.
Last year, I spent a lot of time learning more about each brand. I started attending the shoots, learning the aesthetics of the brands. I started to weave things together and prepare for the upcoming seasons.
I oversee the entire creative process for Free Assembly and Scoop, working closely with the design team and partners to align on the overarching themes to ensure that each collection is unified and tells one cohesive design story. My process is very much in anticipation of the final presentation across the entire campaign, so I’m heavily involved with brand marketing. It’s the thing I enjoy most in this role and with my own brand. The storytelling that surrounds any brand is just as important as the product.
What story are you telling with these spring collections?
Spring is always a favorite season of mine. It’s the time I feel most excited about as a designer. For example, with the Free Assembly collection, I wanted it to exude a sense of joy, optimism and color. I started to think about how that would all come together in the end, really making sure that the collection was presented in a way where it was all planted from the same seed. It’s ultimately a story about happiness and being together, blooming fresh and new.
The entire collection looks amazing. What are some of your favorite design elements?
Free Assembly is an extensive collection with more than 500 pieces across men’s, women’s and kids’ fashion. Silhouettes are designed to work together and there are coordinated options for the whole family.
We explored fresh but timeless trends that would last and be seasonless, including stripes, gingham, eyelet, spring fleece, color blocking and printed denim.
What about the Scoop spring collection? What will customers see?
Scoop is more about bold, vibrant colors and high energy prints. Denim is also a focus with this collection. When I think about Scoop, I think about play and an easy lightness to the clothes. They are more trend-driven than Free Assembly, but still timeless.
How do you think your career as a luxury fashion designer lends itself to influencing these Walmart collections?
What I liked about coming into Walmart as Creative Director of Free Assembly and Scoop is that both brands are so different from my own brand’s aesthetic. For me, this was an exciting challenge, to think not only about the overarching stories and cohesive brand messaging, but to bring each brand to life in its own unique way. I don’t think the aesthetics of the lines have changed, but what I’m bringing to each brand is more cohesion across all categories.
I always imagined that at a big retailer, the design process would be very different than a small New York luxury brand. What I’ve learned is that at its core, the process is similar.
When we first met, you told me that one of your goals was to make exceptional design accessible to all. Do you feel like these collections are making good on that promise?
One of my goals when I started my fashion brand was to create beautiful clothing for everyone. This partnership allows me to fulfill that dream on a larger scale.
The Free Assembly collection is priced between $8 and $48 and the Scoop collection ranges in price from $18 to $75. I’m so proud to be able to bring Walmart customers stylish, quality fashion that’s truly accessible.
I’m so excited for our customers to experience the new Free Assembly and Scoop spring collections, and I’m thankful for your dedication to serving our customer. I think we’ll end on – what’s next?
I’m so excited to hear customers’ response to the spring collections. Looking ahead, I’ll continue collaborating with the Walmart design team for Free Assembly and my partners for Scoop to curate seasonal collections. The summer drop is right around the corner!